I've got some news "Hot Off the Presses" for you today. Earlier yesterday I had a fun conversation with Dave Cross of Photoshop fame.
We had an exciting discussion about he and Matt Kloskowski's brand new 5 Day Virtual Lightroom Summit 2021 [link] which begins Monday, May 3, next week. Check out my interview with them and all the conference details below.
Also, our Safari to deepest, darkest Africa only has three spaces left. See update below.
And, finally, I'm putting out my For Sale Sign. Those details are also shown below.
My Video Interview With Dave Cross about his and Matt Kloskowski's FREE Lightroom Virtual Summit Begining Monday!
Hey Everybody, this is about the hottest news I have to report today and I wanted to get it out to you right away! This morning I had a video meeting with Dave Cross. He and Matt Kloskowski have put together an exciting, brand new Lightroom Virtual Summit 2021 [link] which begins Monday, May 3, 2021!
20 Instructors, 40 Classes, 30 hours of classes, and FREE!!!
That's right I said FREE! That is for 48 hours after each lesson becomes available. If you want to have unlimited access to all 30 hours of programming till the end of time, it will only set you back $99 for the VIP Access Pass [link].
Please Note - The VIP Access Pass increases to $149 noon on Monday.
And wait, there's more ;~) Each attendee receives a "Swag Bag" of added goodies supplied by many of the Instructors and Sponsors. Plus, if you opt-in for the VIP Access Pass, you become eligible for some great prizes, like the complete Creative Cloud Suite for a year - an over $600 value! Or a $100 Gift Card from B&H and many more prizes too.
It was great to catch up with Dave again and hear about this exciting Lightroom Summit. Why not drop in on our conversation below - it was fun to visit. Just drop in on our conversation below.
I mentioned our May 2022 Safari a few times here on my blog and in my recent newsletters. I need to let you know that we are now nearly SOLD OUT for our second Safari.
As you can see in this photo, this is a small group safari maxing out at 11 couples only with three guides in three safari vehicles and everybody has a "window seat" (Singles are welcome too.) We just a few seats left, so if you want to join us, and I hope you will, just follow the info and contact links below.
For Sale: Mavic Mini Fly More Combo - hardly used!
Hey everybody, I can't tell you how much fun this little quadcopter is to fly! It's the perfect way to try out a brand new hobby without breaking the bank.
I purchased my Mavic Mini Fly More Combo [link] in November 2019 for $499 which I thought was a "steal". It's still selling for that price at B&H and Best Buy right now.
My quad combo is in perfect, almost brand new condition, and includes everything you see above. Heck, some of the extra parts are still in the original plastic bags. It has only been flown about a dozen times and no crash landings ;~)
I'm looking to get the newer Mavic Mini 2 - it costs $100 more and LaDawn says "No Way!" till I sell this one. So if you want a super bargain, the first $349 plus shipping takes it. Just drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested. Thanks.
That's going to be it for me today. I wanted to get this post up before it got too late so you have time to check out Dave and Matt's Lightroom FREE Virtual Summit coming up Monday. I'm planning to be there - maybe I'll see you there too ;~)
I can't believe it, it looks like Winter is behind us and the first few signs of Spring have been looking mighty nice. I know the weather has been pretty crazy this winter in several parts of the country. Here in KY we only see a few inches of snow a year and it clears out in about a day or two.
This is what we woke up to on a cold February morning not too long ago - about 15 inches of snow on our back deck - the most in over 13 years for our neck of the woods! Anyway, all was good - it sure looked beautiful! LaDawn and I took a drive through one of the local parks and enjoyed the beauty of the surrounds and watching the kids playing and sledding to their heart's content.
But now, back to business. I've got a few very cool things to share with you today, the most important is my interview with my good friend and acclaimed wildlife photographer, Kevin Dooley. Here we go...
And Now Acclaimed Wildlife Photographer, Kevin Dooley
As you know from reading my posts these last few years, at Kevin's invitation, he and I have been leading photo safaris to Africa and beyond since 2018. Kevin's photography is absolutely amazing! And because of that, he has been encouraged to write a book.
The good news, it was just published a few months ago. It's entitled Wild Faces in Wild Places [link]. This photography table/art book does not only appeal to photographers but with Kevin's inspiring short stories about his experiences as a wildlife photographer and safari guide, it is unique in that it also offers great messages about how to live a positive life. It is a great buy and a good read.
I asked Kevin if he would mind sharing his images and some of the stories behind his wonderful images with me and our DigitalProTalk readers. He happily obliged. Below is our conversation.
Want to join Kevin and me on an upcoming African Safari - we've got two coming up in 2022. Details below.
Join LaDawn and Me In Africa Safari Coming Up In 2022
As you may or may not know, we were scheduled to participate in 3 safaris in 2020. COVID 19 kind of changed things up a bit for us as Africa went into lockdown canceling our final two safaris last year. We thought rescheduling for 2021 would solve the problem for us but as you know, not all is back to normal yet. That being said we rescheduled again for 2022. Of the two rescheduled safaris, one is completely sold out but we still have a few spaces in the second one shown below - I hope you can join us. For LaDawn and I, it has been a life-changing adventure and one you will NEVER forget!
May 3 -12, 2022: The Best of South Africa With Kevin and David Photographing the Big Five!
This is an experience of a lifetime photographing in the exotic bush! There are only 3-4 openings left as this is a very small group safari with lots of hands-on photography and cultural experiences.
Call Tricia or Kevin at 505-345-6302 or 505-401-2988
or email them at email@example.com
You can get a great idea of what this safari is like by checking out my YouTube video below of last year's adventure at the same location. The video is a great overview of what our 2022 experience will be like. Heck, even if you can't join us, enjoy the images, experiences, and excitement of our 2020 adventures.
As we get closer to dates, I'll post even more details.
WOW! What a surprise for me this Christmas when LaDawn, to my astonishment, gifted me Canon's new exciting R5 camera. This is Canon's 45-megapixel masterpiece that has been getting all the "RAVE" reviews everywhere across the internet and YouTube.
Unfortunately, we haven't been doing too much traveling so far this year so I really haven't been able to run this beast through all its paces yet.
I do have a few favorite features though. As you know, I'm a High ISO "nut" so I had to try it out at its highest ISO of 102,400! Uhhh.... skip that setting - way too noisy. Below is a quick sample I made on Christmas morning of LaDawn's dining room centerpiece - just way too noisy, I think.
Even ISO 51,200 doesn't look all that great either. Below is a sample I made just the other day of our back deck in the late evening - even with the Lightroom tweaks, the image still lacks detail especially in the darker area of the image.
DAZNOTE: But... you can get a fabulous result at ISO 51,200 by utilizing this one little trick which I'll describe in the next Canon R5 section below.
At ISO 25,600, things begin looking better. Below is an image of one of our "Christmas carolers" which I think looks pretty good.
Next up is a photo of LaDawn's youngest, super cute grandson, Mikah, at ISO 16,000 which I think looks much better.
And finally here is a Christmas morning photo of LaDawn at ISO 6400 which looks great even at that high ISO.
DAZNOTE: Many times when I'm shooting in the "nose bleed" section of the high ISO range, I'll shoot the image as a JPEG and take advantage of the camera's "in-camera" noise reduction capabilities. Then I can "double-dip" in Lightroom if I want to tweak the image a bit more.
So all said, I do like the much higher ISO capabilities of the Canon R5 and would feel totally comfortable shooting at ISO 12,800, and on the rare occasion, I would even push things to ISO 25,600.
High ISO Trick: OK, so you ask, "What this new little trick of yours for shooting at ISO 51,200 and getting great results." Well, let me tell you. It's a little-known fact that if you shoot in HDR, you can really reduce the noise of your image. And, there folks, is the secret of getting wonderful images at super high ISO's.
Check out the image below. It was taken just about 3 weeks ago when we visited friends in San Jose del Cabo, MX. Yes, LaDawn and I, armed (literally) with on second COVID 19 vaccine, jumped on a Delta jet (with the middle seats blocked) and headed south - our first international trip in over a year!
The photo was above taken at ISO 51,200!
Everyone had already turned in for the evening and I was just relaxing on the portico when the thought hit me about using the HDR capabilities of the Canon R5 to reduce image noise at high ISOs. What happening here is that when the camera combines the three images, we get the benefit of something called "Noise Stacking" which reduces the noise in the final image.
The image may be slightly less sharp but that's easily fixed with a sharpness tweak in Photoshop or Lightroom. The image looks pretty amazing for ISO 51,200, doesn't it! You can find a quite fascinating discussion of noise stacking right here [link].
Animal Eye Focus: Another feature I absolutely love about the camera is its focusing capabilities. The "people eye focus" and "animal eye focus" are amazing! I'm going to spend a little time here on the latter.
One of our favorite things to do when we visit Cabo is to walk the bird estuary. Last year I did a fascinating Mavic Mini flyover video of it which really shows off the natural beauty of the area - you can find it right here [link]. The natural beauty is a joy to see and the "bird" action is always fun to watch.
While visiting the estuary this year the pelicans were going "crazy" diving for the fish in the stream. I loved shooting them taking off having just splashed the water for liftoff.
Check out these next two images. the first is a slightly cropped image of one of the pelicans having just taken off.
Then I cropped the same image quite close so you can see just how sharp the focus is on the pelican's eye - like I said, amazing!
The images of the pelicans were all taken with my favorite safari lens, the Sigma 100-400mm F5.6-6.3 DG OS HSM/C lens [link] zoomed nearly all the way out at 315mm, shot wide open at F6.3 at 1/3200 sec. at ISO 500. The Sigma lens is tack sharp all the way through its range with super quick focusing as well. It's a great wildlife lens!
There's a lot more I could say about the camera but I'll save that for future posts here at DigitalProTalk. So, stay tuned.
Just as I was wrapping up this post this morning, I once again began thinking about the great noise reduction decrease I got when shooting in HDR mode as I described above. I began to "fantasize" about shooting at ISO 102,400 or, maybe even ISO 204,800, near a quarter-million ISO!!!
I ran a couple of quick tests this morning and discovered that when shooting in HDR mode the highest ISO possible with the camera was ISO 51,200 - bummer.
OK, I shifted gears. If I shoot in Manual mode and underexpose the image one stop then adjust as necessary in Photoshop or Lightroom I should be able to hit the ISO equivalent of 102,400. And if I do the same and underexpose by two stops I should be able to theoretically, of course, hit ISO 204,800!
What you see here are the first fruits of that effort. I underexposed the image by 2 stops but only had to increase the image exposure in ACR by 1.5 stops to get what I was looking for exposure-wise. That means this image was taken at approximately ISO 150,000! I think there are some possibilities here and I want to do a little more research on this somewhat crazy idea. I'm going to spend the next few days working on this so, stay tuned.
That's going to be it for me today. I hope you enjoyed my interview with Kevin and all his great images. I also hope you enjoyed the Canon R5 observations, especially the high ISO discussion. And finally, maybe we will see you on safari with us in Africa next year. Stay safe and I'll look forward to seeing ya' soon. Continue to stay safe!
I have to say, it feels good to back visiting with everyone - even if we can't do it in person in these challenging times, at least we can do it here at DigitalProTalk. I'm posting because I've got a few cool things to share with you today.
The first is a very interesting conversation I recently had with my good buddy, Jeff Medford, about a brand new and super powerful social media platform that he is about to launch - you don't want to miss this.
The second is a great YouTube channel I discovered while doing the channel surf over my morning cup of coffee.
And the third is about an unbelievable app that makes out-of-focus photos perfectly clear and sharp.
My Conversation With Jeff Medford - Intro To Gides: The Future of Social Media
Jeff and I have been friends for many years - in fact, Jeff organized my three international workshops with Clay Blackmore [link] several years ago and we have stayed in touch over the years. Anyway, Jeff reached out to me a few months ago to get my take on a brand new social media platform he was creating called Gides [sounds similar to likes].
I have to tell you, I was really impressed with this all-encompassing project of his. He gave me a quick demo and I was blown away.
After his demo to me, I invited him to join me in a Zoom conversation where he could share it with all the DigitalProTalk readers - he gladly obliged. What follows is that 30-minute conversation - please check it out. I personally can't wait for the upcoming launch.
What did you think - way cool, I think. I'll keep you posted. And thanks for watching.
My New Favorite YouTube Channel for Photoshop Tutorials
You know, one thing I like to do every day is learn something new. That is so easy to do these days with so many internet resources like blogs, podcasts, YouTube, etc. available to us all. My latest favorite way is to tune in to one of my favorite YouTube channels and watch over my cup of morning coffee.
My go-to YouTube channel for all things Lightroom is Matt Kloskowski [link]. Matt and I have been buddies for many years and I love the way he dissects each new Lightroom feature with knowledge, depth, and a little humor thrown in. You can find Matt's YouTube channel right here [link].
But now on to my new favorite YouTube channel for Photoshop. That would be PiXimperfect [link] hosted byUnmesh Dinda. I have to tell you, this guy knows his stuff!!!
Watching his videos are always amazing and entertaining - you will definitely learn something new and awesome and really enhance your Photoshop skills. He has taught at Photoshop World and Adobe MAX, has over 650 tutorials posted, and 2.7 million subscribers on YouTube.
Just do a quick scan through any of his many videos featured on his home page [link] and prepare to be amazed - enjoy!
The Most Amazing App of All Time!
I have to admit, I'm not an APP junkie - I have a few favs that I use every day just like everybody else. But every-now-and-then, one will pop up that will blow me away. The name of the App - Remini [link]. It's available on iOS or Android platforms.
It literally makes blurry photos sharp. This is completely different than using the Unsharp Mask filter in Photoshop and the results are dramatically better, trust me.
From their website... Using movie-grade AI technology, Remini turns low-resolution, blurred, pixelated, old, and damaged photo and video into HD, with sharp and clear facial focus.
I first saw a tutorial of it over at PiXimperfect whom I've featured above. You can watch that tutorial right here [link] - the "before" and "after" images are truly unbelievable! Please give the video a peek and be prepared for magic!
That's going to be it for me today. I've got some things lined up for down the road - hint, hint - the brand new Canon R5. LaDawn surprised me with the camera at Christmas and I have been having a great time with it. But, more on that later.