I've had a lot of questions from Photographers (and photographer's family members) about what would make a good holiday stocking stuffer. Here's a fun list of books, gear and training materials that will make any photographer on your list happy this holiday season.Read More
I just returned home from Moab to see my good friends at ON1 have released Photo Raw 2018 and they're offering a 30-day free trial. I've been using the 2018 Beta for a while and loving it. Here's what's new and exciting about the software.
- HDR processing: that is easy, intuitive and capable of generating a really natural looking linear HDR file.
- Versions: The software has tremendous power to process and finish edit your RAW files, now you can edit each file multiple ways without creating extra physical files.
- Noise Reduction Brushing: The ability to paint noise reduction into problematic shadows with precision masking on raw files is really exciting and a huge time saver from my old workflow.
- Panoramic Mergers: You can select your panorama files and merge them right from Browse with a few simple clicks.
- Masking Enhancements: My favorite thing about Photo RAW 2017 was the ability to do precision masking non-destructively on my raw files. Photo RAW 2018 takes that to another level with simple sliders for the density and feather of those masks along with improved luminosity masking controls.
- Speed and Stability: Overall things just seem faster and more stable. I can honestly say I haven't had a crash using Photo RAW 2018 even in it's Beta forms.
If you, or someone you know is looking for an intuitive, powerful, full-function photo editing and organizing platform, then you should download the 30-day trial and take it for a spin.
I can't wait for this weekend's workshop to kick off Friday. The place is special. Silver Falls State Park in Oregon’s Willamette Valley is known as the crown jewell of our state park system. I grew up hiking and swimming in it’s lush canyons and it remains one of my favorite places to photograph to this day. At 9,200 acres it’s Oregon’s largest state park and it’s trail of 10 waterfalls is surely one of the most beautiful hikes in our very scenic state.
Silver Falls is nestled into the foothills of Oregon’s Cascade mountains just east of the picturesque town of Silverton. The famous rolling farmland and vineyards of the Willamette Valley spread out from Silverton to the west. Inside the park multiple road access points intersect the 7-mile Trail of Ten Falls which winds through Silver Creek’s densely forested, rocky canyons and even traverses through caverns behind some of the larger waterfalls on the route.
We finally have some much needed rains falling right now to recharge the waterfalls and help the firefighters up north in the Gorge, but the forecast is for sun and partly cloudy skies this weekend. The group of students coming is a blend of new and old friends that I can't wait to back photographing with. There are two spots remaining. If you have the time and would like to join. Feel free to email me for more information.
Looking for part 1? Click here.
I've had a lot of people asking me how to best attach their still camera to a new fluid head. I created this shorter video to just focus on how the fluid head, tripod and camera connect. Let me know if you have any further questions.
In case you missed it, here is my first video showcasing why I prefer fluid heads to do still photography.
Here's everything you need to get your camera on the fluid head:
- Manfrotto 500AH fluid head: Amazon B&H
- Large Arca-Swiss style clamp (attach to Manfrotto rail): Amazon B&H
- Small Arca-Swiss style clamp (clamps in large clamp): Amazon B&H
To easily flip from horizontal to vertical compositions, you will need an Arca-swiss style L-bracket for your camera. I prefer the Kirk Enterprises L-brackets made for each camera body I have, but Universal L-brackets can work:
To level the head to your own tripod with a flat plate or center column you also need one of these between them:
If you want to have the most optimized fluid head setup possible, then get a bowl tripod and adaptor like these:
That was amazing! The eclipse has come and gone and I'm still buzzed just remembering how cool totality was. The predawn rush to beat traffic and the 6-hour, 40-mile drive home were worth it. Now I understand how eclipse chasers catch the bug.
My goal from the beginning was to enjoy the eclipse with family, friends and my workshop students while capturing a composite landscape image of it moving through its phases over an oak tree. For curious photographers, I created a video where I explain how I photographed this and showcase the simple compositing technique I used for both ON1 Photo Raw and Photoshop users. That video will be available for free in the ON1 Plus community where I coach.
After three long days of practicing eclipse capture techniques and photographing around Portland and the Columbia River Gorge, my workshop students met up with my family for the 3:45AM drive down I-5 into the zone of totality. The drive was surreal with dense traffic all driving south together in the dark. Traffic thinned as we left Salem and entered the rolling farmland to the southeast on route to a lone oak tree I had scouted on a friend's family farm in Stayton, Oregon.
We brought our sprinter van and 6 cars full of people, gear, snacks, lawn chairs and eclipse glasses to a remote bean-field. All of us had plenty of time to set our composition and check our equipment before the eclipse began. As the sun got dimmer and dimmer the 80 degree day got colder and colder. About 5 minutes before totality I had to run to the van for a puffy coat.
Eclipse glasses were mandatory right up until the last second when the sun winked out behind the black disc of the moon and we took the glasses off our eyes and the filters off our lenses. I heard a cacophony of gasps and exclamations from the group. The horizon and sky 360 degrees around us changed to that dusk-like gradient from orange to dark blue with bright stars and planets clearly visible. The birds became silent and crickets started chirping. Radiating from behind the black moon above, the sun's corona was mesmerizing as it created moving waves of light within the surreal short soft shadows all around us. I was so moved that I nearly forgot to trigger the exposures on my two cameras.
All too soon the sun emerged on the other side of the moon. Glasses and filters redeployed we uncorked some mid-day champagne and reveled in how amazing the whole thing was. I'm hooked. There's another total eclipse setting just to the south of Buenos Aires in a year and a half. I'm already reasearching taking a group down to see and photograph it. Stay tuned.
I'm happy to have provided images for my friend Scott Briscoe's recently published article on Nature and the Opportunity to Build Diverse Coalitions. It's up on Patagonia's blog The Cleanest Line and I hope you'll take a moment to read it.
Scott and I met on Denali while filming An American Ascent, the award winning documentary film about the first all African American climbing team to take on America's highest peak. Energized and informed by his experience on Denali as part of this team, Scott has become more and more engaged in increasing the diversity of the coalition of people standing up for the environment.
Scott, the article is great and I'm proud to call you my friend. Patagonia, you're corporate ethos is an example to be held up. Loved the stand you took in Utah at O.R. this year. Keep up the good work everyone.
In this follow-up video to my first eclipse video, I discuss some safety considerations, gear, findings from my practice sessions preparing for the eclipse and some techniques and tips for you to consider when you practice with your gear for the event.
This August 21st a total solar eclipse will cross the United States from Oregon to South Carolina. This is a huge event and a great opportunity for us photographers.
The last time a total eclipse was visible from this country outside of Alaska or Hawaii was 1979 in the Pacific Northwest. February clouds unfortunately obscured it.
In this video, I’ll explain why this total solar eclipse is so special, share some online maps and electronic scouting tools to help you plan where and how to photograph it, go over what gear you’ll need to get the best eclipse images possible and talk about some camera settings and technical strategies to capture those images. (Links are below)Read More
This little light is impressive. It's built to abuse, ridiculously powerful, waterproof, tiny, affordable and energy efficient. After testing it out, it's earned a spot in my bag. In this 5 minute video review I'll show you why.
Get one for your next adventure: