Monday, May 04, 2009

Quick Hit Monday: Digital WakeUp Call Back On The Road, Lots Of Lightroom, A Little Photography, And Some Fun

Good Morning Everybody,
Wow! I can't wait - my Digital WakeUp Call tour is back on the road after being off for a week teaching my Master Class. I'm happy to say that the tour has been getting RAVE reviews - Thanks a bunch! We jump on a plane in just a few hours and head to Seattle.

Today is the beginning of our West Coast leg of the tour. Over the next 3 weeks we will travel from Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Jose, Fresno, LA - Burbank, LA - Ontario, LA - Irvine and wrapping up in San Diego. Check out all the tour info right here. Hope to see you out west.

Now let me tell you some very cool news - we get to the drive the entire coast over these next 3 weeks and are looking forward to enjoying that part of the good ol' USA. I'll tell you, the highlight of the tour this time around is going to be a visit and tour of Google - yep, world famous Google. I got an email from one of our attendees who offered a tour and a gourmet lunch at the Googleplex - can't wait for that one!

Anyway, on with Quick Hit Monday...

Lots of Lightroom
I was looking for something on Mellisa Gould's Lightroom site over the weekend - never did find it - but stumbled across my NAPP buddy, Rob Sylvan's, Lightroomers.com site [link]. Rob runs the NAPP Lightroom Help Desk so he knows his stuff. His site is nicely scattered with some very good Lightroom tips - check it out.

Also I caught this very interesting post over at Lightroom Killer Tips by blogging my buddy, Matt Kloskowski. Matt showed a little before/after exercise on this video. It was interesting because I had a class member who loved my photography but was surprised to find that I used Lightroom to get to my final result. Folks, it's always about using the right tools for the job and the job is to get to what you saw in your mind's eye when you were making the image in your final result. A little nudge in Lightroom along the way can be a big help.

I have one rule here - "Get it right in the camera, unless, of course you can get it right in software faster."

Lots Of Photography
Wait, there's more. Also check out Yanik's Photo School. I happened upon Yanik's site months ago and just dropped back in for another visit. Yanik has some nice content on lots of photography things. Take a browse through his page and links right here - lots of good reading for everybody.

While we are on the subject of photography, check out Jan Klier's blog right here. Jan was one of our class members last week coming in from Seattle. He has some nice things going on over at his blog too. His blog is more that a product review site - I'd like to call it a thinking person's site. I mean that in the most flattering way possible. Jan discusses several things that are on many of our minds and explores perspectives on various topics. It's a nice read.

Wait, even more photography. I don't know how many of you have checked out DigitalPhotoPro.com site right here, but very often the trip is worth it. I'm on their email list and every time I get the notice, I check it out. This visit was not an exception. They cover the gamut of Gear and Technology, Business items, photographers' Profiles and the like. The site is targeted to Pros and you really should check it out.

And Now For Some Fun
Late last night I was doing a quick check of my emails before we hit the road today. I had a quick note from by buddy Kent Smith which said only this in the subject line, "Freakin unreal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" and then posted this YouTube link right here. Hit the link only if you dare - it's totally unrelated to anything photographic but is an amazing video to watch, especially if you like bikes - 'nough said.

Hey gang, I'm out of here. Our plane leaves is just a few hours and I still have to pack. Don't forget Technique Tuesday tomorrow. See everybody in Seattle tomorrow. -David

5 comments:

  1. Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch
    "YouTube link right here."

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  2. Hey, David, I know Lightroom and/or Photoshop is the standard, but how about some alternatives that a) Don't cost quite so much, and b) more importantly run on Linux. I know we're a fairly small minority of users, and I'm not a pro-photographer, but got any choices? I've found BibbleLabs, but they're still a long way from Bibble5 from being ready. Anything else?

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  3. Outstanding blog. My personal favorite camera is the Canon PowerShot SD1100IS. I wrote a review for it, please let me know what you think:

    UPDATE: This camera is currently on sale at Amazon. You can find the link here:

    http://tinyurl.com/canonpowershot1100

    If you need a solid, reliable, and stylish point-and-shoot ultracompact digital camera that produces high-quality images, then the new Canon PowerShot SD1100IS may be right for you.

    I am an advanced amateur photographer and own 2 Canon digital cameras (G2 and 20D). Both have served me well over the years but recently I have found myself needing a decent ultracompact camera that I can easily carry with me at all times for unexpected photo-ops.

    Other current Canon models that I also researched before my purchase of the "bohemian brown" SD1100IS included the SD950IS and the SD1000.

    Here is my take on the SD1100IS:

    Strengths:
    - 8MP CCD sensor with DigicIII processor (excellent resolution images with good dynamic range)
    - Solid construction (most of body made of anodized aluminum)
    - Feels sturdy and well-balanced in the hands
    - Easy to use (logical user-interface) with minimal need to consult owner's manual for basic operation
    - Multiple shooting modes to fit variety of situations (action/sports mode is a glaring omission but read section below to see possibly why)
    - Advanced metering system with accurately exposed pics in even "tricky" situations (great balance of highlights and shadows)
    - Tack-sharp images (much more so with sufficient lighting and use of built-in flash)
    - Macro mode can result in stunning close-ups with outstanding level of detail
    - Optical IS feature helpful when shooting in either low-light conditions with flash off or at telephoto lengths
    - Fast start-up with acceptable shutter-lag (when not using flash)
    - Bright 2.5" LCD monitor (100% coverage, 230k pixels) made of polycrystalline silicon; fairly scratch-resistant (can't vouch if this applies to keys and coins)
    - Optical viewfinder (though only a tiny peephole, it is essential when LCD glare and washout become an issue shooting in bright sunlight or when LCD cannot be used as battery power is nearly depleted)
    - Camera made in Japan (at least those from the 1st shipment; this easily may be subject to change)

    Limitations:
    - Lack of manual control over aperture, shutter speed, and focusing (for the obssessive control-freaks)
    - Noise is noticeable beginning at ISO 400 (ISO 800 still useable but probably for only 4x6 images; ISO 1600 mostly unuseable)
    - Fastest shutter speed is 1/1500 sec (not fast enough to stop action for some sporting activities)
    - Auto-focus speed inadequate to follow fast-moving subjects
    - Shutter-lag accentuated with flash on (precious Canon moments lost while waiting for flash to recharge)
    - Cannot adjust focus or optical zoom while shooting in movie mode (focus is fixed for distance selected at first frame, and digital zoom is permitted instead, resulting in significant image quality deterioration)
    - Battery/memory card cover and hinge made of plastic (no safety latch that needs to be de-activated first before sliding cover out, in order to prevent accidental opening)
    - Minor vignetting and chromatic aberration (albeit, difficult not to expect from compact p&s)
    - Pincushion and barrel distortion at the extremes of the focal lengths
    - No RAW shooting mode

    Battery power in camera mode with LCD monitor on is mostly as advertised, allowing for approximately 240 images. If your budget permits, I recommend investing in a few spare batteries as backups and replacing the supplied 32MB memory card with a pair of 4GB SDHC memory cards--vital purchases if you plan to use the movie mode frequently.

    Overall Impression:
    Even with some serious limitations inherent to virtually all digital cameras in this class, I am recommending the Canon PowerShot SD1100IS. It does what it's supposed to do. This camera allows one to take beautiful photographs in an ultracompact, reliable, and elegant device that is both easy and fun to use.

    http://tinyurl.com/canonpowershot1100

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  4. Thanks for the link David. :) Much appreciated. I was wondering where the extra traffic came from. :)

    Yanik

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  5. David,

    Great stuff. How about a link to Melissa Gould's LR site?

    Thanks,

    Joe

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