A Holster for your Camera

File this under, “why didn’t I think of that.” Turns out I would have scoffed at something like the Spider Camera Holster a few years ago as overkill, or just another piece of photo gear to satisfy the photo geek. Who really has a problem with regular straps and supports? But then I shot events for a couple of years with my typical camera-carrying approach, which was to put my wrist through the camera strap in a particular way, locking it around my elbow so that the camera was in my hand and ready to go without being hung around my neck. The problem is, after shooting this way for several years I’ve developed a significant issue: tendonitis. More specifically, tennis elbow – or in my case, photography elbow. And it hurts. I don’t mean it’s a little sore, I mean knee buckling pain if I reach for a cup of coffee the wrong way. The point is, the repetitive injury from lifting my camera to my eye hundreds of thousands of times is a serious problem. I now have to wear an elbow brace if I’m going to be shooting an event or other situation in which I’ll be shooting candid shots for hours and days at a time. It may not be super cool, but it’s a lot better than constant excruciating pain. If a device like this can aid other photographers who have neck, back or shoulder problems from the way they carry their cameras, I say, “Don’t be shy.” Use this support before it’s too late. Maybe this is next for me because now I sling two SLRs around my neck when I shoot events. I look a little bit like a geeky tourist, but I’m a lot more comfortable. And I cry less after photo shoots. Check out this SLR Lounge review of the camera holster and see if it’s for you.

slrlounge.com

spiderholster.com

File this under, “why didn’t I think of that.” Turns out I would have scoffed at something like the Spider Camera Holster a few years ago as overkill, or just another piece of photo gear to satisfy the photo geek. Who really has a problem with regular straps and supports? But then I shot events for a couple of years with my typical camera-carrying... Read more

Spend a day with Jay

Jay Maisel is a “walking photographic legend.” We’d all do well to be taught by Jay. Even just to spend a day with him, walking the streets of New York while he shares his advice and photographic guidance, would likely lead to some level of photographic enlightenment. Well now we can all do that vicariously online thanks to Scott Kelby. The Photoshop blogging guru spent a day with Jay shooting the streets of New York, and Scott’s team shot the whole thing on video for a documentary-style photo class, now showing at the Photoshop Insider Blog. Check it out and see what you learn. If nothing else, you’re bound to appreciate this glimpse inside the working world of a master like Maisel. You can watch the intro for free, but the entire class costs 25 bucks a month for access to all of Kelby’s training videos.

scottkelby.com

Jay Maisel is a “walking photographic legend.” We’d all do well to be taught by Jay. Even just to spend a day with him, walking the streets of New York while he shares his advice and photographic guidance, would likely lead to some level of photographic enlightenment. Well now we can all do that vicariously online thanks to Scott Kelby. The Photoshop... Read more

Behind the Scenes Portraits

The Strobist blog has long offered behind the scenes glimpses of how professional photographers utilize strobe lighting to create interesting images. Photographer Brad Trent has turned his behind the scenes portraits into more than that – a saleable personal shooting style. Now the two have teamed up for a Strobist post showcasing Mr. Trent and his interesting images. You see, he once found himself shooting a portrait and feeling fed up with the “fake reality” of it all. The artificial lighting, the contrived poses, all the setup just to look “natural.” So he decided to stop hiding it, and he backed up to show how he created the scene. Not only do the resulting images offer a glimpse for other photographers as to how he lights his editorial portraits, they make an artistic comment about perception versus reality, real identity compared to the carefully crafted visual identity put forth in commercial portraiture. Better still, it’s a look that art buyers must appreciate because they hire him for that very look. It’s all quite interesting and worth a read over at the Strobist site.

strobist.blogspot.com

Photograph © Brad Trent

The Strobist blog has long offered behind the scenes glimpses of how professional photographers utilize strobe lighting to create interesting images. Photographer Brad Trent has turned his behind the scenes portraits into more than that – a saleable personal shooting style. Now the two have teamed up for a Strobist post showcasing Mr. Trent and his... Read more
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Geared Tripod Heads

I like geared tripod heads. And it seems I’m one of the few. Every time I talk to other photographers about tripod preferences, they seem to like other setups – be it ballheads or twist and lock handles. In fact, a photographer friend recently borrowed my tripod and said he didn’t like the gears, proving my theory incorrect: I’d long thought most folks didn’t love geared tripod heads just because they’d never tried geared tripod heads. Guess not.

Which brings me to my point: there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to photo gear and personal preference. We like what we like, just because we like it. And that’s perfectly fine.

So let’s discuss why we like what we like. I want to know what kind of tripod heads you prefer. And why. And while we’re at it, what other gear do you feel like you just can’t live without?

I’ll start: I like geared tripod heads so much that when I work with other heads – ballheads or twist operated handles, for example – I’m frustrated when I can’t simply and efficiently make the subtle movements that I can with a geared head. Sure, geared heads are heavier, but for me that weight premium is a worthwhile sacrifice for the increased performance and precision.

So tell me: what gear do you love to love? What tools can’t you live without? What little slice of equipment heaven makes you wonder why every other photographer doesn’t use it too, just like I wonder how anybody gets by without a geared head?

I like geared tripod heads. And it seems I’m one of the few. Every time I talk to other photographers about tripod preferences, they seem to like other setups – be it ballheads or twist and lock handles. In fact, a photographer friend recently borrowed my tripod and said he didn’t like the gears, proving my theory incorrect: I’d long thought... Read more

Funny Crash Reports

When my computer locks up or a program crashes, sometimes I’m offered a crash report to fill out and send to the developer so that they can determine what went wrong—presumably to try to prevent it in the future. This usually happens at such an inopportune moment that my reports are often filled with vitriol. I hope nobdy in particular takes too much offense. After all, it sorta seems like I’m simply submitting them for another computer to read. Turns out that I’m not the only one who uses crash reports to get a little something off his chest. Photoshop user and apparently frustrated comedian Garrett Murray has turned his Photoshop CS4 crash reports into little works of comic art. Check out his Maniacal Rage blog for a new piece every few weeks—or whenever Photoshop crashes on him.

log.maniacalrage.net

When my computer locks up or a program crashes, sometimes I’m offered a crash report to fill out and send to the developer so that they can determine what went wrong—presumably to try to prevent it in the future. This usually happens at such an inopportune moment that my reports are often filled with vitriol. I hope nobdy in particular takes too... Read more

A commercial that doubles as a really interesting video.

Ever since I interviewed adventure photographer Tyler Stableford for a DPP profile a few years ago I’ve been a big fan of his work. Not only does Tyler create great pictures, he’s a downright master of the business and digital sides of photography. He apparently likes Lightroom, as he was tasked with using it recently on assignment for Adobe’s new 3.0 version of the software. The resulting commercial can be found on YouTube, and while it’s a sponsored advertisement, it’s also a really interesting look into how he works in the field as well as the digital workflow of a phenomenal photographer. Check it out.

youtube.com

Ever since I interviewed adventure photographer Tyler Stableford for a DPP profile a few years ago I’ve been a big fan of his work. Not only does Tyler create great pictures, he’s a downright master of the business and digital sides of photography. He apparently likes Lightroom, as he was tasked with using it recently on assignment for Adobe’s... Read more

Funding Photographic History

Tewfic Al-Sawy, The Travel Photographer, recently highlighted the work of an early 20th century photographic visionary by the name of Albert Kahn. Albert wasn’t a photographer, though, he was a banker. He funded a grand photographic project, sending 50 photographers around the world to utilize the new autochrome process to document the peoples of the world. It’s one of the earliest examples of color travel photography in the National Geographic tradition that I’ve ever seen, and both the story and the images are amazing. Read more at Tewfic’s Travel Photographer blog, and then check out more of the work Mr. Kahn brought into being at the web site of his museum and BBC-created book.

thetravelphotographer.blogspot.com

albertkhan.co.uk

Tewfic Al-Sawy, The Travel Photographer, recently highlighted the work of an early 20th century photographic visionary by the name of Albert Kahn. Albert wasn’t a photographer, though, he was a banker. He funded a grand photographic project, sending 50 photographers around the world to utilize the new autochrome process to document the peoples of... Read more

Soccer Photography, Sort Of

I may not be the world’s greatest soccer fan, but I know great photography when I see it. In the spirit of honoring the World Cup fever that’s sweeping the world these days, allow me to direct you to a captivating set of images from photographer Dean Dorat made during 2006’s World Cup. No, they’re not sports photographs. They’re photographs of people engrossed in the sport. It’s a phenomenal look at fandom, and just how important this game is to many, many people.

rachelhulin.com

I may not be the world’s greatest soccer fan, but I know great photography when I see it. In the spirit of honoring the World Cup fever that’s sweeping the world these days, allow me to direct you to a captivating set of images from photographer Dean Dorat made during 2006’s World Cup. No, they’re not sports photographs. They’re photographs... Read more

New Lightroom 3 is out now.

New Lightroom 3 is out now, and I got it on day 1.

New Lightroom 3 is out now, and I got it on day 1. Actually, I made the switch to Lightroom about six months back when I upgraded to a new desktop machine. The idea of allowing users to beta test prelease versions of software like this must be a brilliant one, because the morning last week when I walked in to my office to find a message from Adobe about... Read more

Astronomy!

I don’t know much about astronomy or even astronomical photography. But I know what I like, and I like the APOD site. I think you will too. It’s the Astronomy Picture Of the Day web site, and every day they upload a great photography from somewhere out there in the surprisingly beautiful universe, along with a description for us laymen written by a professional astronomer. One of my most recent favorites is an image of a silhouetted Space Shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station transiting the sun. It’s a phenomenal moment of objects we know by heart, yet still shown in a manner we’ve never seen before. I highly recommend adding the APOD site to your daily blogroll. You might even learn a little about astronomy along the way.

apod.nasa.gov

I don’t know much about astronomy or even astronomical photography. But I know what I like, and I like the APOD site. I think you will too. It’s the Astronomy Picture Of the Day web site, and every day they upload a great photography from somewhere out there in the surprisingly beautiful universe, along with a description for us laymen written... Read more