Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Win a Nikon - Iconic Britain with Windows Live Search

Windows Live are giving away hundreds of Nikon point and shoot and SLR cameras. Simply vote on images you think are iconic to British culture for your chance to win one. You can even submit your own photos if you think you can do better! Best hurry though, there's only 2 SLR's left up for grabs! Click here to go to the site.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

SensorKlear works…

So what are the available DIY solutions for DSLR sensor cleaning?

  • Blower
    Done that. This is what I usually do for sensor cleaning. This time it failed me.

  • Eclipse and PecPad
    Expensive, but usually give the best result among other solution. Also seems to be one of the most difficult technique. Some model (like Canon D5) require different cleaning agent, since there are reports that Eclipse can cause irrecoverable damage to the coating layer on the low pass filter.

  • Arctic Butterfly
    Easy to deploy, but very expensive. There are reports this method can cause slight damage to sensor. Spinning brush may also touch shutter grease, and can make the sensor even dirtier. Success rate are moderately high.

  • Static charged brush
    Cheap, and seems to be very difficult to do. And just like any other method with brush, you need not to touch the sensor. Beside where can I find such brush in such a short time?

  • SpecGrab
    Fairly easy method. But you need to be able to locate the dust for this method to be effective, since you can not “grab” the dust if you don’t know where it is. You need some tool like sensor loup, which is.. expensive

  • Pentax Sensor Cleaning Tool
    Not available anywhere I look. And I don’t even know how it looks, how it work, etc

  • SensorKlear
    Made by the same company that gives you LensPen. Actually it’s just a LensPen with head specially shaped for sensor cleaning. There are rumors that canon actually use the original LensPen to clean sensor. Just like using PecPad, this method require you to actually touch the sensor. Some argue, that since the LensPen is save enough for optic lens, it should be good enough for the glass that cover DLSR sensor. But using the SensorKlear require you to actually touch the sensor, and potentially damaging it. But from what I’ve read this method has moderate level of success, and quite save.
Full Article Here

The business aspects of RAW vs. JPG mode

To shoot in RAW or JPG mode on your digital camera? Do you really get the extra, fine detail that 16-bit RAW mode purports to deliver, and that everyone is raving about?

Or is it a case of the Emperor's New Clothes, and no one wants to say anything? Or, more precisely, do people even notice?..Full Blog Post Here

Anonymous Brian said...

I like the analogy with the music industry and digital vs. analog. I'm a huge music buff and within the last year i started collecting vinyl. I have some albums in digital form, in both mp3 and CD format as well as on vinyl. If you were to blindfold me and play the three different formats one after another, I probably wouldn't be able to tell you which is which.

Back to the photography part of it now. For my shooting purposes, I'm not a professional photographer in the sense that I don't get paid to make pictures, jpg format is sufficient. The only time that I shoot raw is when I want to go in and "digitally remaster" the image (sorry for another music industry reference. i couldn't help myself). After I'm done editing, i save as a TIF and delete the RAW file.

I guess it's just a matter of preference at this point. A good picture is a good picture, no matter what format it's shot in. Vinyl is making a comeback in recent years. Who knows, maybe some day RAW will become a desirable format for "photofiles" of the future, giving them a retro feel to their images.


July 23, 2008 6:21 AM

Anonymous antron said...

16-bit RAW mode lets you post-process the picture in order to reveal image data you couldn't get without shooting several pictures with different exposure times

Check it out (16 bit RAW section)

April 15, 2008 6:57 AM

Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6DC EX HSM : Review bythom

Most newcomers to wide angle lenses think that the primary thing that distinguishes them is their angle of view: a wider lens gives you a wider angle of view on a scene. Yes, you can see more "width" through the viewfinder, but that's actually not the real reason why pros tend to gravitate towards "very wide angle" lenses instead of "modestly wide" ones. The real issue is depth...Full Article...Here

the Sigma10-20mm group icon Sigma10-20mm Group

D40xographer said...

Good review by Thom Hogan and vindicates my choice on buying this lens. Thanks Orb keep up the good work.

Night Photography - A Few Idea's on How to Proceed

Taking night photos can be very satisfying. Whether on a warm summer evening, or a winter night when the chill makes all the lights twinkle, taking photos at night is fun, and an excellent way to explore the capabilities of a camera. All that is required is a sturdy tripod and patience...Full Article Here

Studio Lighting - Lighting Diagrams, Planning and Explaining

Sometimes you want to make a diagram of your photo session. (OK, sometimes you don't, but sometimes you do). I, for example, am going to use studio lighting diagrams for explaining about low key and high key studio setups. ... Here

Sunday, July 20, 2008



Noiseware is a high-performance noise suppression software tool designed to decrease or eliminate noise from digital photo or scanned images.

Unlike most image processing software techniques that utilize simple methods (such as median filters) to treat digital noise in images, Noiseware features a sophisticated yet fast noise filtering algorithm.

Using the adaptive noise profile capability and sharpening function, Noiseware greatly reduces the visible noise while keeping the details in the images.

Check them out Here

70 Beauty-Retouching Photoshop Tutorials

by Dirk Metzmacher

Beauty retouching is probably one of the most popular application areas in which Adobe Photoshop is used extensively. There are two simple reasons for that.

First, Photoshop offers a variety of advanced tools to smooth out skin and hair, optimize body proportions and emphasize some beautiful details. And second, if you have some experience with Photoshop it is easy to learn the basics and quickly produce very impressive and beautiful results.

Of course, beauty-retouching is a quite deceptive art. The masters of Photoshop create illusions which are hard to tell apart — unless you have both a genuine photo and the final result in Photoshop and can directly compare them.

In fact, every day we consume perfectly retouched stars and models online and offline which just look different in the real life.

Read Full Article Here

Water Drops Collection shots!

Many awesome shots check them out here.

Make your own Better Bounce Cards Video

Cheap and easy make your own.

Nikon SB-600 AF Speedlight - Reviews

Guide number (at 35mm zoom-head position, 20 C/68 F): 30/98 (ISO 100, m/ft), 42/138 (ISO 200, m/ft)

Flash exposure control : i-TTL, D-TTL, TTL (film based), Balanced Fill-Flash, Manual

Flash shooting distance range (in TTL auto flash mode): 0.6m ti 20m (2 to 65.6 ft.) (varies depending on the ISO sensitivity, zoom-head position and lens aperture in use)


Recycling time: Alkaline approx. 3.5 sec.

Number of flashes: Alkaline approx. 200 times

Creative lighting system: a variety of flash operations are available with camera's compatible with CLS: i-TTL mode, Advanced Wireless Lighting, FV Lock flash, Flash color information communication, Auto FL High-Speed sync, and Wide area AF-Assist Illuminator

Display: LCD: segment type

LCD back light: LED type

Shoe-lock: One action lock

Battery: 4 x AA-type: Alkaline, Lithium, Nickel, NiCd, Ni-MH (All four batteries must be the same type)

Zoom: Auto 24x85mm, Manual

Dimensions (W x H x D): Approx. 68 x 123.5 x 90mm (2.7 x 4.9 x 3.5 in)

Weight (w/o batter): Approx. 300g (9.6 oz)

Included Accessories: Speedlight stand (AS-19), Soft case (SS-600)

Optional Accessories: TTL flash cable (SC-29), TTL flash cable (SC-28), Color Filter Set (SJ-1)

FM Review
Ken Rockwell Review
Momentcorporation Review

Friday, July 18, 2008

Blog has just passed the 100,000 clicks mark !

Since Dec. 17th 2007 have had over 484 posts with 100,000 Hits.

I never expected it but thanks all for the visits and hope you have found the blog useful.

Anonymous Gil said...

That's awsome, thanks for all the info

July 19, 2008 5:16 AM

Is it difficult to be a Photographer

A bunch of extreme photographer's and their gear..

Check them out here

Black Girl On... said...

Well, your pic there makes it look easy!!!

July 18, 2008 2:12 AM

Nikon Capture NX Tips and Tricks

Do you want to master your Capture NX? Nikon has recently published 20 downloadable tips and tricks documents for its Capture NX editing software.

The documents are easy step by step guides which will allow you to get more from your software. All tutorial documents are provided in .pdf format.

Check it out Here

Photographer Documents Secret Satellites — All 189 of Them

BERKELEY, California -- For most people, photographing something that isn't there might be tough.

Not so for Trevor Paglen.

His shots of 189 secret spy satellites are the subject of a new exhibit -- despite the fact that, officially speaking, the satellites don't exist.

The Other Night Sky, on display at the University of California at Berkeley Art Museum through September 14, is only a small selection from the 1,500 astrophotographs Paglen has taken thus far.

Full Article Here

PhotoAcute Studio

PhotoAcute Studio processes sets of images taken in continuous mode to produce high-resolution, low-noise pictures.

It increases image resolution, removes noise without losing image details, corrects image geometry and chromatic aberrations and expands the dynamic range.

Check it out Here

Rationalizing Lenses by Thom

This article originally appeared in the Nikon DSLR Report, issue #6. A lot has happened both in cameras and lenses since I wrote that article.

But that article was also my basic treatise on how to make decisions amongst lenses. Thus, I've decided to take the time to do a thorough update to the article and post it here for everyone to partake.

If you read the original, you can skip down to the section labeled "Putting Together Logical Kits." Everything from there down has changed considerably since the original; the stuff before that has only minor tweaks. Enjoy.

..Full Article Here

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Depth of Field Calculator

Depth of Field: The zone, or range of distances, within a
scene that will record as sharp ... It is one of the most creative
and profound effects available to photographers.

Find it Here

Tools for Flickr

Associatr Browse related tags on flickr
Background Switcher Background image to flickr photo
Bubblr Create comic strips using photos from flickr.
cloudTagFlickr Pulls and arranges tags from flickr
Daily Zeitgeist Shows recent photos
Dhtml Badge Pure Javascript for implementation
Delivr Create a unique custom postcard
EgoWalk See where contacts live in the USA

FAlbum Wordpress plugin to display Flickr photos
Flickr Backup Java utility
FlickrDown Download photos
Fastr Game to guess the tag before others
FlickrFly Script links from comment to location in Google Earth
Findr Find photos by browsing and refining related tags
Flickrball A six-degrees-of-separation game
FlickrFavs Download the original size
FlickrExport Plugin for iPhoto 4
Flickr Filesystem Create a virtual userspace file system

Many More...Here

Inside Lightroom - Free Presets

Inside Lightroom - Colour Presets

Click the Filename to Download the Presets, they are zipped for easy transfer. Previews are shown to see the range of effects, but bear in mind that they are a starting point for your own investigations!

The files are divided into sections, please click to navigate directly:

  1. News
  2. Colour Presets
  3. Point Curve Presets
  4. Cross Process Presets
  5. Black and White Presets
  6. Split Tone/Old Processes Presets
  7. Calibration Presets
Get them Here

Everything thom!

Great resources on all things Nikon....Here

Eight Great Ways To Include Shadows In Your Pictures

Usually on this site I describe ways to deal with shadows in pictures.

This is because shadows can distract the viewer from the main subject. Shadows also often create high contrast that gives the sensor some hard time.

In past articles I've shown how to eliminate the shadows, minimize them, diffuse them and even bounce to get rid of them...Full HowTo Here.

Lightroom Extra

Welcome to Lightroom Extra

This is the place where we hope to keep some of the useful items that will help you get the best from Adobe Lightroom. ...Here

Friday, July 11, 2008

ACDSee Pro 2 Photo Manager

Develop and perfect your images

Perfect your images with state of the art RAW processing and advanced pixel-level editing. Take total control of every aspect - from white balance to sharpness.

NEW! Experience the superior image quality and detail of ACDSee Pro 2’s RAW process. And, with background processing, continue your workflow while ACDSee Pro completes your non-destructive adjustments.

Take a look at the complete list of supported RAW formats.

Expose hidden details in dark and light areas with ACDSee Pro 2’s patent pending Shadow/Highlights feature – you’ll see beautiful results. Fix common photo defects such as blemishes, flares, lens scratches, and other imperfections with the Photo Repair tool. NEW! Use a selection tool to apply adjustments including blur, saturation and color to defined areas of your photos.

"The Channel Mixer, and the fact that it's available for batch processing, will save a ton of time creating black and white proofs to show a client after a portrait or wedding session. This item alone is worth far more than the price of the software in time savings, even over other batch conversion processes I've tried in the past."

Norman J. Wilson, Portrait and Event Photographer

Check out there site Here..... Going for 50% off Summer sale for $65 bucks for now.

In the process of checking it out with the 30-day trial and see how good it is for me.

10 Ways to Take Stunning Portraits

How do you take Portraits that have the ‘Wow’ factor?

Today and tomorrow I want to talk about taking Portraits that are a little out of the box. You see it’s all very well and good to have a portrait that follows all the rules - but it hit me as I was surfing on Flickr today that often the most striking portraits are those that break all the rules.

I want to look at some ways to break out of the mold and take striking portraits by breaking (or at least bending) the rules and adding a little randomness into your portrait photography. I’ll share ten of these tips today and a further ten tomorrow (update: you can see the 2nd part here).

Read Full Article Here

FAQ - Megapixel Print Size Chart from West Coast Imaging

What quality print can I expect from my camera?

This chart is designed to help you answer this question. We've assembled a list of common digital and film camera sizes and print sizes, then coded them with the dpi you'll be able to print at for each size along with a color coding that tells you the quality you can expect from a print of that size.

See the Chart Here

Monitor calibration and gamma

In this page we discuss a critical step in setting up a digital darkroom: calibrating your monitor so it conforms to widely-accepted standards of image display. A properly calibrated monitor is essential for making prints that match the monitor image; it is an absolute necessity for success in the digital darkroom. ...Full Article Here

Artic Butterfly from Digital Outback Photo

To be very clear we hate dust on sensors and even more to clean the sensors. Here is our brief history about dust on sensors. The old favorite (if we ever had one :-) ) method was cleaning the sensor with sensor swabs and some special fluids.

Then a few years ago VisibleDust presented their first Sensor Brush. We had one of the first reviews by Rick Decker on our site. While the sensor brush seemed to work fine there were some inconveniences to overcome:

  • you need canned air (not so good on flights)

The canned air was needed to charge the bristles. Later VisibleDust invented the Arctic Butterfly where the fast rotation of the brush were helping to charge the bristles. Also these brushes seemed to work fine but some users felt a bit uncomfortable with the placement of the on/off switch (could be accidentally be hit during cleaning on the sensor).

The new Arctic Butterfly 724 is a way more refined design..Full Article - Here

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sharpen those photos: Unsharp Mask

The Unsharp Mask is an old photography trick that has become available to ‘the common man’ through the introduction of digital editing tools such as Adobe Photoshop.

In this article, I will share with you my knowledge and experience of the Unsharp mask tool in the darkroom, and also a thorough introduction to its digital name brother, the Photoshop USM filter...Full HowTo Here

Crop Factor Explained

One term that you’re certain to come across when researching your next DSLR purchase is ‘Crop Factor’.

This is a slightly complex topic and many long article have been written explaining it - but to keep it simple let me attempt a short explanation...Full article Here

Crop factor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

10 Amazing Light Graffiti Artists and Photographers: From Light Writing to Extreme Exposures

Light graffiti, also known as light painting, takes what you think you know about graffiti and turns it on its head. This ephemeral approach to art and expression uses the movement of light to create incredible images and is created on the streets, in nature, and in studios by artists whose creative impulses transcend traditional media.

Unlike projection bombing, light graffiti is sometimes produced as performance art, and sometimes just to capture it with photography and video, but either way it makes for some incredible viewing.

These ten artists producing light graffiti and light painting represent some of the most amazing talent in a growing (and increasingly strange) field of art.... Full Article Here

Military Kicks Out Embedded Blogger For Photographing Marine Killed In A Suicide Bombing In Iraq

On June 26, a suicide bomber attacked a meeting of tribal sheikhs in Iraq’s Anbar province and killed 20 people, including three U.S. Marines. The episode was widely reported by U.S. media.

Zoriah Miller, a photojournalist and blogger embedded with U.S. Marines in Iraq, took pictures of the attack’s grisly aftermath, including one of the fallen soldiers.

The U.S. military, however, was incensed at Miller’s portrayal of the horrors of war and immediately “disembedded” him from his Marine unit. ... Full Story Here

Monday, July 7, 2008

Better Beamer - Success — In a Flash

Most photographers understand the benefits of using fill flash under harsh lighting conditions.

Most modern cameras using either built-in flash heads or custom designed external units are capable of doing daylight balanced fill-flash.

These are are very convenient, simple to use, and can provide a high percentage of successful images.

Full Article Here

From Manfrotto : How to Use a Tripod: The Basics

A 'good' tripod is a fundamental part of any photographer's kit, and is well worth its weight in gold - especially since tripods are getting lighter all the time.

A quality tripod can provide you with the sharpest possible pictures from your expensive camera and lenses, and allow you get those shots you've only dreamed of - giving you time to think more carefully about composition.

In fact it will probably improve your hit rate more than any other piece of equipment you use.

Full Article Here

Making a living taking digital snapshots of passersby

Darryl Cannon of takes thousands of pictures daily of drivers and motorcyclists on U.S. Route 129 on the Tennessee/North Carolina border. The road is popular, especially with motorcyclists, and Cannon and others in his company make full-time livings selling the images they take. At least three other operations do the same thing in the area.

Full Article Here

How Every Flickr Photo Ended Up on Sale This Weekend

From Thomas Hawk's Blog

Jim Goldstein has an interesting article out over on his blog this morning entitled, "How Every Flickr Photo Ended Up on Sale This Weekend." The article references a third party, who utilized Flickr's API to put everyone's Flickr photos up for sale this weekend, according to Jim.

Read Full account Here.

J.C. Hutchins response for

J.C. Hutchins said...

Hi, orb9220! The recent activity of my company,, was one of the catalysts for Jim Goldstein's masterful article. As he points out in his post, we immediately disabled our Flickr integration when we learned our service was distributing photos beyond the Creative Commons license.

Myk Willis, Myxer's CEO, recently wrote a post on his personal blog about our Flickr integration, and the creative and philosophical intent powering it. It can be found here:

I encourage you and your audience to read it, if only to learn more about the integration, to understand that Myxer did not sell any of the photos accessed via the Flickr API, and to see what Myxer has learned from this experience. As Myk writes in his post, these are "trying times for a massive number of creative people whose footing has been destabilized in this era of instant, zero-cost distribution of digital content on the internet."

We're all finding our footing here, and we appreciate the insight you and other bloggers are bringing to the conversation. If you or your readers need any further information about Myxer or future iterations of our Flickr integration, please feel free to contact me personally.

Best wishes,

--J.C. Hutchins
Social Media Marketing Manager,

July 9, 2008 7:33 AM

Friday, July 4, 2008

Nikon's Wireless Flash System

Multiple flash using Nikon cameras and Speedlights is about as easy as shooting with a single flash because it is both wireless and totally automatic!

What is really exciting about this system is the freedom it gives you to experiment with your flash settings in any lighting situation.

Read more about it here

Greatest! A Must have in your kit

A superb new tool in optical lens cleaning technology.

Perfect for cleaning binocular lenses, small aperture spotting scopes and telescopes, eyepieces, and other optical items. Comes with a handy retractable dust removal brush and a special non-liquid cleaning element, designed to never dry out. Safe and very easy to use....Read about it... Here

This works like a champ...Now if the SensorKlear works on the pesky dust particles on my sensor I'll be a happy camper.

20 Beautiful HDR Pictures

There are some photography techniques that really give me the goose bumps, but the good ones. HDR is one of those techniques... and you'll probably love these as much as I do...Here

Concert, Stage, and Low-Light Photography A Tutorial by Steve Mirarchi

Steve Mirarchi is a commercial photographer who specializes in portraiture and the music industry. His images regularly appear in magazines like People, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Vibe, Playboy, and numerous others.

His work is syndicated by Retna, the preeminent entertainment photo agency in the world.

When not photographing clients in his studio or fulfilling his duties as Photographer-At-Large for the Boston Phoenix, he is either teaching at Brandeis University or writing yet another draft of his Ph.D. dissertation..Full Tutorial Here

How do I get my Nikon product repaired?

Please click this link and fill out the form, then click "Print and Submit" at the bottom. Include a copy of this form with your shipment to service.

Nikon Service Form

Please ship your Nikon product to our factory service center at one of the following addresses. There is no need to call in advance and no "RA" or "RMA" number is required.

Full Info and Addresses....Here

Primes - Which one is for you ?

There are many threads at flickr regarding the nifty-fifty and primes in general.

So here are some reviews on the 3 most that seem to pop up.

Sigma AF 30mm f/1.4 EX HSM DC - Test Report / Review

Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.4 D - Review / Lab Test Report

Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.8 D - Review / Test Report

Note: That the Sigma 30mm 1.4 HSM is the only that will Autofocus on the D40/D60 range of camera's.

But keep your eyes open for a Nikon 50mm AF-S or Sigma 50mm HSM that are coming down the pike?

Not your Run of the Mill - Camera Straps

Custom camera straps for your point & shoot or digital SLR camera....From LilyBug

Souldier is an independent design manufacturer, fusing aesthetic textile creation with functionality. Our unique merchandise is inspired by musicians and created for the connoisseur looking to express their inner spirit.... Check them out Here