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  • Category Archives Reviews

    After my review here on the blog of the Lucis Pro 6 plug-in (link), I had a number of readers asking if I had tried the Topaz Adjust plug-in, as they felt it gave a similar high-contrast look for a fraction of Lucis Pro's nearly $600 price tag (Topaz Adjust sells for $49). So, I downloaded the Topaz Adjust Photoshop plug-in a few months ago and have been using it when I got the right type of image to edit, and I wanted to share my thoughts on the plug-in and give some examples. DISCLAIMER: If you hate this high-contrast, under saturated, over-sharpened looking effect, please just skip this post altogether. Initial Thoughts When I first started using Topaz Adjust, it was still on version 2 and while I liked the effects themselves, the interface was....well....it needed some work. Luckily, the latest version (version…

    If you've read this blog for any time now, you've heard my frustration about how I can't find a camera bag that works for me when shooting sports. In fact, many of you who are pro sports shooters have come up with a suggestions and after my last trip to Birmingham to shoot the Indy Test Weekend (where I had to leave my laptop at home due to carry-on restrictions), I was so cranked I finally had to make a move and find a solution. THE PROBLEM My problem is that I have to have three carry-ons, and of course the airlines will only allow two. My carry-ons are: My camera bag (with two bodies, my smaller lenses, battery chargers, etc.) The large lens case for my 200-400mm Nikon lens My laptop case (with powercord and other accessories). MY DREAM Ideally, one bag that…

    I know a lot of people have been after me to test the Jobo photoGPS unit, so when I did the shoot of Tiger Woods at Tavistock a couple of weeks ago, I took the photoGPS along to give it a real world in-field test. After testing it for a while, I called my assistant Brad Moore, who was back at the office, and I said, "Brad, you can't imagine how much I hate this thing." Three Strikes is Not Enough! Usually, if a product has three strikes against it, that's enough for me, but this one already had two strike against it before I even left my office so I thought I'd go ahead and give it extra room for a few more strikes just in case it turned out to be worth it in the end. I really wanted to have an…

    After I posted my video review of the Elinchrom BXRI-500 strobes earlier this week, I was contacted by the folks at Bogen Imaging (who distribute Elinchrom gear here in the US), and who watched my review and saw that one of my few minor "dings" about them was the fact that you needed to keep the instruction manual around for assigning groups. They let me know that they had created a downloadable quick chart (in PDF format) that BXRI users can now download, which has all the programmable controls laid out in a very simple and easy-to-use format (plus, the chart includes more than just how to assign groups). You can download their free quick chart right here. My hat's off to Bogen for making this available so quickly (I'm going to print and laminate two of them, then attach them to the lightstands…

    I've been working with the newly introduced Elinchrom BXRI-500 studio strobes, and I did a video review for you guys (below) to look at the pros and cons of this new mid-level set-up. Here's the link to the complete Elinchrom BXRI 500 kit at B&H Photo (They currently show it selling for $1550, with two 500 watt strobes, two 20" softboxes, two 9' light stands, the wireless transmitter, two cases, etc.). Here's the kit with 1-500 and 1-250 (but still includes all the other stuff). Here's the kit with two 250s. (also includes all the other stuff). NOTE: There's only a $200 difference between the two 250s and two 500 watt system. There's only $100 between the one with one 500 and one 250, and the two 500 watt kit. In short; spend the extra money and get the two 500-watt strobes system. VIDEO:…

    At Christmas I got a very cool new electric guitar from my wife (that's not the accessory, by the way), and she wanted to make sure I got a guitar I really liked, so I went to the local music store to find one I liked, but while there, I walked by the drum department and that's when I saw a small, specially designed fan for drummers that mounts right on a cymbal stand. Well, I took a look at how it was mounted and realized that it would fit perfectly on a lightstand, which would make it an ideal fan for people shooting fashion, because you can easily control the height and angle of the wind (rather than having it sitting on the floor, where it's harder to access and aim). Anyway, the fan is called the "BLOWiT Personal Cooling System" (OK, the…

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