Monthly Archives February 2012

Hey gang, Brad Moore here with a quick announcement.

HP just announced their brand new Z1 Workstation, a 27″ all-in-one workstation that opens to allow for hardware upgrades! This system features the quad-core Intel Xeon processor, an NVIDIA Quadro graphics card, and options for USB 3.0, Blu-Ray Writer, SSD hard drive, and more for top performance.

Check out all the details over at!

Howdy folks. Sorry for the late post, but I took today off to spend with my sweetie (we actually snuck away last night and headed to our favorite getaway place, and now we’re spending the day shopping and just hanging out, which I understand may include a stop at a guitar store). :)  By the way: the photo above, taken at Vegas Photoshop World, is by my buddy Mike “Hollywood” Kubeisy”

Today we’re celebrating our 25th Valentine’s Day together (and this year we’ll be married 23 years!). As all my friends are quick to remind me — I am the luckiest guy in the world (Hey, at least I know it). :)

Make sure you check back tomorrow for Guest Blog Wednesday, and here’s wishing you a Valentine’s Day to remember! :)

I’ve had a lot of people asking which model I ordered; the regular D800 or the 800e where Nikon has removed the anti-aliasing filter (it’s supposed to create a little sharper images but without the filter you run the risk of certain photos having a moire pattern).

Well, I went with the model WITH the filter (the regular Nikon D800). I talked with a few friends that have shot the camera, and they suggested for the range of photos I take (from people, to sports, to fashion to travel), that I just stick with the regular D800 (which saved me a few hundred bucks to boot).

I’ve had to remove Moire from photos in Photoshop in the past and it is a BEAR!!!! Plus, from what I hear (and have seen at high-res) the D800 is so insanely sharp that I’m cool with leaving a few percent of sharpness on the table. After all, there is a program that adds sharpness in later, right? :)

One last thing:
I’ve had people asking:

(a) If Lightroom coming out with a Moiré removal brush is a coincidence or not? I haven’t confirmed this with anybody at Adobe or Nikon, but my guess it that’s a total coincidence (since that feature wasn’t just added to Lightroom 4 last week—-these things take a LONG time to develop, no pun intended). And…

(b) The bad thing is, all the methods for Moire removal that I’ve seen over the years all involve the slight or moderate blurring of the affected area, and I’ve yet to see any of them that do a really brilliant job of it, (including the new one in Lightroom 4, which is actually pretty decent). They reduce it to some extent, but they don’t fully remove it. The last case of Moire I had was so bad I asked our own Pete Collins to help me out, and it took him literally hours to remove it, and it included a lot of Photoshop magic, cloning, copying, and sweat.

So, in short, in the race between a few percent of extra sharpness and fear of moiré; fear won! ;-)

I’m going to be giving away a FREE full-conference pass to next month’s Photoshop World Conference & Expo in Washington DC to some lucky commenter here today, but before you rush down and enter (just leave a comment here of any sort, and you’re entered), watch this short video (only 1 min: 31 seconds), to get psyched up for it. It pretty much shows you why you gotta be there (and why you should enter today to see if you win the free ticket!).

We’re going to have an all-time record-breaking attendance for our East Coast show, and you’re invited to be there when Joe McNally, Dave Black, Moose Peterson, Jeremy Cowart, Joel Grimes, Ben Willmore, Jay Maisel, along with many of the best known names in the business (like Bert Monroy, Vincent Versace, David Ziser, Calvin Hollywood, Gregory Heisler, and John Paul Caponigro) and of course “The Photoshop Guys” (Matt Kloskowski, RC Concepcion, Pete Collins, Dave Cross, Cory Barker, Cliff Mautner, and me),take the stage to teach you our very latest techniques.

PLUS: Learn directly from Adobe, as their own gurus will teaching sessions, including Terry White, Julieanne Kost, Russell Brown, and Photoshop Senior Product Manager Bryan Hughes.

If you’re planning on going (ya know, in case you don’t win the ticket), just remember: there’s only FIVE days left to save $100 on the Early Bird registration, so sign up now, and I’ll see you at the world’s largest Photoshop and photography event: The Photoshop World Conference & Expo, March 24-26, 2012 in Washington DC. Here’s the link with more details and how to sign up.  (more…)

I’ve been shooting quite a bit lately for the book I’m just finishing up and I thought I’d share a few shots from a shoot I did on Monday, set up for me by my friend and neighbor, photographer Kathy Porupski at a motocross track in Dade City Florida.

(Above: Here’s a behind-the-scenes shot. You can’t tell from this shot, but my photo assistant Brad Moore is way up on a hill that the riders jump over. That’s my friend and fellow photographer Kathy Porupski holding the power back behind Brad, and I’m below them a bit farther down the hill).

We used natural light for a lot of the action shots, but we also used an Elinchrom Quadra battery back and strobe head with a 27″ soft box (or just a reflector and grid) for some of the shots, and all of the portraits. I love the Quadra kit because I can control the power wirelessly from my camera position. Brad mounted the strobe on the end of a monopod, so we were able to move pretty quickly, which came in handy when we needed to climb up a hill with the gear.

(Above: I tired this after watching Dave Black’s class on Kelby Training, which was amazing! As for focusing: I left auto focus on in Continuous focus mode, and as the riders entered the turn I looked through the viewfinder to at least get a quick focus lock on them, and then I took the camera away from my eye so I could make sure I didn’t get hit by the bike, (and so I didn’t’t hit the rider with my camera) and then fired one shot letting auto focus do its thing. It worked a lot of the time, but sometimes it missed focus, but more importantly I’m still alive to tell the tale. :)

Camera Gear
I mostly used two lens: a 300mm f/2.8 or a 14-24mm f/2.8 (I think I used a 24-70mm once, too but not for long). No special camera settings. When I had the 300mm on the camera, I was in Aperture Priority mode at f/2.8 the whole time. When I was using the strobes for the portraits, I was in Manual mode, with a shutter speed of 1/125 of a second, and my f/stop at f/13.

(Above: It was a very cloudy day, and there was literally only one small patch of blue, but to actually shoot the riders against that blue patch of sky, they had to ride on the track in the opposite direction).

(Above: Here I’m shooting my 300mm f/2.8 as the riders go into the turn and then head right past me).

(Above: At one point while we were shooting the action shots, I look over at one part of the sky and it’s really dark and ominous and I tell Brad, “We need to shoot against that sky now, because it looks like it’s leaving fast,” (The rest of the sky was cloudy, but not stormy) so Brad grabbed the gear and headed to the top of a jump with Kathy in tow, and Larry the track owner helping us out along the way (luckily, he’s a photographer himself). I also underexposed all the skies by about 2-stops to make them look even darker and more dramatic).

Above: That’s me posing with our riders. I knew that they were done when all of sudden they started literally covering me in dirt after doing 20 or so passes without getting any on me whatsoever. We had been at out for more than two hours, so I kinda don’t blame ’em. Right after this photo was taken, I reached over and tipped the red bike over so it have the domino effect and take down the other two guys. Serves ’em right. (kidding, of course).

There’s a first time for everything…
And this was my first time shooting motocross, and I absolutely loved it. In fact, I’m planning my next trip back to the track already. Thanks to Kathy Porupski for setting this up, helping us out, and just being really awesome the whole day. Thanks to Brad for risking life and limb, and for being so willing to climb up lots of dirt hills.

And a special thank you to who each day posts their picks for the Top photos of Google+ and they chose my opening shot for their Feb. 7th Top-12-Photo on G+ list (seen above). I was truly honored (and very excited to say the least!).

What a few days. It’s amazing how much interest a little piece of metal can produce. As a proud member of the team at Kelby Training, I wanted to share my experience with the D800. This project has been going on for many months. i was approached by my good friends at K&L in Tokyo- Nikon’s agency for decades- and was blown away that they asked me to participate with this project. My job was well defined: Use the D800 in a way that utilizes and highlights the latest features the D800 offers in real world wedding conditions that I’d face week in and week out. Simple, right? Hah. I lost sleep for weeks, literally.

Full Frame

100% Crop

Once the camera arrived back in June, the hardest part was not telling a soul about it. The first image I viewed on my ACD wowed me immediately.  Yes, the resolution was astounding. At 36 MP that was expected. However, I’d like to use this space on Scott’s blog to point out a few other features that are seriously being overlooked. The most glaring thing for me is how responsive it is. I didn’t think it was possible for them to improve on the D3S autofocus. However, they did. It as really obvious to me when I was able to focus my Nikkor 85 1.4 in the outer focal points within the viewfinder. These are not cross sensor points, and in the past were not as responsive as I’d have liked. However, they were really “snappy”. That’s the best way to put it. There was no hunting, and no wasted effort when I tried to focus. After the announcement came the other night, I was prepping to take the blog post live, and all of the traffic to my site crashed my server. I had confirmed with Network Solutions, and they assured me there would be no issues. Heh. Their server choked to death. May it rest in peace. I spent yesterday with my web designer, Brock Martin of Infinet Design, getting my site and blog up onto Hostnexus. Things seem to be holding so far. Brock is the best, BTW. So if you’re looking for a web designer….. back to the camera.

Full Frame

100% Crop

In speaking with Scott, after the announcement, I discussed a few of the concerns and comments people were having after looking at my images on the blog. It amazes me that some people actually thought I would post full rez files. At 36MP??? Anyway, I digress. Features that are overlooked- The face recognition for auto exposure. For someone like myself who uses backlight the way I do, it’s a godsend. I had no trouble compensating before using my exposure comp, but this feature actually uses the 91K pixel RGB sensor and identifies the face to where it attempts to expose for just that face. That’s remarkable, and it will help you obtain more accurate exposures… faster than ever before. I also need to add that the dynamic range increase was quite noticeable- especially in the most difficult lighting conditions. Detail in the veil, gown, face, and other areas under tough lighting conditions put this camera to the test. It passed with flying colors. Two different Auto white balances are also really cool. Auto 2 keeps a little more warmth, rather than cooling the image off. I love that. Speed… this camera, even though it’s fires and writes a boatload of information to the card/s, is quite fast. It’s faster than the D3X and it never held me back when firing multiple frames quickly. There are a slew of other little things that are major improvements. The specs are for real. Check them out.

800 ISO – Full Frame

800 ISO – 100% Crop

3200 ISO Full Frame

3200 ISO 100% Crop

6400 ISO Full Frame

6400 ISO 100% Crop

The pixel counters who left some blog comments need to understand that this camera is not gong to replace a D4. It’s it’s own beast. It does things the D4 wont do. The D4 will do things the D800 wont do. My camera of choice for capturing weddings will be a combination of the two new pieces of technology. The D4 will be the primary camera. It’s low lighting capabilities, responsiveness, and the overall nature of the camera is ideal for what I do. However, we now have old world, medium format image quality inside a phenomenal, incredibly responsive Nikon body. At 36 megapixels, the D800 produces unprecedented image quality and resolution within a body that boasts revolutionary technological advances. The 3D color matrix meter III, the improved auto focus with more cross sensors, additional dynamic range, and the improved AF performance in low light are just a few features that are glaring improvements. From a focus standpoint, I found it hard to believe there could be improvements to the D3S focus system. But, this camera does focus faster and will allow me to make pictures I couldn’t make before.  For those who want to focus on what they think the camera doesn’t do, perhaps you can take a moment and focus on what it CAN do until you have one in your hands, or at least wait until the camera is available. Buy one, or don’t buy one. I wont earn a dime off of the sales of this camera. However, I really believe that I can produce that I never made before with this new technology. Isn’t that what it’s all about? I hope you stop by my blog and see what I’ve done with this camera. I only had it a few short weeks. However, I have both new cameras on order with my buddy Jeff Snyder at Adorama. That’s right. I will be paying for both a D4, and the D800.

One more thing. Many people have been asking me about whether they should go for the D800 or the D800E. Many feel as though the “E” is somehow “better” because it doesn’t have the AA filter. However, unless you’re adept at eliminating moire in post production, you might want to order the D800 and not the “E”. Now, I’m not saying that it’s going to produce much moire. It’s not as if it’s particularly prone to it. When working with files that large, and shooting images that have . However, some people have somehow developed the mindset that the D800 somehow wont produce sharp images. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Just my 2 cents since this was a question many were asking. In closing, I hope people find this camera to be as groundbreaking as I think it will be. It’s a fun time to be a photographer, and the evolution of the tools are allowing us to make better images. Thank you, Scott, for sharing your blog and allowing me to give your readers a taste of what’s to come with this camera.

You can see more from Cliff on the Nikon D800 over at his blog.