Category Archives Photo Gear

Happy Friday, everybody! Here’s what’s up:

OK, I finally got a new lens!

I unboxed it live on The Grid on Wednesday when it came in from B&H.

It’s been a while since I’ve bought a new lens, so…ya know…I was due. LOL! This is my first in Canon’s mirrorless R-mount line of lenses that match up with its EOS R mirrorless bodies. It’s the just-released 24-240mm f/4-6.4, and this is my new travel lens.

Here’s why I bought it:

(1) I can get my travel rig down in weight considerably, because I won’t be lugging my heavy 70-200mm f/2.8 with me to China next week. Just this lens, and my 16-35mm f/4 (which will hopefully be replaced with a soon to be shipping 15-35mm R-Mount lens).

(2) I won’t have to use the Adapter with this new lens since it’s built for the EOR R mirrorless.

(3) From the reviews I’ve read, it’s absolutely tack-sharp edge to edge! The lenses Canon has been releasing for their mirrorless line have been crazy sharp, and one review I read said it was so good it was worth switching to the EOS just for this lens.

(4) B&H had a killer deal on it — $899. Boom! Done.

(5) Back when I was shooting Nikon, I loved their 28-300mm as my travel lens, but since my switch to Canon six years ago, they haven’t had anything with a similar size and weight, so I got a Tamron 28-300mm that I really like and used a bunch, but this new lens is actually wider, which I love. It’s 24mm rather than 28mm. I can crop the 240mm long end just a little and get to a 300mm equivalent, but you can’t make a 28mm any wider, so starting with a 24mm is a big, big plus in my book.

(6) I love the smaller size. Works great with my Think Tank Photo sling bag. Much better fit than my 70-200mm that’s for sure.

Here’s what I wish were different:

(1) It’s an f/4 to f/6.3, and I would have preferred an f/3.5 to f/5.6. Not a deal breaker, but I’d prefer the variable range I had with my Tamron and Nikon.

(2) Get this — you don’t get a lens hood with it. You have to buy it separately for $35. Oh. Come. On!

I’ll do a field report soon

I’ll have some shots from China soon with it, and I’ve got a location portrait shoot on Monday so I’ll probably bring it as well, and I’ll let you know what I think of it once I take it through its paces.

See what you missed in Vegas!

Check out this video put together by our video crew with highlights from the recent Vegas Photoshop World. If you didn’t get to go, this is what it was like!

We’re one month away from my Worldwide Photo Walk

Well, technically yesterday was one month away because it’s Saturday, October 5th in 1,000+ cities all over the world. It’s free, it’s fun, you oughta come (Hey, that rhymes!). Here’s where to go to see if there’s a photo walk already organized near you (link). If you’re thinking, “What the heck is the Worldwide Photo Walk?” then watch this video (below).

Very Cool Video on Where to Photograph Jets at LAX

Our buddy and rockin’ guitarist Jefferson Graham has been doing a Photowalk series where he shows you cool places to shoot photo walk style, and recently he did a really cool one on where to photograph the big jets coming through LAX. If you’re in photo walks and you’re not following Jeff’s new youtube series, you oughta! Check out his “Hidden LAX” video below and don’t forget to subscribe to his page: Jefferson Graham Photowalk.

Come spend the day with me in Nashville in a few weeks

That’s my crowd in Philly last week. Such a great group – we had a blast!

My “Ultimate Photography Crash Course”full-day seminar is coming to Nashville on Wednesday, Sept. 25th at the Music City Center. It’s just $99 for the full day – includes a detailed workbook of my note, plus it’s100% money-back guaranteed if it’s not the best photography seminar you’ve ever been to, at any price. period. Tickets and details at KelbyOneLive.com (get your tickets now – my Boston seminar last week sold out in advance). 

Have a great, safe, dry weekend everybody!

-Scott

A couple of months ago I finally pulled the trigger and bought the Canon EOS R mirrorless, and I do love it immensely, but it’s missing a feature that Canon introduced after it shipped on their 2nd full-frame Mirrorless — their entry-level Canon EOS RP, and that is Focus Stacking (or as they call it, “Focus Bracketing.” Essentially, the camera automatically takes a series of shots each one focused a little farther into the image. This is awesome for shooting Macro where the depth of field is so incredibly shallow, but it’s also great for landscapes, and product photography and a bunch of different scenarios because it greatly expands the amount of the photo that’s in focus.

Here’s a blurb on Canon’s site I found about the feature:

Here’s a short video that explains Focus Bracketing on the EOS RP:

I would say generally speaking that this is a feature more advanced users would be interested in (and it requires either some Photoshop post-processing after the fact to combine all the individual frames it creates into a single image, or you can do it in Canon’s own editing software), but for some reason this feature is found on Canon’s new entry-level full-frame mirrorless and not the more advanced model that cost nearly $1,000 more.

So, my plea to Canon:

I know this new mirrorless roadmap is very important to Canon — I think it’s the future of the company, which is why I’m asking today for Canon to release a free EOS R firmware update that gives us the Focus bracketing feature (a feature you’ve already developed). Canon previously released a free Firmware update that added an Eye AF feature, which is awesome (high-five Canon), but now here’s a chance to be heroes once again. Please release a Firmware update that adds the RP’s focus bracketing to the EOS R. We would love that! Easy peasy. ;-)

I know, this feature isn’t a Canon-only feature

There any a number of cameras already out there which have a built-in Focus-stacking feature already (for example, a number of Nikon cameras have this feature already built right in); so no need to post a comment here that says something along the lines of “Gee, Scott, my [insert camera brand here] has had that feature since like late 1950s.” I get it. Canon’s not first, but they’ve taken the time to develop this feature, and I’m just hoping they will share it with the folks who jumped on the bandwagon with the R.

Here’s hoping all your free firmware update dreams come true. :)

-Scott

P.S. I’m off this week to Belfast, Ireland, The Faroe Islands, and Iceland. Maybe I’ll run into your somewhere along the way. :)P

I did it — I went mirrorless this week when I bought the new Canon EOS R Mirrorless body and I’m super-psyched. I mentioned this on “The Grid” this week and I had a flood of questions, so I thought today I answer some of the most common questions I’ve been getting about the switch. Here goes:

Q. Why did you wait so long?

A. Mostly because of all the rumors about Canon coming out with a pro-level mirrorless camera later this year, but my fear is the pro-level one when it comes out, will be more than I need (more megapixels, a lot more money, heavier, etc.). Plus, I have my Paris Workshop coming up next month, and while I could rent one from LensProToGo.com, I already know I really like the EOS R, and when I saw a great deal on it on B&H Photo, I finally pulled the plug and bought it.

Q. I thought you already had a EOS R?

A. That was just a loaner from Canon. They let me try one for 60-days when it first came out. I’ll say this. It worked — I wound up buying one. I also borrowed one from CPS (Canon Professional Services) for my Aircraft Carrier Trip last month. On that trip, I fell in love with it all over again.

Q. What does it do that your Canon 5D Mark IV doesn’t do?

A. It actually takes almost an identical image, since I believe it uses an updated version of the 5D Mark IV sensor, but it has so many things that my 5D Mark IV doesn’t, like a fully articulating pop-out rear LCD touch screen. I shoot a lot down low for my style of shooting (often on a Platypod), so being able to move that screen anywhere I want was a very big thing for me (that LCD screen is a higher resolution than my 5D Mark IV’s screen, too). There are a half-dozen other things that the EOS R does, that my 5D Mark IV doesn’t (stuff like the new Eye-AF feature, 4K screen grab, an assignable touchbar, fully silent shooting modes, built-in Bluetooth, way more autofocus points, double the RAW buffer, better auto-focus in low light), and those are all more icing on the cake for me. So, my images will look about the same, but it will be a better shooting experience for me and that’s really important to me.

Q. OK, give me one more thing.

A. That’s not a question (it’s more of a bossy order), but I do a lot of long exposures, and it has a really nice feature where you use its touch screen to take the shot (no cable release necessary) and then it times your long exposure for you on the big LCD screen [with big easy-to-read numerals). Well, there’s that and it’s just easier to do long exposures on a mirrorless camera. Of course, that applies to any mirrorless, but together it’s another plus. I know you only asked for one, but one thing I love is when you turn off the camera to change lenses; a little door comes down over the sensor opening, so junk doesn’t get on your sensor. I super dig that.

Q . So, does your 5D Mark IV now become your backup camera?

A. Yup, pretty much. I sold my old 5D Mark III (which was my backup camera) and my old 16-35mm f/2.8 lens on eBay and those pretty much paid for my upgrade. Now my 5D Mark IV will be my backup camera in most cases, but I could still see me using it for studio work. I’m not sure how I feel about an Electronic Viewfinder in the studio — I’ve done it, but not enough to make a final call.

Q. Does it tether to Lightroom Classic yet?

A. It does, but only for the past few days. Tuesday’s Lightroom Classic update included the ability to tether the EOS R into Lightroom. Whew! Just in the nick of time.

Q. I always thought Canon sent you all your cameras for free?

A. I hear that a lot (saw some comments that said that same thing on The Grid this past Wed). Unfortunately for me, they do not. I have to buy them, but again, B&H Photo had it for $300 off, so I bit (thanks B&H). Really glad I did.

Above: That’s the Control Ring Mount which lets me use my existing Canon 16-35mm f/4 lens, and I assign that rotating ring on the adapter to control my Exposure Compensation.

Q. I see from the picture up top that you bought the Control Ring Mount Adapter. What does it do, and why did you get it?

A. The Adapter part lets me use my existing Canon lenses on this new mirrorless body. The Control Ring part lets me assign a camera function to a ring that goes around the adapter. For example, I like to assign Exposure Compensation to that ring. My hand is already right there, so it’s incredibly convenient. I fell in love with that feature when I had the loaner. It’s so brilliant, I’m surprised someone else didn’t think of it first.

Q. How do you feel about the Electronic Viewfinder?

A. I’m getting used to it. It’s definitely different and it has a few nice features to it, but if given a choice I still like my regular ol‘ viewfinder. I’ll probably get used it. Well, I’m pretty sure I will, because it’s now my main camera.

Q. How much lighter is it than your old body?

A. Not enough to matter. Around 1/2 pound. It is physically a smaller camera, but for the most part, the whole “Mirrorless is lighter” thing on any platform (Sony, Nikon, Canon, etc.) is pretty much negated by the fact that as soon as you put a nice f/2.8 lens on it, it’s about as heavy as your old DSLR rig. I didn’t go mirrorless for lower weight anyway (especially since it really doesn’t exist in any meaningful amount); I did it for all the other reasons (well, that and the fact that it’s pretty much the future).

Q. Will you be buying any new lenses for it?

A. I will. When they release a 70-200mm (which apparently they have already officially announced is coming this year), hopefully, I’ll be getting that one, because it actually is smaller and lighter. Also, the lenses I’ve tried that Canon has made for their Mirrorless line so far have been absolutely stellar. Crazy, ludicrously sharp. So, in short “I’m in.”

Q. Have you talked with other EOS R users about their experience with the camera?

A. I have, and I haven’t talked to a single one that doesn’t absolutely love it. Plus, when I did a post about this on Facebook, lots of folks who already have (or literally just got their EOS Rs) shared comments about their love for this new mirrorless.

Q. Hey, Scott, I saw a number of comments over on your Facebook page today asking “Is this a sports photography camera?” So, is this a sports photography camera?

A. I’m gonna say “not really.” Of course, it will take a picture of whatever you aim it at, and at 8 frames-per-second it’s faster than my old 5D Mark IV (at 7 fps) which I have used as my 2nd camera for some pro sporting events, but it’s really not made or, or aimed at that market.

Q. So you’re not giving up your 1Dx?

A. I am not. I bought this EOS R to replace my old 5D Mark III, not my 1Dx. By the way — a used 1Dx is a stellar deal for sports or wildlife photographers, as I think it’s one of the best cameras ever made (the only thin beating it, in my opinion, is the 1Dx Mark II). You can get a used one in good shape at BH for around $2,600. Amazing low noise and like 14 fps. You’ll see this camera at every major sporting event.

Q. But it only has one card slot. How will you possibly manage to shoot with a card with only one-card slot?

A. Somehow, I’ll manage. I have a number of bodies with two slots and rarely do I ever actually put two cards in them. Over the years I have had a memory card go bad. Thankfully not many, but it happens. Maybe once every three years or so. In every case, I’ve been able to retrieve all the images off the damaged cards, so it’s never been an issue. So, for me, the two card slots mania isn’t a big issue, but in the big picture — it should have two card slots. At least two SD-slots — heck, they’re so thin, how much could it have added to the size or weight? Anyway, I imagine when Canon releases their Pro Mirrorless, it will certainly have two card slots (or spontanious Twitter death will rain down on it from above).

Q. Anything you don’t like so far?

A. Its battery life. It’s not awful, but it ain’t great. Not nearly as good as my 5D Mark IV’s battery. I generally carry 4 extra batteries (in my awesome little Think Tank Battery Holder), so it’s not a big issue, but I do wish the batteries lasted longer. Also, although you can just tap the rear screen to set focus and move your focus point, I miss the little rocker switch dial thingy from my 5D Mark IV. The EOS could use a few extra buttons for stuff like that.

Q. When are you going to share some images from the EOS R?

A. I already have. Check out my photos from Rome all shot with the EOS R, and I shot last month with a loaner EOS R on a US Navy Aircraft Carrier. :)

There ya go. Hope you all have an awesome weekend. I’ll be playing with my EOS R and getting it ready for my trips to Paris, then Provence, then London. I cannot wait! :)

-Scott

P.S. If you’re wishing you had signed up to go to the Photoshop World Conference in Orlando (it’s in two weeks), it’s not too late. photoshopworld.com

Welcome to my “13th annual Holiday Gear Guide.”

To be listed here, the gifts have to be: (1) products that I use myself, and that I absolutely love, and now can’t live without (well, I could live without them, but I just wouldn’t want to); and (2) if a product makes the guide, it has to be one I’d recommend to a close friend without hesitation, especially if my friend was loose with money.

Also, to make things easy, we added direct links to all the products I picked so you don’t have to wonder if you’re getting the exact right one. (Note: Depending on the product, clicking on the links below will take you to the manufacturer’s website; if the product is available at B&H Photo or Amazon, then clicking on the link will take you to those websites.)

As is my sacred Gonzo tradition for more than a tenth of a century, I’m breaking things into three distinct categories:

  • Stocking Stuffers: But you can use these as actual holiday gifts if you’re not that crazy about the person.
  • Great Value Gear: Stuff that’s a really good deal for the money, and even though it’s not a lot of money, they’ll still totally dig it.
  • Cha-ching: Stuff you buy for the Berkshire CEO or Russian oligarch on your holiday gift list. This is the stuff that makes them burst into spontaneous tears of joy. Well, at least I would.

So, without further ado, I present to you my “13th Annual Gonzo Holiday Gift Guide of Love (of love?).”

STOCKING STUFFERS

 

Powerextra Dual Battery Charger for Canon, Nikon, and Sony DSLR Cameras

Erik Kuna turned me on to this puppy, and I have to say it’s awesome and has worked like a charm. It charges two regular-sized Canon, Nikon, or Sony camera batteries simultaneously; it connects to USB; it’s super small (since it charges the batteries upright rather than on their side) so it takes up less room in your camera bag; and it’s very lightweight. And not only that, each charger comes with two Powerextra replacement batteries (for the camera brands listed above and more)! I’ve used these batteries extensively, and I can’t tell one bit of difference between the brand name ones that cost 5x as much. The person you give this to will think you spent a bunch, so extra love points for you.

Price: It’s a ridiculous deal starting at around $27

Canon: $26.99 (link)

Nikon: $31.99 (link)

Sony: $55.99 (link)

 

New Think Tank Photo Emergency Rain Covers

These brand-new, very compact, lightweight rain covers are an amazing deal for the money. They fit easily in your camera bag but can be a lifesaver if you get caught out in the elements (or the photographer on your holiday list sometimes wants to shoot in inclement weather). They’ll super dig these new easy-to-use, quick-to-deploy covers from the same people who make the Hydrophobia line of professional-level rain covers.

Price: They come in two sizes

Medium (fits up to a 70–200mm lens): $39.75 (link)

Small (fits up to a 24–70mm lens): $34.75 (link)

 

Awesome Custom Business Cards for Photographers from MOO

Okay, there are two ways you can go on this one (gift card or Plan B), but MOO cards are a favorite with photographers around the world, mainly because they’ll let you print a different image on every card (or you can have the same image on all the cards, five images that repeat in a stack of 50—you get the idea). Anyway, if you can get hold of, say, 10 of their images at high-res, you could get them a set of 50 cards with their images on one side (you’d get 10 cards each of each image), and their contact info and stuff on the other side. You’ll be a superstar for getting either the gift card, or being sneaky and doing the work yourself. This is a can’t-miss stocking stuffer.

Price: 50 cards starting at $19.99 (link)

 

Rick Sammon’s Wonderful Book, The Route 66 Photo Road Trip: How to Eat, Stay, Play, and Shoot Like a Pro

This isn’t a tutorial book (though Rick does have a few tutorials in there); it’s a really fun road trip book where you can enjoy the images, Rick’s great stories, road trip tips, and the experience of getting your kicks on Route 66. It’s just a really awesome read and would make a wonderful stocking stuffer.

Price: $13.36 at Amazon (link)

 

Indigo Marble Protective Camera Wrap

I use one of these when I don’t want to take a camera bag with me, or I want to take a small camera bag just big enough for a lens or two. I fold it around my camera body and put it in my carry-on luggage. It comes in two sizes: 15″ and 19″ (I use the larger one).

Price: Starting at $50.78 (link)

 

Spider Camera Holster SpiderPro Hand Strap

I’ve never been a big fan of camera hand straps—until now. The SpiderPro Hand strap has a great design, is very secure, and most importantly—a comfortable feel in your hand. Plus, an extra five points because it just looks cool when you’re holding your camera with it on. The photographer on your list will dig it.

Price: $65 (link)

 

Haida 10-Stop Slim PRO II Screw-On MC Neutral Density (ND) 3.0 Filter

I’ve been using Haida’s filter holder system for about two years now, and for the quality and price, I don’t think you can beat ’em, but if you’re an on-the-go travel photographer, you’ll probably find it more convenient to use a simple screw-on ND filter than using their bracket system. For my recent trip to Austria and Germany, I bought this Slim PROII (77mm to fit my lenses), and I was tickled at how well it works. Best thing about the Haida ND filters? They don’t mess with your image’s color. It’s a killer deal for $62.10, well, for the 77mm size. Your price may be lower for smaller-sized lenses, or higher for bigger lenses (but 77mm is probably as big a lens as the photographer on your list will have).

Price: $62.10 for the 77mm (link)

 

Platypod Ultra

This is the Platypod Ultra’s second year on the list, and while this thing was blowing up last year, this year it’s vying for the hottest photography accessory on the planet. It’s a tripod replacement (that doesn’t need legs), it’s super-lightweight (3.2 oz.), and fits in your pocket. You screw a small ballhead onto it, and it holds your camera steady as a rock so you can place it where tripods either aren’t allowed (which sadly is pretty much everywhere these days) or where they can’t fit. Everybody wants a Platypod Ultra.

Price: $59; Splurge a little and get them the bundle with the Multi Accessory Kit for $79 (it’s awesome) (link)


GREAT VALUE GEAR

 

 

Think Tank Photo Airport Roller Derby

I love this camera bag on a level that’s, well, unhealthy (let’s just leave it at that). Yes, it holds a ridiculous amount of stuff; there’s a pocket for everything (including your laptop and your iPad); a built-in cable lock so it doesn’t wander off; a tripod holder; and I could go on and on, but what’s ridiculously awesome is simply its four wheels. I can literally roll it through the airport using nothing but my pinky. If I push too hard, it rolls ahead of me. If the photographer on your gift list is tired of dragging a heavy rolling bag behind them, this one will glide right beside them. Get them this one; they’ll be your friend for life.

Price: $399.75 (link)

 

B&H Gift Card

This is always the perfect gift because B&H Photo is the greatest camera store in the world, and whatever the photographer on your gift list wants, B&H will have it in stock and ready to ship. They’re the magical unicorn of camera stores. Get your photographer a gift card from here, and they’ll follow you anywhere.

Price: Starting at $25 (link)

 

Westcott Rapid Box Switch Octa-L 48″ Softbox (Large)

If your giftee uses both flash and strobes, or they use different brands of strobes, they don’t have to keep switching softboxes every time they change lights. Westcott made a new set of softboxes that let you use the same softbox for flash or strobes, or different brands of strobes, by just changing the adapter at the end of the softbox. It’s really pretty brilliant (can’t believe somebody didn’t think of this before); but what makes this really awesome are the Rapid Boxes themselves. I love, love, love them (they’re so fast and easy to set up—like 60 seconds from start to finish), and I’ve been hooked on them since the first time I used one. This new “Switch” makes ’em that much better, and the price for such a nice big octa is hard to beat.

Price: $289.90 (link)

 

Gravity Backdrops

These beautifully hand-painted backdrops are turning the industry on its ear because they’re priced so far below their competitors, and their quality is spot-on. I have four of these now, and I’m using them so often, I don’t want to shoot on anything else. These are giving photographers access to a level of backdrops that were once out of reach for so many people; you can now buy these backdrops at around the same price we used to rent them just for the weekend. They’ll even custom-make whatever you want, without the crazy price. Can’t recommend these enough (and you’ll be a hero to the photographer on your gift list).

Price: Based on size, but figure around $350 or so (link)

 

WD 250GB My Passport Wireless SSD External Portable Drive with Built-In Wi-Fi

This one is for backing up your images on the road when you don’t have your laptop with you. You just plug your SD card right into the unit itself (it has its own built-in card reader) and it uploads your images (it does a smart upload, only uploading new photos that aren’t already on the drive). What’s nice is that once your images are on the drive, you can transfer ones you want to edit right to your phone or tablet using its built-in Wi-Fi (you don’t need an internet connection—it makes its own private network). It’s surprisingly easy to use, and a great solution for photographers who want a mobile editing and backup strategy for their DSLR or mirrorless images. I used mine on my last trip, and now it’s part of my workflow.

Price: $191.99 for 250GB (link)

Note: There are 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB options but they’re priced too high—stick with this one.

 

A Fine Art or Xpozer Print from Bay Photo

Go with either Bay Photo’s Xpozer system (the same system we use in The Gallery at KelbyOne) or go ahead and get a Fine Art, mounted print. Either way, if you get a gift card for the photographer on your list, make the amount so they can get one of their images printed large, or if you’re giving one of your own prints as a gift, go large—you can’t go wrong. Prints have a real value, well beyond their cost, and the impact they have is remarkable. Want to give somebody a really memorable gift that’s more than just a product? This is it (and you can do it without breaking the bank).

Price:

24×36″ Print with Xpozer System: $99 (link)

24×36″ Fine Art Print w/Gatorfoam: $153.20 (link)


CHA-CHING

 

Tamron SP 15–30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens

I took this ultra-wide lens with me on my last trip and I was super impressed. It’s a killer lens at a killer price. Sharp, crisp, great Vibration Compensation (VC), and a big improvement over its already popular predecessor. Give this to someone you love (or somebody you want to love).

Price: $1,299

For Canon (link)

For Nikon (link)

 

DJI Mavic Air Fly More Combo

It’s so small, so portable, so easy to fly, and takes such great photos and videos. They’ll lose their mind when they unwrap this one. Everybody wants a drone, and this one is probably the best deal, dollar for dollar, feature for feature, and while there are other drone makers out there, everybody wants a DJI. After giving this as a gift, you won’t be able to get rid of them.

Price: $899.99 for the Fly More Combo (it’s what you want to get them); $699.99 for the DJI Mavic Air by itself  (link)

 

The weekender Camera Bag from compagnon

This is an absolutely beautifully crafted all-leather camera bag from Germany, and it’s really something to behold. It just screams luxury, and while it’s not inexpensive, it looks like it would cost a lot more than it does. What I love about it is that it’s large enough that you can use it for a weekend trip where your clothes and your camera are in the same bag. Very well designed; it’ll fit in the overhead, and the leather is just so luscious! Give it to somebody you really want to impress. Note: There’s a smaller version called “the little weekender” that’s small and less expensive, too.

Price: $675 (link)

 

Canon EOS R Mirrorless Camera Body

I had this camera for a full month, and really put it through its paces—from the American West to Rome to Hawaii to Austria—and I fell in love with it. When I had to return it to Canon, it broke my heart (and now I’m trying to get Canon to sell me that loaner). I don’t know what DSLR your Canon-shooting gift-lister has, but they’ll sure love this one (and there’s a lot to love!).

Price: $2,299 (link)

 

TACS Automatic Vintage Lens II Camera-Inspired Watch

This one is a little pricier, but it’s actually a great value for what you’re getting (and for the right person, it will be priceless). This camera-inspired watch is just brilliant. My daughter saw the beautiful wooden box the watch comes in sitting on my desk and couldn’t resist opening it. She saw the watch and said, “Oh my gosh, it looks like a camera.” The beautifully crafted timepiece is more gorgeous in real life than it appears in the pictures, and the back of the watch is almost as stunning as the front. Beautifully designed from top to bottom. It will put the biggest smile on your photographer’s face, and the presentation in the wooden box, coupled with the craftsmanship of the watch itself will make them think you spent a fortune.

Price: $550 (link)

 

Profoto B1 X 500 AirTTL Portable Off-Camera Flash

This is the latest version of a strobe that created its own genre of portable studio lights. It’s a battery-powered strobe without the power pack (the battery is built right in to the unit itself). The quality of Profoto lights is legendary, and once I started using Profoto gear, I totally got what all the fuss is about and why all the top pros are using their gear. If you give somebody this gift, they’ll follow you around like a puppy for the rest of your life, so be very choosy to whom you give this.

Price: $2,095 (link)

 

STUFF FROM US

My Latest Lightroom Books

I have two different books for two different levels of Lightroom users. If the photographers on your wish list are fairly new to Lightroom and want to learn it from the ground up, then get them my The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC Book for Digital Photographers. It’s the bestselling Lightroom book ever. If they’ve been using Lightroom for a while now and they want a reference they can go to quickly to find out how to do whatever it is they’re trying to do right now, then get them my How Do I Do That In Lightroom Classic? book. The first edition was reprinted seven times, and this is the latest edition based on the new version of Lightroom, so they’ll find it really helpful.

Price:

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC Book for Digital Photographers: $33.99 (link)

How Do I Do That In Lightroom Classic?: $13.99 (link)

 

Photoshop World Conference 2019

Want to blow their minds and give them an experience they’ll be talking about for years? Give the photographer on your gift list a Full Conference Pass to the three-day Photoshop World Conference 2019, early next summer in Orlando, Florida, or late summer in Las Vegas at the Mirage in Las Vegas. Get the pass now and get the Early-Bird special, and they’ll save an extra $100 if they’re a KelbyOne Pro member. You’ll make a true friend for life—maybe longer.

Price: Early-Bird KelbyOne Pro Member: $599 (link)

 

A One-Year KelbyOne Pro Membership

You’ve heard again and again (or maybe you’re already a member and you know firsthand) about all the incredible online courses, the magazines, the online community, the Webcasts, and the discounts, and now you can share all that with a photographer you super dig. It’s only $199 for a full year, with full access to everything! They’ll devote the rest of their natural life to letting you know how thoughtful, caring, and generous you were to change their life in such a meaningful way. Okay, that’s perhaps a best-case scenario, but I will tell you that I think they’ll love you (and so will I).

Price: $199 (link)

A One-Year KelbyOne Plus Membership

If they love online training, we have a special membership level that just focuses on the online classes themselves. For just $9.99 a month, they’ll have access to 350 courses in the KelbyOne library. Give ’em a 12-month membership and they’ll love you all year.

Price: $9.99/month (link)


Well, there ya have it folks. Remember, it’s not how many gifts you get. It’s about how many gifts you get me! ;-)

Happy Holidays!

-Scott

This is our third year with a “Video shot during the photo walk” category, and Canon USA (our awesome sponsor) has once again come up with an amazing package for the winner of this category. The Video Category winner receives:

The Canon Video Creator Kit (seen above). The kit includes a Canon EOS 80D Body; a Canon 18-135mm lens;Canon Power Zoom Adapter; RODE VideoMic Go; a 32G SD Card, and all the other goodies (battery, charger, strap, etc.).

High-five to our friend Rob Altman of Canon USA for his vision and support for our video category — Canon has been our main sponsor for a number of years now, and they are an absolutely AWESOME sponsor. Big thanks to everyone at Canon USA who helps make this annual event happen.

OK, let’s get right to it — we’ll start with the winner, and then I’m going to share a few other videos that, while they didn’t win any prizes, I thought they deserved an honorable mention.

AND THE WINNER IS…

Winner: Three Blind Men & an Elephant Productions
Photo Walk: New York City Highline

NOTE: I think they did a wonderful job of capturing the spirit of a Photo Walk. Very well done! :)

And now for our Honorable Mentions
(other videos that while they aren’t prize winners, still deserve some recognition):

Honorable Mention (and best documentary): Hesham
Photo Walk: El-Darb El-Ahmar, Cairo, Egypt

Honorable Mention: Roberto Pisco
Photo Walk: Innsbruck, Austria

Honorable Mention (and best cinematography): @chknss
Photo Walk: San Antonio, Chile

Honorable Mention: Ronan Colin
Photo Walk: Miami, Florida USA

Honorable Mention: Jerus Oritz
Photo Walk: Bantayan, Philippines 

Honorable Mention: CJ Estrada
Photo Walk: Cebu City, Philippines 

Honorable Mention: Beth Meckly
Photo Walk: Jacksonville, Florida USA

Honorable Mention: Avishek Das
Photo Walk: Calcutta, India

Honorable Mention: Avishek Das
Photo Walk: Albay, Philippines

Thanks for letting me share all of these with you; congrats once again to our prize winner Stefan, and a big, big thanks to the 2017 Worldwide Photo Walk Official Sponsor, Canon USA, for making this video category a reality. :)

Check back Friday Morning for the big reveal of the Grand Prize Winner and Top 10 Finalist!

All my best,

-Scott

 

If you shoot long exposure photography with your DSLR, this tip is for you, because one of the things you have to deal with (especially with exposures longer than 1-minute) is “light leak.” That’s light that enters your camera through your viewfinder during long exposures and it can totally mess up your shot. So, you need a way to cover that viewfinder completely, and that’s the tip — you probably didn’t realize that you already have an accessory that’s actually made for that very thing — covering your viewfinder to keep out any extraneous light. 

Now that you know you probably have this “eyepiece cover,” where do you find it? They come with most DSLRs, but if you’re a Canon user start by looking on your camera strap. See that little rubber piece attached to it that you never knew what it was for? That’s it — that’s your eyepiece cover. (well, it’s there on most Canon camera straps). You just pop off the viewfinder cover (on mine, you just press up from the bottom and it pops off), and then you take that part of your camera strap and just slide it right over your viewfinder opening (you don’t take it off the strap — this will make more sense when you try it yourself). When you’re done with the shot; pop off the rubber cover; snap the eyepiece cover back on, and you’re done. That’s it — it’s always with you, and takes just 5-seconds to use. 

Here (below) is a great youtube video from ZY Productions that shows how this cover works (and I have it set to start right where he shows how it’s done). This will help a lot.

Note: Some high-end DSLRs, like my Canon 1Dx, and the Nikon D3, D4, and so on, have an “eyepiece shutter” which is a level you engage and it literally covers the viewfinder for you. 

Nikon Users: Your accessory for covering the eyepiece on your DSLR is called the Nikon DK-5 Eyepiece Shield (shown above), and it’s probably still in the box from when you bought your camera, but if you can’t find yours, you can pick up a replacement from B&H Photo — they’re only $3.50

Sony shooters or any camera brand the doesn’t have a custom-made eyepiece cover: you can use a piece of gaffers tape (which is what I did before I learned this tip). I just wrapped a long piece of gaffer’s tape around my tripod’s leg (above where they expand and collapse), and then when I need a piece to cover my viewfinder, I would just tear a little piece from that leg, and boom — done. 

Hope you found that helpful. :)

We’re less than a month away from the Worldwide Photo Walk
There are nearly 800 walks in cities all over the world – if you haven’t signed up to join a free photo walk near you (it’s Saturday, October 6, 2018), then head over to worldwidephotowalk.com and click the “Find a Walk” button. Lots of fun, awesome prizes, and a chance to make friends and make some cool pictures. 

Have a great weekend, everybody – I’ll catch ya here on Monday. :)

Best, 

-Scott

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