Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Terrible Trend

This should be a sticky post...

I've noticed in the last few years a disturbingly frequent shift in the attitudes of Art Buyers and businesses seeking to find images for advertising and promotion. It's the trend off FREE! Yes, I said FREE. The desire to procure images and use them for monetary gain ( their own advertising ) without the photographer receiving compensation for his / her work. For the offenders, catalog and calendar publishers, real estate firms, public relations weasels and pro bono whores, it's a win win game. Just think about it. You ( Art Director ) get great scenics and stock images that the photographer spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours producing and you get to benefit for nothing more than the promise of a 6pt photo credit in the ass crack of a double truck! And we all know how much that ad space is worth to our businesses... absofuckinglutely nothing!

It seems that the worst offenders are the clients with the most money and resources, the bigger the name, the more likely that the client wants it for free. Recently, I received a call from the second largest real estate firm in the southeast ( owned by a 9 Billion dollar company ) for some travel scenic images that they loved, images that were quite unique and well suited for their purposes. They weren't sure they could actually pay anything to use the images?

"Would you consider giving us permission to use some photos if we provide your name and website address for credit? "

Hell fucking no! ( not my actual answer... but it should have been )

"Please let us know if you would be interested in discussing this with us."

I let them know....immediately. No images without compensation, zip, zero, nada. Maybe they could come and sell my house ( If I had one ) for free and then I could tell all my friends...so they could call and get some free shit to!

This trend toward the Flicker /PhotoBucket everything's free mentality has got to be stopped. I'm doing my part, but I think it's a losing battle. There are just too many young, foolish and talented idiots that don't recognise the value of their work. The hard fact that one day these young photographers will be too tired and old to produce and may have to rely on the 'well' of their life's work to draw upon ( financially ) has passed this generation by.

Oh well, I guess we will all be lining up for our 'free' OBAMA BUCKS from Big Brother to buy our ration of toilet paper and day old bread. Life will be grand.

Thanks for reading


Sunday, May 25, 2008

DP Review Finalizes Canon Xsi Review

Follow this link to DP Review and read the final and comprehensive review of the Canon Rebel XSi. For Raw shooters, it seems to be a step up in quality from any of the previous Rebel models. The larger LCD screen and extended highlight range make it a winner in my book.

Check it out: DP Review of the Digital Rebel XSi

Monday, April 28, 2008

DIY Soft Box

Photo Courtesy Nick Wheeler

Down and dirty

I've seen a few Do-It-Yourself projects before, this one is for the hard-core only!

Head on over to DIYPhotography.net to check out this super soft box contraption by Flickr contributor, Nick Wheeler. Lots of great pics to help you build your own.

If you have to build one on location and you gotta get it done quick, try this Cardboard box beauty I found on the Photography On The Net forums. This one's a little more my style.

It just goes to show that you can make some great light with a little creativity and some effort...and maybe a little duct tape.

High ISO Changing The Way We Work

Less is more.

For the small group of photo luddites who still cling to film cameras, praying for a revival of old school technology, it's time to give up and join the future...before it's too late! Not only has digital changed the nature of photography and related businesses, but it has also changed the way we work and the type of equipment we use to get the job done.

What good photographer wouldn't want a couple of 4800 watt second Speedo packs, or half a dozen 102 heads, or 15 heavy duty light stands that can reach to the sky? The answer to that question has abruptly changed and the affects on the bottom line, budgets, travel, hiring assistants etc... have changed with it. For the old-school photographer, still trying to market himself or herself with the tired film-is-better mantra, budgets will soon push these stragglers into the 21st century.

No less than 2 years ago, I was contemplating re-building my equipment / lighting arsenal to its former glory. A few years of a slowing economy and shrinking business prospects had eaten away at my gear and patience. With the digital revolution and web technology changing the way I deal with clients, it seemed like time to re-invest in myself and get the ball moving forward again. To facilitate this new outlook and motivation, I decided to piece together some new equipment and a new attitude. Thank goodness my lack of funds restrained me from re-purchasing almost all of the bulky, expensive, workhorse gear that once lined the walls of my studio.

The newer DSLR's have made it possible and even reasonable to shoot the average assignment at much higher ISO's than would be prudent with film cameras. Large format shooters are losing ground to studios using 12, 16 and 21 mega pixel digital cameras, that can match the output of most med-format gear and give 4X5 transparency film a run for its money. All of this at higher ISO's than ever thought possible! This is effectively changing the game plan for location and studio shoots, where bulky, powerful strobes were once king. Some of this outdated, traditional gear, gathering dust in the corner, while newer, lighter and less powerful lighting units are taking over. The shrinking value of this older lighting equipment evident by its falling re-sale value at your local camera store.

If you haven't read the best-selling book, "Who Moved My Cheese", by Spencer Johnson, now would be a good time. Do it before you make your next gear purchase and thank me later.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

High Dynamic Range...A Few Links


I have my own down and dirty method. Let's take a look at a few sites with How-To Tutorials on producing HDR image files in the field.

www.stuckincustoms.com has a nicely detailed recipe for producing HDR images with Photomatix, Photoshop and Lightroom. He also has a discount coupon for readers purchasing the Photomatix software. Please visit his site to find the coupon if you want to see some great HDR images and get a deal on software.

www.cambridgeincolour has another more technical tutorial for the super photo geeks who want the why and how of HDR.

Even if your not planning to produce images with the HDR look, the technical exercise of exposure bracketing and shooting from a tripod will guarantee you the best possible files for photos of static scenes. With a little extra work and Photoshop trickery, you can also use the same techniques to shoot people.

Give it a try!

Friday, April 25, 2008

DP Review's Hands On With Rebel XSI

Still waiting...

Phil Askey has just posted a hands on preview for the 12 megapixel Canon Rebel XSI. It's not the full package we've been waiting for, but contains plenty of info on the new features, controls, buttons and knobs. Still a good read if you're planning on familiarizing yourself with the camera before purchase.

Follow this link to DP Review to read the article and check out the sample photos.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Rebel XSI Review Lite At Bob Atkins

The reviews are coming...

I stopped by Bob Atkins site to read his first look review of the Canon EOS Rebel XSI ( 450D ) and kit lens. Nothing unexpected in his appraisal of the camera and typical kudos and complaints about the kit lens. Still waiting for the exhaustive beat down from the guys at DP Review, who are, I hear thru the grapevine, getting ready to post the full monty on the XSI.

If your wondering why there is so much excitement about this Pro-Sumer camera, then you probably have your head up you - know - where. The reality is, that today's pro-sumer, off - the - shelf at Best Buy DSLR, has twice the features, file size and image quality of yesterday's pro model cameras and at 1/3rd the price!

Don't let equipment snobbery stop you from buying a great camera. With all the money you'll have left over, you can purchase better glass and be ahead of the game in the long haul.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Radio Poppers Arriving...

The Radio Poppers are coming!

For the lucky folks who pre-ordered Radio Poppers P1's, shipping has begun! Time to see what real world testing will reveal.

David at the Strobist website has put them thru their paces with excellent results. Glad to see Kevin King succeed with his new product where so many others have failed.

Check out this unboxing Video , ( compliments of VIMEO ) from Zeke at nicephotomag.com

Samsung / Pentax Full Frame DSLR

Photo courtesy Samsung USA

Rumors abound...

Samsung is definitely not trying to squash the rumors of a full frame pro DSLR in the works with
partner Pentax Corp. Can't wait to hear more about this!

Read more about it on the electronista website.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Back For More Punishment...

Time to blog!

I have been pretty busy working on a new website, but I'm ready to hit the ground running. It seems that I have finally made it to Google page cache status. New readers are finding older posts and page views are soaring. Guess it's not the time to run out of steam just yet!

I'll be getting back to a new schedule and a shrunk down, less busy, re-designed header! Maybe an explosion of random color and 50 -100 ridiculous animated gifs...each with a talking wav file. How about 50 cartoon robots telling you that you have just won an IPOD NANO!

Just kidding!

Lets not forget to mention Canon cameras, Canon Lenses and Canon Rebel XSI at the bottom of each post ( doubles my page views !). Yes....pathetic, but effective.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Rebel XSi Available in Canada Now!!!

Rebel XSi being shipped now!

Kerrisdale Camera ( 2170 W 41 Ave at Yew St ) in Van Couver BC has received in store and quickly sold one Canon 450 D (Rebel Xsi) body only to a lucky customer posting on the DP Review website. I called the store and verified that the poster was telling the truth. Speculation that the Aussies are getting sporadic shipments with surprise Rebel Xsi's is coming in on the net.

I expect that Best Buy stores in the US will be receiving a handfull in the next week or so.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Radio Poppers Vid on High Speed Sync!

There is a new Radio Popper promo on Vimeo that gives us a taste of the joys of High Speed Sync.

follow the link below:


Can't wait to buy a set!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Canon Rebel XSI High ISO With Noise Reduction!

Canon 1600 ISO sweetness!

DP Review just posted a few more test images from the Canon 450D ( Rebel XSi ), these with a properly applied noise reduction in the DPP software.

Freakin unbelievable is all I can say! ISO 1600 has never looked so good. And I thank them for taking my and others advice to shoot a few High ISO images somewhere other than in a damn dimly lit cave! I am so tired of seeing High ISO images shot in a dark bar or concert hall. NEWS FLASH!!! ..................... shit lighting looks bad with any camera and lens combination.

To check out the new 1600 ISO images photographed outdoors under normal lighting conditions follow this link to the DP Review website. The last 2 images are High ISO with noise reduction.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Camera Armor For Your Canon DSLR!

Camera Armor photo courtesy Made Products

Awesome new product from the "made product store", Camera Armor to protect your DSLR!

Check out the molded rubber protector designed for your DSLR camera that still allows you accesss to all the buttons and controls to shoot like a champ!

I want one now!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sigma Announces Super Fast 50mm F 1.4!

Courtesy Sigma Japan

Sigma Rocks!

Sigma announced a fantastic new large aperture prime lens for all the latest digital cameras. The 50 f 1.4 EX DG HSM will be compatible with Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony. This is going to be one sweet optic approximating an 80 mm with most 2/3rds sensor cameras. Basically, the ultimate portrait lens!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Canon Updates Rebel XSI Sample Pics

Rebel XSI ISO 100 EF--S 17-55 F2.8 IS USM


Canon Japan has added two more sample pics to the KISS X2 ( Rebel XSi ) website.

follow this link to the second and third sample images, both shot at ISO 100 with two of Canon's wide and super wide lenses.

You can download the high res version from my server here.
Enjoy! ...............But please don't re-post the direct link.

Should be just a few days to weeks before camera release in some European markets ?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Canon Rebel XSi Low Res Sample Pics...

Sample pic teasers!

Visit the Canon Kiss X2 ( Rebel XSi in the US ) digital preview page for a look at some sample pics from the 12.2 megapixel DSLR. The images are low res, but colorful none the less. Can't wait to see more high res images from the Xsi!

Kiss X2 website

Monday, January 28, 2008

Rebel XSi Sample Pics

Two Rebel XSi images released from Canon :

Canon Link above:

And my own version:

Check out the original Canon Rebel XSi image here

There are only two images up on the site at this time, the one above and a cheesy sports shot of a bunch of Man - Dorks in spandex. Why they can't shoot more useful images of people than a bunch of spandex dorks riding in formation I don't know? That's why I've usurped all copyrights and given you my version of their original photo! Take that you Canon camera engineers!

I like my version better :0


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pentax K20 D Press Release On Heels Of Canon!

Pentax K20 D!

That's right ........ all you haters and rumor squashers,

Follow this link to the Pentax Website and read all about the newest Pentax DSLR.

or check out the hands on review at DP Review.


Canon Rebel XSi beats Pentax To The Punch At The PMA!

Pentax has gotten the wind knocked out of their Sails!

With just 10 hours to go before the doors open on the PMA Las Vegas convention, Canon has released the specs on the New Rebel XSi 12.17 Mega Pixel, Digic III Price point champion!

Can't wait to see if Pentax USA will come thru with the rumored 14 Mega Pixel K 20 D?

With 12.2 Mega Pixels and a camera I know and love ( Rebel XTi ), I can't see switching horses midstream. Especially with a projected $800.00 Body only price ( available in April). Damn I'm excited!!!

Canon Rebel XSi 12.2 Megapixel

courtesy Canon USA and DP Review

Freakin Wow!!!

Rebel gets an upgrade with 12.2 Megapixel CMOS Sensor!

Read about it on the DP Review website.........Canon 450D

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pentax K20 D ......Maybe?

**image courtesy ENGADGET website


Here is some good rumor rehash from the folks at ENGADGET about the Pentax K20 D, the 14 Mega Pixel wonder-camera. Lets hope it's for real!

Follow this link : Sneak Peak

* If you're reading this article, I would love to hear from you! Please take a second to respond by clicking the POST A COMMENT link below. We now feature our reader's comments below each post!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

USB 3.0 Specs And Photos

USB that rocks!

The fine folks over at Engadget have posted some pics of the new USB 3.0 connectors along with the specs on wiring , expected data transfer speed and backwards compatibility.

Check out this link at ENGADGET

* If you're reading this article, I would love to hear from you! Please take a second to respond by clicking the POST A COMMENT link below. We now feature our reader's comments below each post!

P.S. As soon as the post Christmas blahs have passed, I'm going to kill the Java Script that runs the comments widget.......just too damn slow!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

CS3 Is Watching Me!

More privacy invasions from Big Brother!

Dr Pimento forwarded me a link to this article from the ars technica website, concerning spyware from the statistics tracking firm OMNITURE which Adobe has been so kind to include in their Creative Suite Software.

Check it out.