Monday, June 13, 2011

July/August 2011

By The Editors Published in Next: New Gear
July/August 2011


Soften up harsh shadows with the Graslon Flash Diffuser, which takes a different approach from other traditional diffusers. Instead of only using a translucent material in front of the flash to scatter light and soften shadows, Graslon makes use of an innovative reflective mirror system that enlarges the light from the flash before it exits the diffuser. By the time the light gets to the diffuser lens, it's evenly distributed from the furthest corners, across the middle and along the side. This process eliminates hot spots on the diffuser and delivers even softer shadows. The diffusers come in two sizes. Estimated Street Price: $69 to $99. Contact: Graslon, (877) 967-7766,


Ensure that your video clips maintain their image quality even if rain or snow tries to interfere by using the Spintec lightweight rain deflector from Innovision Optics. Designed for HD DSLRs, the deflector allows you to shoot in wet conditions without getting a gyro effect when panning and tilting. Rain and snow are deflected via a glass filter that spins 3,000 times per minute. The centrifugal effect of the filter removes water splashes and raindrops instantly. A vacuum effect removes lighter snowflakes that are tougher to remove. The deflector is easy to mount on lenses that are 75-105mm in diameter with either internal or external focus. Estimated Street Price: Starts at around $2,000. Contact: Innovision Optics, (310) 453-4866,


Apply a color profile developed for one camera to RAW files produced by a different one with Cross Camera Color DNG Profiles from PSKiss. The color profiles used by your DSLR are a result of the manufacturer's interpretation of how that color should appear. With Cross Camera Color DNG Profiles, you can use a Nikon D300 with a Leica M8 DNG profile to produce the color look of the M8. Or you can use a Nikon D40X and produce the look of a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II. Simply open up a Camera Raw file with Photoshop CS4, CS5, Elements or Lightroom, and choose the colors you want. Estimated Street Price: $9 (per camera). Contact: PSKiss,

Hard Copy

Chasing The Light: Improving Your Photography with Available Light by Ibarionex Perello (New Riders Press, 2011; ISBN: 978-0-321-75250-5). Lighting can be the most effective tool for creating dramatic imagery. Perello shares his techniques for controlling focus, exposure, white balance and sharpness to capture photographs with more power. The book bridges the gap between the technical and creative aspects of photography.

The Art and Business of Photography by Susan Carr (Allworth Press, 2011; ISBN: 978-158115759-8). A professional photographer and former ASMP president, Carr delves into the realities of the photography industry. Topics include how to balance being an artist and a businessperson, the basics of copyright, pricing skills, how to find future opportunities, and the importance of craft and creativity.

The Photographer's Mind: Creative Thinking for Better Digital Photos by Michael Freeman (Focal Press, 2010; ISBN: 978-0-240-81517-6). Illustrated with more than 400 images taken on real assignments, Freeman delivers useful insight on how to avoid cliché photography. He breaks down the images with schematic illustrations, demonstrating how and why they work.

How to Do Everything: Digital Photography by Jason R. Rich (McGraw-Hill Osborne Media, 2011; ISBN: 978-0-07-175471-2). This basic guide offers advice on how to take better pictures using a variety of techniques for photo composition, lighting and creativity. Get tips on photo editing, printing and archiving, as well as avoiding common mistakes that result in poor images.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3: Learn By Video by Tim Grey and Mikkel Aaland (Adobe Press, 2010; ISBN: 978-0-321-70094-0). With more than 10 hours of instruction and a full-color, 120-page guide, this training program delivers all of the basic principles you need to know for mastering Lightroom 3. Topics include creating custom montages, exporting to MP4 video and converting RAW files into DNG format.

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