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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More Black Friday Deals Than You Can shake a stick at

This link access the special deal page of Amazon - our main sponsor - for every Black Friday deal that they have. It is one page that is organized and sorted into every possible category ffor any deal that you could be looking for.

We are talking:

  • Deep discounts
  • Free shipping
  • Hassle free returns
  • And never standing in one stupid line with people ready to trample you for a $50 20 inch TV.
So your choice is: go out on Black Friday and risk your life over a stupid widget -or-: Find the perfect widget at the perfect deal all from the comforts of your home...

No brainer.

32GB Class 10 memory card - the ones I have used for over 10 years - for $12.88

337 answered questions

List Price:$31.99
Price:$12.88 Free Shipping for Prime Members
You Save:$19.11 (60%)
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by in easy-to-open packaging. Gift-wrap available.
  • Lifetime warranty, the data storage solution you can trust
  • Perfect for vast amounts of HD video and high-resolution images
  • Compatible with all SDHC-labeled host devices (not compatible with standard SD)
  • Built-in error correction(ECC) automatically detects and fixes transfer errors

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hate Mail #6 - Nice Cooking show...

I don't often get hate mail, but when I do, I like to share. I got this posted onto my personal Facebook wall concerning Episode 199...
Here is my reply below, but I am curious as to what all of you think...

Hi Russ. Welcome to the show. We have nearly 200 episodes. Most cover exactly what you just said. How to get the shot in camera. This one episode is part of a mini series concerning Photoshop and Lightroom that we have been doing for the last few weeks. But you should go back to the website and look through the other 198 episodes to see exactly what other sorts of things concerning pure shooting that we talk about before you judge the show.

Had you looked through our extensive archives, I am sure that you would have come to a different conclusion.

Editing takes up a very small part of our discussions. Having said that, Editing is a very real and necessary part of what we do. To not discuss it at all - especially for beginners finding their way - would be foolish.

Photography itself happens in three distinct phases. 

Phase one happens between your ears. It is the planning, imagination, and vision that allows you to see the shot before it happens. This is where your understanding of composition, light, and exposure first takes place. In your mind.

The second phase happens when you press the shutter release. It is the culmination of all your training and vision happening in that instance. Your understanding of light, camera control and functionality, and composition manifesting itself beyond the vision and into reality.

The final phase happens in post process. We very much still had this phase when we were working in a dark room, but now our darkroom is a digital medium. We do it on computers. But it is still very much the same. It was true for Ansel. It is true for me. It is true for you. To not talk about this last piece would be just silly as it is just too important. So we do indeed talk about all three. 

Additionally, this show must pay for itself in some way. Part of the goal of this episode is to convince beginners to go back to the website and check out the things we sell. In this case, our photoshop actions and lightroom presets. The bundles are cheap by comparison to other sites - $20 versus say $200 - but selling them is what makes this show possible.

So in conclusion, I would ask that you consider 2 things. 1 - watch more than one episode in the available 200 before rendering a judgement on the show. You might reach a different conclusion. 2 - Understand that part of my job is to be a salesman. Otherwise I need to drop the show completely as it consumes a very large part of my time.

Oh and one last thing. If you watched this show, you saw a number at the bottom of the screen. 405-703-0704. Do you know any other podcast or youtube channel that advertises a number and invites the listener to call in? I do that not to meet a fan. I do that to provide a source of information for those that are coming behind me. Something that did not exist when I was learning. Do you think that number would be relevant if the only thing we talked about was how to easily edit a mundane picture to make it better? Or do you think it might be more important to someone that is trying to figure out what lens to buy, or where they should start with lighting? Probably the latter, correct? Now if you'll excuse me, I am headed out for the weekend. But if you reply, I will read and answer it on Monday. Until then - Buh-Bam Baby!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Episode 199 - How to make your photos pop in Lightroom

In the download section at the top of this website you will find tons of great Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets to make your photo editing truly professional. One of the Photoshop Actions is one called Buh-Bam. Many of you love that action and it is indeed truly amazing. But can that effect be replicated in Lightroom?

The short answer is no. Photoshop has way more tools and capability. But here is a great Lightroom Preset to get as close as possible...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Holy Crap The New Sony A7II Image Stabilization Is Amazing!

Sony just keeps hammering away at the competition. I remember it was just a few years ago when I said that Sony does not have any real pro level models, and if you are just starting out and did not know how far with photography you would go, steer away from it. After all, when choosing your first camera, you want to make sure there is a clear progression path should you improve and desire to go pro or semi-pro.

That is certainly no longer the case. In fact I am now seriously contemplating switching.... (Are you listening, Sony? I can be bought!)

Their latest refreshing of the full frame A7 camera still includes the same 24mp sensor - that does a great job in low light by the way - but they have improved AF by 30% thanks to some software tweaks.

The real news is the absolutely amazing new image stabilization built right into the camera that features a jaw dropping 4.5 stops of stabilizing power via a brand new concept of 5 axis control! Not sure what 4.5 stops looks like? Check out the video below.

Nice job, Sony. I am impressed.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Awkward Thanksgiving Photos

There is the wonderfully horrible site called Awkward Family Photos. Anytime I think I stink as a photographer, I can always go here to pep myself up. Here is a great collection of Thanksgiving photos to help get you into the spirit of the season.

Cuz' nothing says Thanksgiving like liquor and turkey.

Unless it's dressing up like a turkey with your pets...

Who's stupid idea was this anyway?

What the heck is that dog doing?

Great hat idea, Grandma'! This -is- festive...

Tofu turkey anyone?

Yeah, um, no.

Good Grief! Someone get that guy a doctor before his head falls off!

Is if just me, or does that kid look like he has two mouths?

Awe who is the cute little turkey? You are!

No -YOU- are!

Umm... No! -YOU- are!

OK wait. Definitely -YOU- are!

That's my girl...

Why do family get-togethers always result in long faces and drinking?

Wait Watchers - Disturbing Selfies

Haley Morris-Cafiero created a series of disturbing selfies, and has a Kickstarter campaign to turn them into a book. But they are not disturbing for reasons that the title of this post might imply. Rather they are disturbing because it unveils just how shallow we humanity walkers can be sometimes.

You see, Haley is a photographer. A real photographer. Like the kind with a BA in Photography from the University of South Florida, and a MFA in Art from the University of Arizona. She is also an Associate Professor and Assistant Dean at the Memphis College of Art.

And.... She is a wee bit over weight. Her body style does not exactly fall into the super model category. Because of that, like many people that share her body makeup, she is aware of how cruel people can be.

So she decided to catalogue that cruelty in pictures.

Now to be clear, Haley does not really give a rip about what people think of her. She is quite comfortable with who she is and how she looks. So to capture the images that you will see below, is not a cry out for sympathy, but rather a simple statement of how society reacts to overweight people when we see them for the first time.

She sets up a camera on a timer, stands in front to do a selfie in a large group of people, makes sure the shot is wide enough, and then sees if she captured the reaction of any passersby. And boy does she...

Check out some of her pics below, and below that watch the video to her Kickstarter campaign. Additionally, you can give Haley a shout out of support at her Facebook Page.

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