Category: Tips & How To

Nikon D800 video of Disneyland Christmas Lights Display

Kevin used a Nikon D800 with a 50mm F1.4 Nikkor lens to capture this great video of the Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle Christmas Lights Display.

Video is courtesy of the Kevin NguyenTu YouTube Channel


Posted by: Vincent Banial

Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner. There could be unintentional errors or omissions in this post. Always refer to the official sites to confirm details and any ongoing changes or updates. This post is subject to change without notice.


Sony A7S Seminar by Philip Bloom, renown DSLR Filmmaker

Philip Bloom is a renown for his DSLR filmmaking.

B&H filmed a seminar on the Sony A7S camera, which they held in their store. B&H Photo is a Photo & Video superstore in New York, which is known around the world. In the 41 minute long seminar, Philip Bloom details the menus and features of the Sony A7S Mirrorless Camera, with tons of tips on how to get better quality results.

Video is courtesy of the B and H YouTube Channel


Posted by: Vincent Banial

Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner. There could be unintentional errors or omissions in this post. Always refer to the official sites to confirm details and any ongoing changes or updates. This post is subject to change without notice.

Fake ice cubes for shooting liquids

We’ve all seen liquor ads which featured a superbly lit glass full of liquor, splashing over amazing ice cubes.

Grants Whiskey, behind the scenes from David Lund on Vimeo.

 Homemade “real” ice cubes straight out of your freezer, never look like the ice cubes in ads. They also melt.

One source of superb fake ice cubes is the Ice Prop Shop.

Their premier line is made up of “handmade” ice cubes. They come in small, medium and large sizes. Shapes include Freeform, Rectangular and Wedges. The prices for the handmade freeform ice cubes is between $40 to $50.

Their more cost effective line are the machine made Display Ice Cubes. Single cubes cost under $2 each and are available in small, medium and large groups for under $20 for each size.

They also have packets of small fake ice granules for realistic crushed ice effects.

Also check out their unique ice cubes. These are large 4 inch cubes and may be sold out by the time you read this.

The Ice Prop Shop solves the problem of finding really high quality fake ice cubes. Hope that this post helps out our readers wanting to try shooting some liquids and ice pics…


Posted by: Vincent Banial

Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner. There could be unintentional errors or omissions in this post. Always refer to the official sites to confirm details and any ongoing changes or updates. This post and any offer mentioned in it is also subject to change without notice.

Photoshop on Chromebooks ? Photoshop on Linux ?

Adobe is developing a streaming version of Photoshop which will run on Chromebooks.

Adobe calls this new version: “Project Photoshop Streaming”.

Since Streaming Photoshop will reside on remote Adobe Servers, your typical Chromebook will be able to use it.

Photoshop will stream from the Adobe’s Cloud Service and will “not” take up any space on your Chromebook. Processing Power will also be provided by Adobe’s Servers, again allowing your (comparatively low powered) Chromebook to run Photoshop.

As a bonus, all Photoshop updates will be automatic.

What about the actual photo files, which you will edit? They will “not” be stored on your Chromebook, taking up tons of storage space.  Your photo files will reside on Google Drive. The edited versions will also be stored to Google Drive.

So processing power will n0t be an issue. Theoretically you could also have unlimited storage space on your comparatively low powered, light and very portable  Chromebook. Running Photoshop Streaming will also “not dramatically drain” your Chromebook’s battery, because all processing will be performed on Adobe’s Servers.

Since Project Photoshop Streaming  will be streamed to the Chrome Web Browser on your Chromebook, guess what, it possibly could also stream to your Chrome Web Browser running under Linux. Once out of BETA, this could become the first version of Photoshop to run in a native Linux environment!!!

Oh, this Streamed version of Photoshop will also work on any Windows based laptop (or desktop) which is running Google’s Chrome Web Browser.

So are you interested yet???

As I stated earlier, this Streamed version of Photoshop is still in BETA. To gain access to this BETA you will need to meet Adobe’s “eligibility requirements” which include being in North America and having both a paid Creative Cloud subscription and also being a Adobe Education Customer.

Click on this line to view the full Individual Eligibility and Institutional Eligibility and Application Process details.


Posted by: Vincent Banial

Disclaimer: Any Trademarks mentioned in this post are owned by the respective Trademark owner. There could be unintentional errors or omissions in this post. Always refer to the official sites to confirm details and any ongoing changes or updates. This post is also subject to change without notice.

Legged Support System. Would make a great Accessory for Landscape, Wildlife and Bird Photographers

A backpack filled with Camera Gear can weigh a ton.

The weight of the equipment is the one common complaint amongst Landscape, Wildlife and Bird photographers.

What if you did not have to carry all that stuff?

Yes you could bring it all (and more), just use the new Legged Support System.

Continue reading

Remote cameras and Tigers

Earlier this year I crashed my remote controlled Helicopter. I had this insane idea to use it to shoot really expensive exotic cars.

After the crash, the idea of mixing the remote helicopter and exotic cars costing more than your average home, was dismissed. The insurance rates alone could not justify continuing the experiment.

Had that helicopter actually  crashed into and damaged a hyper expensive exotic,  I probably would not be typing this.

I use remote flash triggers to enable older potato masher flash units to work with new DSLR cameras, and so remote camera rigs fascinate me.

The following video demos a great use for a remote control vehicle and a camera rig.

Wonder if the local zoo would allow such an item into the Tiger enclosure?

Much thanks must go out to the good folks at Peta Pixel:

How to kill your Blog. Just move it to a new URL

Moving to a different URL can kill your Blog or website.

How do I know?

I just moved this blog, to this new URL.

The Blog name had changed since I first set it up and I wanted the URL to reflect the name.

I had read web posts, that self hosting can also kill your blog because the URL would be changed.

The Search Engines, like Google, live in a world filled with URLs.

Millions of new URLs are created daily.

To get noticed by the major Search Engines is not easy. To get their Spiders to visit on a regular basis is even harder.

Things were going rather well for this Blog with the old URL. Now it’s pretty much dead.

I had hoped that the Spiders would go thru all the old posts and give the new URL the same number of referrals as before. Not the case.

Before, this blog was hitting page one of search results and on a regular basis. Now, this blog does not even show up in search results.

Essentially the move killed it and quickly.

There is also the issue of duplicate posts. I have removed all the posts from the old URL.

The thing is, those posts are still listed in the Search Engines.

Having identical posts on two sites is apparently a great way to get banished by the Search Engines. So things could still get worse.

Maybe I should have waited with the URL change, till I started to self host the blog…

Apple has released OS X Mavericks as a Free Upgrade for Mac owners running Snow Leopard or newer

Apple’s OS X is their Mac operating system. The latest and greatest version has now been released. This new version of Apple OS X is called Mavericks.

Apple Mac owners can upgrade to OS X Mavericks for “free” if they already have OS X Snow Leopard (10.6.8), Lion (10.7) or Mountain Lion (10.8).

For those still running OS X Leopard then you have to upgrade to Snow Leopard and then you will be able to get the latest OS X Mavericks upgrade for free.

Click on the following to get details about Apple’s OS X Mavericks.

Click on the following for details about system requirements to be able to upgrade to OS X Mavericks.

Making your Wacom Graphics Tablet work on Windows

Newer versions of Windows may think that you are using a Tablet PC when you connect your Wacom Graphics Tablet, which can create some issues.
offers a solution for Wacom Intuos and Bamboo Graphics Tablet users.

Click on the following link to view his Vimeo video titled Make your Wacom Tablet work on Windows.

Adobe Camera Raw 8.2 works in Photoshop Elements 11

I manually installed version 8.2 of Adobe Camera Raw into Photoshop Elements version 11.

Again, the install was done manually.

I first downloaded the new Adobe Camera Raw 8.2 from Adobe’s site. I then extracted the Camera Raw file and renamed the 1003 file to Camera Raw.8bi.

Since PS Elements 11 is 32bit, I used the 32bit version of Camera Raw.

I DID NOT DELETE the original PS Elements 11 camera raw file.  I saved it, by moving it to another BUP folder which I had created. I copied the Camera Raw 8.2 version to where the old one had been.

Started up Elements 11 and loaded a RAW file. That opened up Adobe Camera Raw 8.2 (displayed ACR 8.2 in the top left corner) and it converted the RAW file.

NOTE: you do not get any of the extra Camera Raw functionality  that you would get if you had used PS CS6 or PS CC.

The converted file was sent into the Photoshop Elements 11 Editor. The Elements Editor recognized the file and I was able to edit and save it.

There was no noticeable difference in processing speed between using the ACR 8.2 and the version of ACR which installed with Photoshop Elements 11.

How did I learn of this being possible?

As I have often posted, Google is your Friend.

Dixie Dixon interview including a selection of her Commerical Fashion photography

I’m jealous! Fstoppers pulled off something rather special.

Ok, I am not actually jealous. Kudos to fstoppers for interviewing Dixie Dixon, an amazing photographer. Continue reading

Dixie Dixon. One seriously amazing photographer

Last week I was lucky enough to catch a Fashion Shooting session held by Dixie Dixon with  CreativeLIVE.

She was shooting tethered, so you could see her shots as they came out of the camera (no post processing). Strikingly beautiful photos straight out of the camera.

Dixie Dixon detailed what she was doing and why. You saw the lighting setup and she explained whenever she changed something.

She had really great rapport with her models, which is real important.

Just found out that Dixie Dixon is also a Nikon Ambassador. I mention that because it could mean that she will very likely be holding more shooting sessions, which one can join over the internet.

Keep an eye on the Dixie Dixon Facebook Page page for any upcoming opportunity to catch her doing her magic. You’ll learn a lot.

Clutts Agency had posted a brief behind the scenes video of the Dixie Dixon Beverly Drive Magazine shoot. Fun to watch.

Her Tumbr Blog has some stuff which might be of interest. In one entry, she diagrams and discusses a lighting setup for the photo shown.

Also check out her Dixie Dixon website, to see a number of her photos, get an idea of the gear she uses and lots of other things

Seriously amazing photographer.

Get a signed Model Release or face the possibility of getting sued.

Editorial Use and Commercial Use are two different things.

A New York women was informed by a friend, that her likeness was featured in an advertisement about people who are HIV positive.

In big red letters, beside her image, were the words “I AM POSITIVE (+)”. The implication was that she had tested as being HIV +.

I found about this, from a post on Drudge Report.

They had linked to a New York Post article about it.

The ads were being run by a New York State Government department.

Unfortunately the Photographer did not have a signed Model Release for such use of that image.

The Photographer claimed that the photo was initially provided to the reknown stock photo  agency, for use in a magazine Editorial.

How it came to be used for Commercial purposes, will likely come out in Manhattan Superior Court.

The lady has filed a $450,000 law suite against the stock photo agency, which had provided the photo for this advertisement because they did not have a signed Model Release to permit said use.

An old saying states : Getting a Model Release upfront can save you a lot of potential Headache in the future.

Moral of the story: Always get a signed Model Release.

Concert Photography Tips for those who want to be a Concert Photog

I smile at posts made by those who publicly share their strong desire to become “Concert Photographers”. Time for that person to re-evaluate their business plan, but I’m getting a bit ahead of myself..

Simply take the minimum wage in your area. Multiple that hourly minimum wage by 2,000, which is approx the number of hours one would work in one year.

The result is the minimum amount of money that you should earn as a Concert Photographer. Anything less than that total amount and you would be way better off finding a minimum wage job, in say the Fast Food Industry.

Continue reading

Adobe DNG Convertor 8.2 released. Supports new cameras

Along with Lightroom 5.2, Adobe has released their DNG Convertor 8.2.This is great for those who are using an older version of Photoshop (or Lightroom) but need to convert RAW files from one of the newer cameras. Just convert the Raw file to DNG format and it will load into an older version of Photoshop.

Just click on the following link to Download Adobe’s DNG Convertor 8.2.

What are Photo Credits really worth?

Photographers often get asked for their images. Rarely do such requests include any mention of payment of “money”, to acquire a license to use said image or images.

More often then not, such requests will inform the Photographer (ie the copyright owner) that they will receive a “Photo Credit” for the use of an image or images.

Continue reading

Does having more Megapixels in a DSLR, really make much of a resolution difference?

What is the resolution difference, between a 4 Megapixel DSLR and a 16 Megapixel DSLR?

My opinion is that there is little visual difference. Resolution is not linear. Your 16 Megapixel DSLR has the potential, to only have “twice” the resolution of your 4 Megapixel DSLR. Both cameras would need to be tested with the exact same lens. Continue reading

Top Tip to dramatically improve your concert photos

The band called Chilliwack in concert. Photo credit

Chilliwack. Photo credit

Concert photography is for those who have a day job. An income stream from shooting concerts,  can be a figment of your imagination. Yet, many folks are drawn to it.

The Drummer for the band called The Sheepdogs, in concert. Photo credit

The Sheepdogs. Photo credit

The Cell Phone has enabled more and more people to shoot concerts. Stage lighting has also improved, which allows for better cell phone and Point & Shoot camera shots. Digital cameras and zoom lens open up even more possibilities. Finally the high-end DSLRs keep getting better and better at Hi ISO shooting.

Photo of Elisapie Isaac in concert. Photo credit

Elisapie Isaac. Photo credit

I’ve seen amazing concert pics taken with cell phones and point and shoots. Remember, the camera is just the tool. It’s the human, that makes the photo.

The Drummer for the band called the Mudmen. Photo credit

Mudmen. Photo credit

Having said that, there is one thing that can dramatically change your concert pics. My suggestion to you, is to get closer to your subject. Use your feet to get closer to the stage. Use longer zooms to also get you closer.

Suzie McNeil in concert. Photo credit

Suzie McNeil. Photo credit

The one thing these photos have in common, is that I got in close to the subjects. Being rather tight shots, they stand out from typical concert pics.  It is also something that I have to constantly remind myself about, when I’m actually out shooting.

Platinum Blonde in concert. Photo credit

Platinum Blonde. Photo credit

When you get close, watch where the microphone is. Better to shoot from the side, to help reduce potential for “microphone mouth”. Drummers are the hardest to get close shots of.

When you get in close, you also instantly get rid of any distractions,  in the background of the shot.

Try my suggestion at the next concert that you shoot…

Phil Harvey has posted an update to his ExifTool. Now at ver 9.28.

The free ExifTool by Phil Harvey is a handy piece of software. For example, it allows one to change the Exif data from a Nikon D7100 Photo, to read that it is from a Nikon D5200. Doing that little change allows older version of the Adobe camera Raw to open Nikon D7100 files, without having to buy the latest version of Photoshop with Camera Raw support for the Nikon D7100.

A new version of ExifTool (v9.28) was posted by Phil Harvey this weekend. You can download the latest version by clicking on the following link: ExitTool by Phil Harvey

UPDATE Sept 22 2013: Phil Harvey’s ExifTool is now up to version 9.37

Dear Photographer …Kindest regards, Model. xxx by Jen Brook

In mid March Jen Brook created a post on her Blog called: Dear Photographer …Kindest regards, Model. xxx

If you have never had a shoot with a Model, then her post will be a real insight to read. Those who have had photo shoots with Models will also get an inside perspective from the Model.

In such a situation both the Photog and the Model can really make the photos stand out – or not.  Both parties will likely be nervous at first, especially if they had not worked together before. Continue reading

Older versions of Windows Internet Explorer may have issues displaying this blog.

I would like to thank all those who have left comments, to let me know about their Internet Explorer Web Browser having issues with this Blog . 

My understanding is that the latest version 10 of Internet Explorer, from Microsoft, is very compatible with HTML 5. If you are running an older version of Windows (like XP), then you will likely be using Internet Explorer version 8, or older. Such older versions of Internet Explorer have far less HTML 5 code compatibility. Continue reading

Nikon D7100 Raw files. How to make Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom read Nikon D7100 RAW files

The new Nikon D7100 can be purchased. Raw shooters may have some issues with their workflow. Adobe Camera Raw does not yet support the Nikon D7100.  View NX2 does support the D7100. Some say that the release candidate of Adobe Camera Raw does support the D7100. While others say that it does not, but the final release could.

One way around this situation, might be to change the exif data to state that the NEF files was created by a Nikon D5200 instead of the D7100. Both cameras seems to use a similar sensor. This suggestion might be a temporary workaround. The way that Adobe Camera Raw will finally handle a D7100 RAW file, may be quite different from a D5200 RAW file. Continue reading

Shooting 4K RAW Video at up to 60 FPS using a $400 Nikon 1 V1 mirrorless camera.

English: Nikon 1 V1 with Nikon FC-E9 fisheye l...

English: Nikon 1 V1 with Nikon FC-E9 fisheye lens. Русский: Nikon 1 V1 с объективом «рыбий глаз» Nikon FC-E9. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You can pay $12,500 CDN for the Canon EOS-1D C which can shoot 4K JPEG Video at 24 FPS. Or you can pay $400 CDN for the Nikon 1 V1 Mirrorless camera and shoot 4K RAW video at up to 60 FPS. Continue reading