Monday, October 27, 2008

Good Morning Monday: A New Contest, The Strobist, Gerry Ghionis, The Canon5d Mark II, and RAW Directly To JPEG

Good Morning Everybody,
Well, LaDawn and I arrived home safe and sound from New York midday on Saturday. We covered a lot of ground at PhotoPlus Expo. I wish we had one more day available to us there. I hadn't been to PhotoPlus Expo in a number of years so it was really outstanding to get a chance to catch up with friends and relax after the tech closed for a few hours. Throughout this week I'll cover a few of the things that I thought were the most interesting, at least for me, at the show.

New Contest:
I thought the nicest things that happened while we were walking the show was the fact that so many of our DigitalProTalk readers came up to say HI and check out how my eye was healing. The eye is doing just fine - by the way - thank you. Several of you had stories that were even funnier than mine and probably just as embarrassing. Probably the best story was about the photographer who backed up into the baptistery font and basically soaked his whole suit. Another story I heard was about a photographer who had backed off of a pier with both cameras around his neck and fell right into the water. Another good one was the story about the photographer who dropped his lens from the balcony of the church. Fortunately, no one was injured. All worth a good giggle or two.

Hey gang if you've got a good wedding story, why not share it here. I'll give the winner of the best story, at least in my opinion, a $50 gift certificate from B&H. The only ground rule is that we have a minimum of twenty stories to select from. I'll let the contest run for a few weeks and let's see adventures are submitted.

Saying Hi To The Strobist:
On Thursday, right after lunch, I ran into David Hobby of Strobist fame near the Nikon booth. We both shared some pleasant hellos and he mentioned to me that he was doing a Friday post featuring my tutorial entitled, "My Cheatin' Flash" on his Strobist site. Needless to say, any mention by the Strobist, a very good thing, means that you have a big bump in your traffic.

I headed over to his site just to check comments from his readers - mostly to see if there were any questions and if I had missed anything in my tutorial. Let me take just a minute to clarify a few concerns that arose after posting the information. The entire tutorial, "My Cheatin' Flash" is primary targeted with use with a powerful non-dedicated off camera flash like the Quantum you see me write about so many times here. For me, I need the added power of my 200 watt second flash for so many images I create. I know, I don't have a problem with my dedicated Canon 580 EX II flashes while shooting in high sync flash mode.

Some suggested that instead of turning the camera 180 degrees to keep the subject in the flash sync part of the viewfinder, I could just put the camera in "rear curtain" sync mode. That would be true if I could set that at the camera level. That function on my Canon's is only accessible from the flash menu. I guess I could have just turned my on-camera flash on, pointing the flash upwards so it's light didn't impact the scene, and get the same result. That just seemed like too much extra work to me.

And finally, yes, I am jealous my 40D doesn't have an electronic shutter capable of syncing at any speed like Nikon's D40. Next week, I'll do a tutorial on high speed flash, so stay tuned. Again, my sincere thanks to David for the mention.

Meeting With Gerry Ghionis:
I had the pleasure of meeting Gerry some months back at the WPPI convention. We had a nice visit over dinner and hoped our paths would cross again. Gerry had a booth at the PhotoPlus Expo where he was featuring his new website, The I.C.E Society, a site dedicated for the wedding photographer. You can get a 15 minute peek right here. Gerry shared further information about the "secret handshake" to take an additional peek at what he's put together. When I get a little time in the next few days, I'll swing by and take a look and let you know what I find. L Stay tuned.

Canon5D Mark II - Up Close And Personal - Almost
Well, not really that close. The Canon booth was packed as would be expected after the recent Canon 5D Mark II announcement, so I didn't get as good a look as I had hoped. The good news is that I'll have a loaner in my hands, assuming all goes well, in just a few weeks. I will give you the low-down right away. Look for that to happen in the first week of November. It sounds like Canon has pushed the ship date up closer to the end of November according to my grapevine.

RAW Directly To JPEG
Scott Kelby was also running around the show non-stop - where does he get all that energy? I got a chance to say a quick HI and then we were both down a different aisle. LaDawn caught one of Scott's programs where he mentioned a cool little program that lets you extract the JPEG associated with the RAW image directly from RAW file, and the darn thing is free. Here is the link to the site for the rest of the story right here. You can download the utility from right here. I haven't had a chance to check it out yet, but if Scott endorses it, it must have something going for it. Check it out.

Well gang, that's about it for me today. Today is the first day of a brand new project for me. All I'm going to say is that it is a book project probably on "you know what...". That's all I'm going to report about it right now till I get a little more of it under my belt. Needless to say, I'm excited about the new project. I'll keep you posted as to how it progresses.

Heck, if you've got any ideas for topics, let me know - I'll see if they fit. Anyway, got to run, my publisher is calling ;~) Don't forget tomorrow for our Technique Tuesday episode: Underexposure - Bring An Image Back From The Dead! See ya' tomorrow, David


  1. Your going to love that Raw utility.. It now works with Sraw files from the 40D..

  2. Story-
    I was assisting a wedding earlier this summer at a local golf course/resort hotel. The wedding was out doors, at a gazebo located on the edge of the 8th hole. There was a nice row of evergreens providing shade and a line break from the view of the rest of the course, and gave a good general backdrop.

    After the cermimony, we started taking altar formals, and as we finished, we heard a thump on the roof of the gazebo. We see a golf ball roll down, look out and see a couple golfers down the way. We yell to stop, and they do and pass on. We move from the gazebo to about 20 feet further away from the line of trees (away from the course) and another ball whizzes by behind us a moment later. We decide to finish as fast as we can. In the middle of shooting the last couple frames of the bride and groom, a ball comes and nails a bridesmaid. She's stunned, we're all scrambling, and get her out of there, and grab our gear to walk out. As we are packing, in rush two golf carts of drunk players, who rush the bride and groom and start yelling to get their picture taken. We grab 2 frames, say thank you, and rush the bride and groom out.

    The rest of the night was very tame, the bridesmaid didn't have a concussion and a very small bump on the side of her head. Since then the course has added a sign for that hole while weddings and parties are going on to skip the hole.

  3. Story-

    While photographing a wedding we learn that the minister is drunk and his wife is sitting in the house drawing 'angel cards' for everyone who enters. During the reception some of the groom's family gets up to leave and proceeds to take containers of meats, breads, and desserts from the tables while people are still fixing their plates. This would not be bad - if they had brought the food - but the wedding was being catered. . . .

  4. Before a wedding on a very hot August day I noticed the cake was sweating and tilting as the table was set below a window with the hot afternoon sun blazing in. The caterer said that cakes were always placed here and they never had a problem before. I advise the bride and her and I moved the cake to the backside of the table out of the direct sunlight. She knows my photoshop skils and just said "you can fix this right?". In otherwords "Don't sweat the small stuff!"
    Bree Robertson
    Central Indiana

  5. Well, I have recently become a convert to the Ziser lighting techniques and my second shooter and I watched all the lighting videos on Kelby Training..what I learned was that it's bringing my studio knowledge to my weddings and creating some pretty pictures.

    So, it's the second wedding we are shooting with this new lighting setup..and I exit the reception to go see the bride/groom/bridal party getting ready. Now the reception ahll was the darkest I had ever seen and it was all a mustard yellow. OK..not great. But we would have to deal.

    I go outside and the entire bridal party got out glow sticks..what. what. glow sticks. what was this. i had never ever seen anything like it (of course the bride/groom got from the beautiful mansion where they were married to the reception hall on the back of his truck on chairs).

    what is this. well, the reception hall was so small ( a 8x8 space for dancing) that we had to think quick as there was no room for a light. so, we used the bounce in a big 42 inch reflector that one of us was holding while standing flat against a wall to minimize on the space we would take up.

    come on. glow sticks. seriously i was throw for a loop.

    but we got some really cool images from this new lighting setup.

    so thanks to David and Kelby literally saved us from an awful situation.

    glow sticks???