This quote comes from Terry White from a review on his Tech Blog of the new Nikon P6000 point and shoot compact digital camera (here’s the link). Terry at some point in his review was going to mention that this camera from Nikon was probably positioned as an answer to Canon’s popular G9 and G10 compacts, and just mentioning that can bring some harsh comments, so so he wisely included a disclaimer right up front that basically said he didn’t want to turn this into a “Nikon vs. Canon” thing. Then came his short and sweet “quote of the week,” which was:

“…does anyone ever win those anyway?”

He’s absolutely right! Have you ever read a forum with people arguing back and forth on Nikon vs. Canon (or Mac vs. PC, or Ford vs. Chevy), where one person or the other finally says, “Ya know, you’ve got a point there—-I’m selling all my gear and switching to your brand!”? It’s probably happened once, but only because everything’s happened once.

Anyway, Terry had a great theory on why this silly “my brand is better stuff” goes on so frequently.  He said, “It’s because nobody wants to feel like they made a mistake and bought the wrong one, and they get very defensive about their choice, because they don’t want to be the goober who’s not using the right, or better, stuff.” Makes sense. His theory—-not the whole “arguing the brand” idea.  ;-)

Just remember this; whichever brand of camera you do shoot, keep this in mind; you could take a $199 point-and-shoot camera that we wouldn’t even consider to shoot our neighbor’s kids birthday party at Chuck e-Cheese’s, and hand it to my Guest Blogger tomorrow; send him out the door for an hour, and he’d come back with a better photo than most any of us have taken in our entire lifetime. Which, (as you’ve heard for the millionth time) just proves once again (say it with me now) “It’s not about the camera!”

Have a great Tuesday everybody!

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.

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sunglsbw2

I took the shot you see above for a project I was working on, and I wanted to share it here and show a little behind the scenes stuff, because on this coming Monday’s episode of Photoshop User TV, I did a step-by-step tutorial on the post production I did after the shoot using Camera Raw and Photoshop CS4 (on Monday you can watch the episode online, right here).

The production shot below (taken by my assistant, Brad Moore), shows the simple three-light set-up used to light the sunglasses. Now, don’t let all the boom stands and stuff make you think this set-up is more complicated than it really is. I’ll break it down below the photo.

sunglassessetup

First, I wanted a black background behind the sunglasses, so Brad slid a black Westcott flag (made of black felt) over a boom stand arm, and that’s what you see behind the sunglasses (you can click on the photo to get a much larger view). Then Brad used three boom stands and fishing wire to hold up the sunglasses (as seen above).

I used three lights: (1) One Elinchrom Style RX 600 strobe with a softbox directly above the sunglasses aiming straight down, to put a highlight across on the top of the sunglasses (2) There’s another Style RX 600 strobe aiming up from below it, to add a highlight across the bottom of the sunglasses, and (3) the 3rd light is another Elinchrom strobe with softbox aiming right at the front of the sunglasses to light the glass part in the front of the sunglasses. The flashes were triggered using Skyport wireless triggers.

CAMERA SETTINGS: The photo was taken with a Nikon D3, at f/22 at 1/200 of a second. The ISO was set at 200. The lens was a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens, and I shot it racked all the way out at 200mm. I took the shot mounted on a Gitzo tripod with a Really Right stuff ballhead.

sunglasses-before

Here’s the before photo as it came out of the camera. As you can see, there are some challenges with the background, the fishing wire, and the front of the glasses, and that’s exactly what I cover on Monday’s show, so I hope you’ll tune in and check it out then.

We’ve been getting a lot of frantic calls and emails about our Photoshop for Photographers seminar next week in Houston with Ben Willmore, because a few days ago it sold out.

The good news is; we were able to expand the ballroom in the Convention Center to accomodate more people (so everyone on the cancellation waiting list will be now able to attend), and if you weren’t already signed up—now you can (although there are already less than 40 seats left, so if you’re thinking of going—-I’d sign up now. Here’s the link.

becinhob

I just finished two days of rehearsals with my band, “Big Electric Cat” for our gig coming up at Photoshop World, as we play a live set for the attendee party (that’s us above playing at the House of Blues in Vegas. Well, that’s four of us—my keyboards are over to the far right of the stage, so I got cut out of the photo).

The venue for the party in Boston is just fantastic for a live gig like this—it’s being held at a club called “The Estate” which used to be a theater, but now it’s a nightclub, with a big stage, dance floor, and some very trendy lounging areas.

We’ll be playing a mix of classic rock and “old school” dance music, and we’ve got some new songs we’re pulling out for this one, so I hope if you’re going to Photoshop World, you’ll be hanging with us, and all the instructors and staff, at the party. I’m also playing rhythm guitar on two songs this time around. Anyway, if you’re comin’, come ready to dance!!! (Note: the party is only open to Photoshop World conference attendees).

Adobe and CDW are hosting a series of events on the Creative Suite (CS4), and they’ve given us some invites which we’re allowed to pass on, so here are the upcoming cities, and the links to download a PDF of the invite (details are included in the PDF).

  • Boca Raton, FL: Wednesday, March 18th (Morton’s, The Steakhouse) Invite Link
  • Tampa, FL: Tuesday, March 17th (at Maggiano’s Little Italy) Invite Link
  • Washington, DC: Friday, March 13th (at Morton’s, The Steakhouse). Invite Link

By the way—lunch is included (Sweet!). Should be a great experience, so if you can get out to one of these,  I’d download the invite and RSVP while they’re are still seats available.

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