Try a more intuitive approach to working with your images with the Wacom Cintiq 24HD. The pen tablet features a spacious 24-inch, high-definition (1920×1200) wide-screen display and a pen with 2,048 levels of pressure. You can apply as much or as little pressure as needed, just like you would with a traditional brush or pen. The newly designed stand lets you adjust the incline and height of the tablet until you find the most comfortable working position. It can even extend over the edge of the desk to float just above your lap. List Price: $2,599. Contact: Wacom, (800) 922-6613, www.wacom.com.
Enlarge your images beyond what your camera is capable of doing with Blow Up 3 from Alien Skin Software. Images stay tack-sharp, especially at the edges, and the interface is simpler, operating similarly to the resize command in Photoshop. Lots of presets for standard paper sizes make the program easier to use, and there’s also support now for Lightroom (version 2 or later), in addition to Photoshop (CS4 or later) and Photoshop Elements (version 8 or later). List Price: $199; $99 (upgrade). Contact: Alien Skin Software, (888) 921-SKIN, www.alienskin.com.
Take solid-looking pictures at slow shutter speeds using a point-and-shoot with help from the Joby GorillaPod Micro tripods. The Micro 250 and 800 are made of an aluminum and zinc alloy for providing steady support and can remain permanently attached to the bottom of your camera. Grips at the bottom of the legs deliver even stronger footing, and an aluminum positioning ball produces up to 36° of movement in any direction. The 250 supports point-and-shoots weighing up to 8.8 ounces, and the 800 works for camera models that weigh up to 1.75 pounds. List Price: $19 (250); $29 (800). Contact: Joby, (888) 569-5629, www.joby.com.
Boost the drama factor of your images by sticking a Rogue Gel from ExpoImaging on your flash. Two kits are available, with each including a mix of 14 color-effects gels, five color-correction gels and one diffusion gel. Each one is labeled with the LEE Filter name of the gel, as well as its measured ƒ-stop loss value along with the corresponding Kelvin color-temperature correction and camera white-balance icon if it’s appropriate. They attach securely to your flash with the easy-to-use Gel-Band (included). The kits come with a compact storage pouch with quick reference dividers for keeping the gels safe and organized. List Price: $29 (Universal Lighting Filter Kit); $27 (Lighting Filter Kit for Rogue Grid). Contact: ExpoImaging, www.expoimaging.com.
Get to your camera quickly when using the Lowepro DSLR Video Fastpack. Three sizes are available, and each model features a side-entry compartment for fast access, an upper compartment designed specifically for audio gear and a padded sleeve for a laptop. The cushioned lower section, which has adjustable compartments, holds a pro-sized or an HD-video DSLR, and a Hideaway Tripod Mount on the side secures either a tripod or a DSLR video rig. Also included are a built-in weather cover, mesh side pocket and stow-away waist belt for minimizing bulk during travel. List Price: Starts at $119. Contact: Lowepro, (800) 800-LOWE, www.lowepro.com.
Wipe greasy fingerprints off of your iPad and other touch-screen devices with the LensPen SideKick. This screen-cleaning tool features a proprietary carbon compound that helps to quickly and easily remove those difficult marks. Carbon molecules have a unique ability to absorb large quantities of oils and contaminants that accumulate on your screen. After cleaning the screen, slide the SideKick back into its twin cap, which has a hidden carbon pad for rubbing off excess fingerprint oil. List Price: $20; $15 (set of two replacement cleaning pads). Contact: LensPen, www.lenspen.com.
CANON TO MICRO FOUR THIRDS
Use your Canon EF lens on a Micro Four Thirds camera body with the LiveLens MFT from Redrock Micro. The lens mount has a touch pad that allows you to control the aperture in increments as small as a 1/3-stop, and it works with nearly all available EF models, including variable-aperture zoom, prime, L-series and third-party EF-compatible lenses. The compact LiveLens MFT weighs less than six ounces. List Price: $442. Contact: Redrock Micro, (888) 214-3903 www.redrockmicro.com.
Keep your DSLR at the ready when in transit using the The Heralder series from Vanguard. The fast-action messenger bags have a Quick Top Access feature that lets you get the camera out quickly without fumbling around for it. Three sizes are available, with the smallest holding a DSLR, three to four lenses and a laptop, and the largest storing a couple of camera bodies, five to six lenses, a 15-inch laptop and a tripod. A detachable inner pouch lets you remove your gear and turn the Heralder into an everyday bag. Other features include a padded antislip shoulder strap for even weight distribution across shoulders and a bunch of storage pockets. Estimated Street Price: $139 to $199. Contact: Vanguard, (800) 875-3322, www.vanguardworld.com.
Create just the kind of light you want with the Photo Basics 5-in-1 Collapsible Reflector Kit from Westcott. A translucent white disc softens harsh overhead sunlight or lights without diffusion. You can use the removable, reversible zippered slipcover to reflect light into the shadow areas of a subject. The cover consists of silver, gold, white and black. The 40-inch reflector folds down to one-third its open size, and comes with a carry case for easy transport. There are also 20-, 30- and 50-inch models available now. Estimated Street Price: Starts at $19. Contact: FJ Westcott, (800) 886-1689, www.fjwestcott.com.
ack up your image files to a local hard drive while also automatically mirroring an AES-encrypted copy to a cloud server daily with the LaCie CloudBox. If the device is damaged or inoperable, you still have online copies of all your files. Using LaCie’s Online Restore software, you can browse and restore files and folders, up to 10 previous versions. Access is password-restricted, making your online backup even more secure. The CloudBox comes with a one-year subscription for 100 GB. Estimated Street Price: $199. Contact: LaCie, (503) 844-4500, www.lacie.com.
Use your Really Right Stuff L-Bracket with the company’s new Cable Release Spacer for expanded functionality when it’s tethered to a laptop or another device. The CRS has a dovetail at one end and a clamp on the other. The clamp mounts to any Really Right Stuff dovetail while the additional dovetail provides extra mounting options. A cable-locking bar helps secure input and output cables that may be attached to the camera, preventing accidental disconnection or damage that may result from unintentional removal. Estimated Street Price: $66. Contact: Really Right Stuff, (888) 777-5557, www.reallyrightstuff.com.
Add light exactly where you need it in a scene with the Litepanels Croma, an on-camera LED that lets you control color temperature and lighting intensity. Two ergonomic dials allow you to dim the light from 100% to zero and dial in fill light to any point between daylight (5600°K) and tungsten (3200°K). Croma weighs 12 ounces, measures 6x4x2 inches and is housed in a rubber and plastic shell. It comes with a metal ballhead shoe mount so you can position the light the way you want when using it on camera. Also included are a gel filter kit, AC adapter and carrying case. List Price: TBA. Contact: Litepanels, (818) 752-7009, www.litepanels.com.
Print big on the Canon Premium Glossy Paper 2 and Premium Semi-Glossy Paper 2 papers, which are designed for Canon’s imagePROGRAF large-format printers. Both deliver enhanced color range and high durability. The heavyweight Glossy paper has a high whiteness factor because of ultrawhite pulp that makes the media less susceptible to light-illuminant changes. The slightly textured Semi-Glossy paper has a heavy weight with similar whiteness, but a softer finish and less reflection. Both are 280gm. Estimated Street Price: Varies. Contact: Canon, (800) OK-CANON, www.usa.canon.com.
Cinevate Atlas FLT. The lightweight camera slider weighs less than 10 pounds and measures just 26 inches long. It features a nonreflective, black satin anodized finish, full CNC aluminum and steel construction, and stainless-steel fasteners. The unit is equipped with a 3/8" screw, making it compatible with any standard 3/8" threaded ballhead. Estimated Street Price: Starts at $579. Contact: Cinevate, (807) 344-7153, www.cinevate.com.
Make a dozen corrections to your people shots in one click with Perfectly Clear from Athentech. Exposure, depth, clarity, color vibrancy, skin tone, noise and other problems all can be fixed simultaneously. Each correction tool also functions independently so you can correct one part of an image without affecting the rest of it. You can create your own presets, and before-and-after views help you fine-tune images more effectively. There are versions for Photoshop and Lightroom, as well as iPad and iPhone apps. Estimated Street Price: $199 (Photoshop/Lightroom); $6 (iPad); $3 (iPhone). Contact: Athentech, www.athentech.com.
ColorMunki Displayfrom X-Rite. In easy mode, you can choose from a selection of one-click presets, or if you’re looking for more control, there’s an advanced mode with a wizard-based interface. The wizard helps correct white point, white luminance, contrast ratio, tone response and even flare, which is new in this generation of device. A built-in ambient light smart control measures, compensates and monitors ongoing conditions. Estimated Street Price: $189. Contact: X-Rite, (800) 248-9748, www.xrite.com.
Rid your camera sensor of dust before image quality is affected using the Delkin SensorScope DSLR Sensor Inspection Device and Cleaning System. Improved magnification and LED illumination in the SensorScope gives you a quick, clear view of the sensor before every shoot. Partnering up with LensPen, the system now includes the SensorPen. The device has a non-carbon triangular tip for cleaning the sensor’s edges and polishing the sensor surface, as well as a slide-out soft DSLR body brush that safely removes dust and debris from the camera body. Estimated Street Price: $109. Contact: Delkin, (800) 637-8087, www.delkin.com.
Mount a softbox to your shoe-mount flash with this Flashpoint bracket (FASRSHO). The unit allows you to mount your flash horizontally on top of a light stand and attach a Bowens mount light modifier. With a Bowens speed ring, any softbox can be attached. The unit is adjustable so it fits most shoe-mount flashes. Estimated Street Price: $24. Contact: Flashpoint, (800) 223-2500, www.adorama.com.
The Changing Face of Portrait Photography: From Daguerreotype to Digital (Smithsonian Books, 2011; ISBN: 978-1-58834-274-4). This beautifully illustrated volume explores the power of portraits and the role they play in forming personal and national identities. The work of Dorothea Lange, Richard Avedon, Robert Weingarten, George K. Warren, Lauren Greenfield and others is displayed.
Real Retouching: A Professional Step-by-Step Guide by Carrie Beene (Focal Press, 2011; ISBN: 978-0-240
Focus on Apple Aperture: Focus on the Fundamentals (Focus On Series) by Corey Hilz (Focal Press, 2011; ISBN: 978-0-240-81513-8). From importing photos from a camera and making image adjustments to labeling each photo with metadata and keywords for effective organization and searching, Hilz gives a comprehensive overview on how to work with Aperture. Specifics such as correcting exposure, adjusting tone, using metadata and more are covered.
Plate to Pixel: Digital Food Photography & Styling by Helene Dujardin (Wiley, 2011; ISBN: 978-0-470-93213-1). Dujardin, an author and food blogger, walks readers through food styling and photography from start to finish. She discusses photography fundamentals such as composition, lighting and exposure, as well as food-styling tips.
Focus On Lighting Photos: Focus on the Fundamentals (Focus On Series) by Fil Hunter and Robin Reid (Focal Press, 2011; ISBN: 978-0-240-81711-8). Get a better grasp on how lighting affects all of the various elements of a photograph with this helpful resource. You’ll learn how to take shots in certain settings and times, such as lighting for specific seasons, backlighting, water lighting, available light at midday and more.