Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Editors Choice Awards 2008 from American Photo

Check out their selections Here

Nikon SLR Camera - Lens Compatability

From the Nikonians..Here


Become a Master Flasher!
Great site for learning Lighting and how to Flash Here

Joby Gorillapod a different kind of tripod

The Joby Gorillapod firmly secures your camera to just about anything — anywhere and everywhere! Unlike traditional tripods, the Gorillapod has flexible, gripping legs which can wrap around almost any surface. It is now available in three sizes!

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Portable
  • Bendable
  • Wrappable
  • Grippable
  • Gorilla Fun!...More Here
Flickr gorillapod group

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Black Rapid's R-Strap: A Hands on Review

First Impressions: Day 1 - It has arrived and I open the roll. I find the RS-2 strap & FastenR. I inspect the strap inside and out and find the quality top notch. All fasterners and webbing are high grade. So I study it a bit to see how everything works and attach my camera with my 55-200vr lens.

Standup and Walking around the camera hung well and out of the way. It was a bit weird wearing a camera and reaching for it and it is not there. It is on the side leaving the front of body free. Boy that is a kinda of liberating to have the full front side of myself unencumbered. And with my frontside pouch I need all the extra room I can get.

Started to quick draw and found it fast and natural. How come nobody thought of this before? The only fiddling is to find the sweet spot on where the camera resting spot is. To low and it may bounce or roll with short lenses.

Walkabout Day 2: Now for the real testing. I was concerned that it would get in the way of my Slingshot 200 but surprised that I still could use the slingshot slide to front to access my gear.

Also another of my concerns was the screw in mount to camera since none of my zooms have a lens mount on them and that with strong force the fastener would come loose under the torque of the camera moving side to side or any rotational forces. Well that did NOT happen. I even tried to make it happen with spinning the camera and banging against my hand and picking up and dropping camera on bed. And it stayed locked into camera screw mount.

Walked around for about 2 hours bending,quick-step,jumping,etc... as I was shooting action in the park blocks and found it great to let go of camera and have hands and chest area free. Also accessing my bag in front without the normal camera strap getting in the way was a great sense of freedom. At the end it was comfortable and you forget it's there (Careful! when you sit down).

Also found it alot easier to always grab it heading out the door just to go to the store. It's there and unobtrusive ready to snap that robbery in progress late at night at the local 7/11.

Photowalking event with Thomas Hawk Day 3 : It is now March 1st Saturday is the Photowalk event were about 15-20 people showed with Thomas Hawk and his beautiful wife. A couple of people asked about the strap so I handed out some BlackRapid cards and gave them the blog address so they could read my review of it.

Starting at Pioneer Square we headed to Waterfront park. The strap proved itself again when I noticed other's with a standard strap that it got in the way when trying to access their shirt or jacket pockets. And other's removing strap all together to get to their packs. These things are second nature to them and not noticeable unless you are looking for it.

We headed down the waterfront to Saturday Market which opened today with it's kazillion booths of Crafts,Arts,Exoctic Foods. And moving thru the crowds was fine but a hand on the camera as not to bang it into anybody. The rest were headed up for neon to north portland but I had to go.

The Final verdict: "I give it two thumbs up.. I like the whole idea behind it's design and function."

So that was basically the test I gave the strap. There was much walking,squatting,quick run,etc.. And of course the strap proved itself to me. It is now the replacement to my regular strap.

But are there any problems or pet peaves? Of course there are. There's always something.

Pet Peeve's or how it can be improved: (Of course this is only my Opinion and take it for what it's worth).

1) The FastenR seems big to me. Especially connecting it to a camera body. You won't be able to set the camera down like you would normally do with a regular strap. If another fastenR could be designed specific for the camera body that would be great.

But I don't think it is feasible for Black Rapid to do that without alot of additional cost and trouble for such a little issue as that.

But on further thought. Attaching or adhering a D shape clip to a tripod plate might work great and give back the ability to lay the camera down (Just a thought). Also there have been complaints of camera detaching from the clip. And had it do just that twice on me. So definite redesign of the clip seems to be indicated.

2) Light Cameras and Lenses let the strap slowly creep down the front. Solution get yourself some anti-skid material for the backside of the strap. This for me is the main peeve for me and other's with entry or mid level dSlr's that are designed light.

I suspect this will only be an issue for people with light camera-lens combo's. Pro's that use the Heavier Tank models should not have any problems with this.

3) Would like to see a 3rd model with a longer and 1/2" wider pad with more pockets or attachments (Straplets?). They could have a series of attachable packets for holding batteries,cards,filters,etc.. Again just a thought or dream?

4) A RS-2 with FastenR shipped will cost you about $62-65 bucks or so and seems a bit high.

Well I imagine yes if they were selling 10,000 units per month. But not high if they are only selling 100-500 units per month. It is a new product so if it takes off then I imagine the price would come down. But I don't see how that would be possible this year anyway.

So I would say give it a whirl if you do alot Two camera or Action shots. I even hear people using two straps one on each hip (Gunslinger Complex?).

And if you order one let them know you read it here. I would like to know if people actually read my review and find it useful.

And I would like to thank Black Rapid in Seattle for sending me the RS-2 to test and review. Tho it is not a 10 it is a solid 9.5 and have no problems recommending it.

Original Post to Pics and Video,BlackRapid website and blog.
Innovative R-Strap Update: The Strap Has Arrived!

BlackRapid's MySpace page
David Norris Photography |
Honda-Tech Threads on R-Strap

Be sure to leave comments which I will incorporate into the posts on your own experiences with this product.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. I just bought one but did not have your review beforehand. Would have made me more confidant. Thanks.

Sylvia, Hamsa Shawls said...

Thanks for the excellent review. One quick question: Do you feel that the Quick Release clip mechanism on the strap is really sturdy? Some other strap brands have quick release clips that are too light and self-release under weight of the gear. Many thanks for your thoughts on this.

Anonymous said...

The Black Rapid comes with a small plastic tube, that prevents the gate from accidentally unlatching. I found the tube to be too short. I put one a wee bit longer on mine (about ½ inch) and it's much better. I bought a one foot piece of tubing for $0.17 at the local hardware store.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review. I am considering this strap and this blog will help form my decision.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Magnum Photos

Magnum Photos is a photographic cooperative of great diversity and distinction owned by its photographer members. With powerful individual vision, Magnum photographers chronicle the world and interpret its peoples, events, issues and personalities.

The Magnum Photos library is a living archive updated daily with new work from across the globe. You may search or browse our 400,000+ images which are available online for licensing in a variety of formats.

Check Them out Here

LIFE photo archive hosted by Google

Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.

Check them out Here

28 Powerful Photoshop Lighting Effects

Here is a collection of the best Photoshop tutorials for creating powerful lighting effects.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Adobe Lightroom Books Roundup - 7 Lightroom Books

Lightroom and Photoshop Books Here

D40/x/D60 Club Wiki

Welcome to the wiki for the Flickr Nikon D40/D40X and D60 User Club. Here you'll hopefully find information that'll help you get started with you new camera, or learn more about its advanced features...

Check it out Here

Welcome to (beta)

DxO Labs created for members of the digital photographic community who are passionate about image quality – professional photographers, advanced amateurs, photography reviewers and imaging media journalists.

While other websites publish information about JPEG image quality, only DxO Labs provides the first publicly-accessible database of objective and in-depth RAW sensor image quality measurements.
Read more

Check out Here

Geavity - Create Gear list

What is Geavity? Why does the world need Geavity?

Geavity is the first social site focused on photography gears. Using Geavity, you can create gear profile, see what your friends are using, get and give recommendations for what to use and buy and even share your opinion on a gear with friends and the Geavity community.

Also they have a create widget to use in your Flickr profile or Blog.

Check them out Here

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nikon School Speedlight Educational DVD

The basic and advanced lighting techniques demonstrated in this DVD will benefit all levels of photographers and help create lighting schemes that transform an ordinary subject into something spectacular,” said Edward Fasano, general manager for marketing, SLR Systems Products at Nikon Inc.

Because of its adaptability and ease of use, Nikon Speedlights—the heart of the Nikon Creative Lighting System, remain the industry standard for a portable lighting solution that allow photographers to create inspired images in the studio or on location.”

Topics include direction, color and quality of light, Speedlight placement, working with wireless flash, and creative use of alternative flash sync modes.

The DVD will also show users how to use the advanced features of their Nikon CLS system, including the SB-800, SB-600, SB-R200 and the new SB-900 Speedlight, as well as the SU-800 Speedlight Commander.

“A Hands-on Guide to Creative Lighting” presented by Nikon School will be available starting November 1, 2008, and can be obtained online at the Nikon Mall ( or at authorized Nikon dealers for an estimated selling price of $39.95.*

Running time is approximately 2 hours, 34 minutes. DVD excerpts can be viewed online at

Nikon News Release
Nikon Video Preview
Amazon Link

Friday, November 14, 2008

Learn Nikon's Capture NX™

Learn Nikon's Capture NX™ and unleash the power of your Nikon® DSLR! The Photographer's Guide to Capture NX™, by Jason P. Odell, is a comprehensive eBook tutorial that will help you get the most out of Nikon's Capture NX™ software.

Whether you are an advanced photographer or just getting started with digital, The Photographer's Guide to Capture NX™ will lower your learning curve so you can start making great images right away.

You don't have to be a professional photographer to have professional quality images!.

..Check it out Here

RED's Digital Still and Motion Camera System now official

The system starts with your choice of the professional Scarlet or "master professional" EPIC brains which can then be bunged into about 2,251,799,813,685,248 possible camera configurations, RED only half-jokingly chides.

The brains are built upon Mysterium-X and Mysterium Monstro sensors which start at 2/3-inch and end at a whopping 6x17-cm -- when a new sensor comes out you just upgrade the brain.

... Full info Here

Master's of Photography

Find Articles,Resources and Info on famous Photographers Here

Understanding Histograms from Luminous Landscapes

Read about it...Here

Thom's Quick & Dirty Guide to RAW

About RAW.....More info....Here

Cambridge In Color Tutorial's

Construction in the Clouds, originally uploaded by orb9220.

Sean McHugh's Cambridge in Color Turorials

Rick Sammon's Top Ten Digital Photography Tips

Watch it Here

And other photo vids there check them out.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

On Monopod Technique from the Nikonians

If tripods need all the help you can give them to render absolute sharpness in your images, imagine a monopod with a single leg.

Check out the HowTo Here

Image Resource Website

Good Resource on Reviews and info Here.

10 Online Photo Editors That You Definitely Need to Bookmark

From the Daily Gyan:

Online image editors are in a rage these days. Everyday, you hear about the release of a new online photo editor that claims to be the next big thing.

From among the great number of online editors, we have hand picked some of the best ones that we found to be are noteworthy. With each site description, we have tried to tell you how or what feature of the editor forced us to include it in the list.

Check it out Here

New Nikon Video: 154 Minutes of CLS Goodness

From the Strobist:

I have just finished watching an advance copy of Nikon's new DVD, Nikon School: A Hands-On Guide to Creative Lighting.

Short version: It is far and away the best resource available for those of you who want to better learn how to use your Nikon system strobes (SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, etc.) and Nikon's Creative Lighting System (CLS).

Check it out here.

Photology! now Free

Most photo software requires you to tag your photos or relies on organized folders.

But not Photology! Photology analyzes your photos so you can search for them as if you were telling a story, using intuitive search filters that reflect the way people think and remember.

No tags – no folders – Photology just knows your photos.

Check it out Here

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

23 Most Incredible Photoshop Tutorials

From Brian's Blog

I wanted to list off some incredible Photoshop tutorials I’ve found on the web that will help you utilize those resources.

I’ve done my best to select a wide variety of tutorials from web graphics, to photo enhancement, to just plain incredible.

Check him out Here

Zoom Lenses For Nikon 'F' Mount Evaluations By Bjørn Rørslett

More frequently than other lenses, zooms do display product variability and you may have to test several before getting a perfect sample. This results because of their complex optical design. Remember that such lenses also would be more susceptible to knocks and blows than are primes, so treat them with real care.

They are prone to show adverse effects from flare (stray light spilling over the glass surfaces to create a low-contrast veiling of the image) and/or ghosting (those nasty, often brightly coloured, spots showing reflections of the aperture opening).

Despite today's highly sophisticated lens designs and recent advances in lens coating technology, such distracting phenomena are virtually avoidable under certain shooting situations, for example, when you shoot into the sun or experience strongly back-lit subjects.

Full Evaluations Here

Celebration Of High-Speed Photography

we present over 35 beautiful examples of high-speed photography, which are supposed to provide you with some inspiration of what can be done with high-speed photography.

We also showcase some truly stunning slow-motion videos. All the examples are linked to their sources. You can also explore further works of the photographers we’ve featured below.

Check it out Here

Canon 500D Close-up Lens Attachment Yes for Nikons too!

Most lenses can only magnify to about a 1:10 ratio (the Nikkor 50mm f1.8 AF does slightly better at 1:8). The first "1" signifies the nominal value of the film or capture device and the second number represents the fractional value vis a vis the subject's actual size, or in other words, a 1:10 ratio means the subject is 1/10 its actual life size on film.

As the number becomes smaller, such as 1:4 or 1:2, the subject is being magnified more and more and 1:4 represents the subject being 1/4 its true life size while 1:2 represents the subject being 1/2 its true life size. A 1:1 ratio represents the subject being its actual life size on the piece of film and is the standard that most macro photographers want to work with.

Full Article Here

Saturday, November 1, 2008


The continuous advance of digital camera technology can be quite confusing because new terms are constantly being introduced.

This tutorial aims to clear up some of this digital pixel confusion-- particularly for those who are either considering or have just purchased their first digital camera. Concepts such as sensor size, megapixels, dithering and print size are discussed.

Full Article Here

Print sizes Megapixels Chart

Each colored box represents a certain number of megapixels. The numbers along the top and left side are print dimensions in inches at 300ppi (pixels per inch). Most books and magazines require 300ppi for photo quality.

Check it out Here

Demb Flash Diffuser

The Demb Flash Diffuser consists of 2 separate parts: a Flip-it!, which attaches to your flash, plus a front double-clear panel that goes on the strap of the Flip-it! with Velcro. It comes in 2 sizes: the DFD Pro features a Big Flip-it! and the DFD Jumbo features a Jumbo Flip-it! More information about the sizes is on the Models page.

Check it out Here

How to Make An Inexpensive Light Tent - DIY

If you’re like me, you don’t want to spend money if you can do it yourself and yield the same results. One day I was at my local photography store I saw one of these “Pop-Up” light tents. It consisted of a collapsible white fabric box with a hole in the front and 3 lights - used for photographing small objects in photographic studios (like the shot of the chocolate reindeer to the left).

I was going to purchase it until I saw the $100 price tag. No way I am going to spend $100 on some fabric and 3 lights when the material costs far less. So I set off and built one of these light tents and it did not come out bad at all.

Full HowTo Here

Confusion as Digital Railroad Shuts Down; Sites May Go Dark

This is no way to run a railroad. Photographers and agencies were left reeling after technology provider Digital Railroad declared it was shutting down.

Full Article Here

Unlock the Superslave in your SB-800

We have talked about accessing it via the SU-4 mode on the Flickr groups, but never on the main site. So let's take a look at exactly how to do that right now, and see just how good it is.

Read full Article Here from the Strobist.