Beautiful Battery Caddy

I've been told that my obsession with batteries is unhealthy. Still… I just can't help myself. I'm always on the lookout for a better battery, or a better charger, or a better system of organizing my batteries so that I can tell the difference between the dead ones and the charged ones. Well now I've found an ideal solution for that last problem courtesy of Scott Kelby. It's the Personal Battery Caddy from Adorama, and I've just ordered a pair of my own. It's the perfect place to keep AA flash batteries so that you know which ones are ready to go and which ones are dead. This is a problem that I know I'm always fighting with, and I've tried solutions ranging from rubber bands to plastic bags to gaff tape. With this new system I'll probably leave the dead ones rolling around in the camera bag like I already do—I know, not brilliant—and I'll know that the ones in the caddy are ready to go. Plus now I won't have to worry about the charged ones slipping out and into that dead battery mix. A simple solution that's sure to make my life easier.

http://weeklyphototips.blogspot.com/2012/08/battery-caddy-small-item-big-help.html
DPMag
I've been told that my obsession with batteries is unhealthy. Still… I just can't help myself. I'm always on the lookout for a better battery, or a better charger, or a better system of organizing my batteries so that I can tell the difference between the dead ones and the…

An Inexpensive And Portable Daylight Studio

Here's a neat idea if you're into studio-caliber portrait lighting but you just don't have a studio space. You can turn normal daylight into nice, "north light" illumination. There's a long tradition of world class photographers using daylight to make impactful portraits--a guy named Avedon comes to mind--so why not join that group? Check out the article by David Hobby on his Strobist blog to learn how and why he set up his inexpensive and portable daylight studio. Best of all this setup requires minimal equipment and can be utilized anywhere that you can find the sun.

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2012/07/build-diy-portable-north-light-photo.html
DPMag
Here's a neat idea if you're into studio-caliber portrait lighting but you just don't have a studio space. You can turn normal daylight into nice, "north light" illumination. There's a long tradition of world class photographers using daylight to make impactful portraits--a guy named Avedon comes to mind--so why not…

Giant Olympic Imagery

Yay! Olympic photos have arrived! I'm an Olympics junkie. My wife, however, is not. This has caused me to examine why I so look forward to the games, and what it is that has me so enthralled. I know that I love any spectacle, and any sporting triumph—that's why I'm such a fan of the Tour de France, the Super Bowl and any other athletic spectacle I can find. But still, the Olympics is special. All this analysis finally led me to this realization: it's the visuals! What a gorgeously rendered and attentively photographed visual extravaganza we are fortunate to witness every couple of years. The opening of the London Olympics was no let down, and I thought the visual imagery was outstanding. So I've been champing at the bit to see NBC's gigapan images of the Olympic opening ever since I learned of the plan to create them. Check out DP Review for a link to the NBC gigapans, and stick around DP Review if you care to read an interesting discussion in the comments about the merits, viability and practicality of super-high-resolution displays and their place in Olympic broadcasting.

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/08/01/8K-video-and-gigapan-images-bring-olympics-in-high-resolution
DPMag
Yay! Olympic photos have arrived! I'm an Olympics junkie. My wife, however, is not. This has caused me to examine why I so look forward to the games, and what it is that has me so enthralled. I know that I love any spectacle, and any sporting triumph—that's why I'm…

Photographing The Night Sky's Aurora Australis

Way back when I was a high school kid (unfortunately now more than 20 years ago), I was lucky enough to spend a week in the wild woods of southern Ontario's Quetico National Park. This experience of living sparely in nature was a powerful event in my young life, and one that's stayed with me. One of the most special moments of that trip came late one night when my friends and I paddled our canoes out to the middle of a lake to watch as the northern lights began to glow. The aurora borealis is an amazing, ethereal shimmering light in the night sky, visible in northern latitudes on summer nights. Way down at the South Pole they have the same thing, but they call it Aurora Australis. Either way, being able to photograph such a gorgeous phenomenon is a life-long dream of mine--and it is for many others, I know. In this DPS post by Loic Le Guilly, you can learn not only how he approached his first chance to photograph a strong Aurora, but also see how he post-processed the photographs to bring out the color and maximize detail. And of course, you can also bask in the glory of these gorgeous Aurora photographs.

http://digital-photography-school.com/how-i-captured-my-first-aurora-australis
DPMag
Way back when I was a high school kid (unfortunately now more than 20 years ago), I was lucky enough to spend a week in the wild woods of southern Ontario's Quetico National Park. This experience of living sparely in nature was a powerful event in my young life, and…

Prime Lenses Primer

I've been a fan of prime lenses ever since I purchased my first SLR, which came standard with a fast 50mm prime lens. Next came a 24, and a 35, then an 85, a 100, and even a wide angle 20. My love affair with primes has lasted a long time. Prime lenses, for those who may not know, have a fixed focal length--unlike zooms, which can cover a range of focal lengths in a single lens. Zooms are very practical, for sure, but still I love prime lenses for their simplicity. Plus I think prime lenses make me a more active photographer. They make me work harder to solve the visual challenges presented through my viewfinder. It's too easy to get lazy with a zoom lens and simply adjust the focal length to "make everything fit." But with a prime, you've got to use your eyes, your feet, and your brain to make the best composition possible. Anyway, the point is, I've long advocated for using prime lenses to make yourself a better photographer. And here today I just happened to find this article from Light Stalking about how photographers can use prime lenses to improve their skills. So of course I'm thrilled to see someone else who shares my positive opinion of primes, and I had to share it with you. So if you're interested in learning more about why I love primes, as well as flexing your creative muscles a little bit, check out this article and try out a prime lens.

http://www.lightstalking.com/how-photographers-can-use-a-prime-lens-to-improve-their-technique
DPMag
I've been a fan of prime lenses ever since I purchased my first SLR, which came standard with a fast 50mm prime lens. Next came a 24, and a 35, then an 85, a 100, and even a wide angle 20. My love affair with primes has lasted a long…

National Parks iPod App

Are you aware that there's a new National Parks App for the iPhone and iPad? National Geographic worked with its world class photographers and editorial staff, as well as the National Parks Service, to create a free app that provides priceless info and allows you to download park-specific guides (the first one for free, additional are a buck or two) which includes GPS coordinates of favorite photo locations, must see spots and even photo tips from the most accomplished photographers in the world. Jay Goodrich, for instance, mentioned on his blog recently that he divulged a few secret spots from a handful of parks to include in the app. Now that's what I call specialized information that's bound to be invaluable to photographers visiting the parks. And at that price (remember, it's free) how can you go wrong?

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/mobile/apps/national-parks-by-national-geographic
DPMag
Are you aware that there's a new National Parks App for the iPhone and iPad? National Geographic worked with its world class photographers and editorial staff, as well as the National Parks Service, to create a free app that provides priceless info and allows you to download park-specific guides (the…
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