October 9th, 0845

Fall continues here in the midwest and the colors are just beginning to turn.   Perhaps the next week, or the week after, will produce a total turn of colors.  I'll try and be there.  How about you?   Have any of you in Thailand arranged to spend time in Tak, Mae Hong Son, town of Pai during early November when the trees turn color there?  It is such a beautiful region, and the small town of Pai is very welcoming.   Check out the five galleries I have in the Tak province for an idea of what Thailand offers during the fall season.   Other than the nicest islands, Pai offers the most romantic and serene environment you're likely to experience in the Kingdom.

Train your eyes to take in every small portion of an scene.   Don't let any portion of the frame go unexamined.   Look for color, exposure, direction of light, notice each leaf as it turns in the breeze.   Once you see everything then you're ready to makek your capture.   Examine again, exposure is an element of the composition.   Did you control this element for best effect?  After your best capture, stare at the image again.  Spend several days if you think it helps.   Once you see everything there is to see, now is the time to process the imamge and bring each segment of the frame to life as your eye wants it.   There is no right or wrong.  There is only vision.

 

Train your eyes to take in every small portion of an scene.   Don't let any portion of the frame go unexamined.   Look for color, exposure, direction of light, notice each leaf as it turns in the breeze.   Once you see everything then you're ready to makek your capture.   Examine again, exposure is an element of the composition.   Did you control this element for best effect?  After your best capture, stare at the image again.  Spend several days if you think it helps.   Once you see everything there is to see, now is the time to process the imamge and bring each segment of the frame to life as your eye wants it.   There is no right or wrong.  There is only vision.

Canon 5d Mark II, 24-70mm F2.8L USM,  @F5.6  1/100th  70mm  ISO 100

 

October 6th, 1205

This time of year you'll often hear photographers asking "when do the trees turn color?"   In my experience the most you can narrow it down to is a 3-4 week period.  It's really easy to miss.  Once the leaves turn, all it takes is a good wind to knock them to the ground and leave the trees bare.  Without wind they can hang on the tree for another 3-4 weeks.   So a lot of this is timing, hit or miss, you just need to go out there several times during the season until you hit on the right time.  Today I went out with my son and discovered we need another week or two until prime time.  Until then, please enjoy these three shots.  The first one my son captured.  I really like it.  The next two I captured.   Enjoy.

 

This time of year you'll often hear photographers asking "when do the trees turn color?"   In my experience the most you can narrow it down to is a 3-4 week period.  It's really easy to miss.  Once the leaves turn, all it takes is a good wind to knock them to the ground and leave the trees bare.  Without wind they can hang on the tree for another 3-4 weeks.   So a lot of this is timing, hit or miss, you just need to go out there several times during the season until you hit on the right time.  Today I went out with my son and discovered we need another week or two until prime time.  Until then, please enjoy these three shots.  The first one my son captured.  I really like it.  The next two I captured.   Enjoy.

Canon 5d Mark II, 24-70mm F2.8L USM, @F8 1/200th  70mm  ISO 400

 

Until then, please enjoy these three shots.  The first one my son captured.  I really like it.  The next two I captured.   Enjoy.

Canon 5d Mark II, 24-70mm F2.8L USM,  @F8  1/200th  66mm   ISO 400

 

Canon 5d Mark II, 24-70mm F2.8L USM,  @F8  1/640th  58mm  ISO 100

Canon 5d Mark II, 24-70mm F2.8L USM,  @F8  1/640th  58mm  ISO 100

 

October 5th, 1515

The Seagate Expansion External 3 TB USB 3.0 Hard Drive review is up!  Check it out, especialy if you're in the market for an external (or internal) 3tb drive. 

 

The Seagate Expansion External 3 TB USB 3.0 Hard Drive review is up!  Check it out, especialy if you're in the market for an external (or internal) 3tb drive.

 

October 5th, 0900

For those of you who have been asking if the Seagate Expansion External 3tb USB 3.0 drive for $119 with free shipping at Amazon is a good deal, the answer is yes.  While running tests today I cracked open the enclosure and discovered the internal drive is the 3TB Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 SATA 6Gb/s Hard Drive top model which is currently selling for $179 on Amazon in a bare bones configuration WITHOUT the external USB 3.0 enclosure, USB 3.0 cable, or power supply.  The performance numbers are impressive as well, roughly 3x as fast as my current 2tb SATA II/3gbps hard drives.  I'll cover them more specifically in an upcoming review.

 

For those of you who have been asking if the Seagate Expansion External 3tb USB 3.0 drive for $119 with free shipping at Amazon is a good deal, the answer is yes.  While running tests today I cracked open the enclosure and discovered the internal drive is the 3TB Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 SATA 6Gb/s Hard Drive top model which is currently selling for $179 on Amazon in a bare bones configuration WITHOUT the external USB 3.0 enclosure, USB 3.0 cable, or power supply.  The performance numbers are impressive as well, roughly 3x as fast as my current 2tb SATA II/3gbps hard drives.  I'll cover them more specifically in an upcoming review.

 

October 4th, 0315

Fedex, UPS, and the USPS have been busy today delivering new equipment.  I've received the new Quantum Instruments Pilot (for Canon), their new 26" Octobox, PS clamps, and a few misc odds and ends to complete a new lighting kit I'm putting together to assist in on-site environmental portraits.  This will be a 3 light kit, fully self-contained and battery operated, full wireless control of all three lights from the camera position, lighting modifers will include gels for temp control, standard reflectors, soft boxes, bare bulb, umbrellas, and some home-made modifiers.  Everything, including stands, will fit in one stand bag and one small camera bag.  I'll be testing this system in the next few weeks and I'll share my results with you both here, and in some new lighting tutorials.

Seagate Expansion 3 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drives STAY3000102. ($119 on Amazon with free 2 day shipping) I ordered and as I write this benchmark tests are being completed.  I can tell you already these are handsome smart looking drives, about as small as they can be made, in satin black high impact plastic enclosures that I at first thought was steel.  Two hours into full load benchmarking they're not generating unexpected temperatures, and in fact are remaining quite cool.  How does USB 3.0 work?  Well, I disassembled the enclosure and connected this drive to internal SATA ports and ran benchmarks, and now I'm just completing the same benchmarks with the drive back in the USB 3.0 enclosure, and there appears to be no difference in performance.  USB 3.0 is a welcome addition to the PC world and we're seeing more and more USB 3.0 devices on retail shelves every day.

There was however a few issues sorting out my motherboard provided USB 3.0 ports.  I've used USB 3.0 devices before without issue, but for the new Seagate drives I needed to update my USB 3.0 chipset's firmware.  This probably won't be an issue with motherboards sold in the last year or so, but my current motherboard is an older x58 chipset model and it was one of the first motherboards supporting USB 3.0 over 2 years ago, so it's reasonable it needed to be updated.   Fortunately Gigabyte made this very easy.

 

Seagate Expansion 3 TB USB 3.0 Desktop External Hard Drives STAY3000102. ($119 on Amazon with free 2 day shipping) I ordered and as I write this benchmark tests are being completed.  I can tell you already these are handsome smart looking drives, about as small as they can be made, in satin black high impact plastic enclosures that I at first thought was steel.

 

October 3rd, 0655

If you scroll down a few entries you'll see a fall picture of leaves I posted.  I processed that image on a color profiled laptop, but as I've always told you laptops cannot compare to a properly profiled desktop monitor.  You ask how much difference this could possibly make?  I just returned home and processed this image on my workstation with proper desktop monitors.  There is a signifcant difference, especially in reds which is a known deficiency of laptop monitors. 

 

If you scroll down a few entries you'll see a fall picture of leaves I posted.  I processed that image on a color profiled laptop, but as I've always told you laptops cannot compare to a properly profiled desktop monitor.  You ask how much difference this could possibly make?  I just returned home and processed this image on my workstation with proper desktop monitors.  There is a signifcant difference, especially in reds which is a known deficiency of laptop monitors.

Fuji x100  F8  1/160th  ISO 200

 

October 2nd, 1550

Bigjoe turns in a fun to read piece sharing how he broke, and then repaired his MacBookPro.  Using the www.ifixit.com site he was able to source parts and bring his MacBookPro back to life for about $50 when the Apple Service Center was unable to help him.  You'll enjoy reading this one..

 

Bigjoe turns in a fun to read piece sharing how he broke, and then repaired his MacBookPro.  Using the www.ifixit.com site he was able to source parts and bring his MacBookPro back to life for about $50 when the Apple Service Center was unable to help him.  You'll enjoy reading this one..

 

October 2nd, 1140

October across much of the USA starts the season of colors known as fall.  The stifling heat of summer rapidly diminishes to make way for the cold winds and shorter days.  The corn has long since been ready to harvest and the 'sweet' corn for human consumption is the first target for the large combines, with the seed corn waiting it's turn last in line.  The retail stores have started pushing warmer clothes and Halloween products are everywhere.  At the hardware stores lawnmowers are moved to the back as the new snowblower models go on display.  Pumpkins are everywhere.  The constant drone of lawn sprinklers have ceded to the gentle roar of prarie winds.  Fall is here folks, and we have one, maybe two, weekends to get out to countryside with our cameras and capture the breathtaking fall colors we look forward to each year.

Thailand has fall as well, it will come in late October throughout the Tak province and the beautiful mountains of Mae Ha Song.  Book your room in the small cottage town of Pai and be sure to bring a jacket to keep warm.  You'll find beautiful mountains full of trees turning color, rushing rivers, and some of the most welcoming folks in the Kingdowm.  Fall is here.  Get some.

 

Thailand has fall as well, it will come in late October throughout the Tak province and the beautiful mountains of Mae Ha Song.  Book your room in the small cottage town of Pai and be sure to bring a jacket to keep warm.  You'll find beautiful mountains full of trees turning color, rushing rivers, and some of the most welcoming folks in the Kingdowm.  Fall is here.  Get some.

Fuji x100  F8  1/160th  ISO 200

 

October 1st, 0720

JTG sends in this quote from Ira Glass, a popular radio and television personality and producer of the hit television series "This American Life."  JTG feels the quote is germane to those learning photography.  I agree.

"Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through."

 

September 29th, 1605

Ordering a Amazon Kindle Fire?  I am.  And I tell you why in this short to the point piece.  How about you?

 

Ordering a Amazon Kindle Fire?  I am.  And I tell you why in this short to the point piece.  How about you?

 

September 29th, 1435

Adobe has just released it's latest versions of Lightroom 3.5, and ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) 6.5. You can get get both here at Adobe's download page.


 

Adobe has just released it's latest versions of Lightroom 3.5, and ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) 6.5.  You can get get both here at Adobe's download page.

 

September 29th, 0300

I just put up a Featured Photograph called "Photoshop Meets an Unremarkable Image" where the subject focuses on an image which met part of my clients requirements, and Photoshop allowed me to meet the rest.  It's not an uncommon occurrence and these are essential skills every photographer can benefit from.

 

I just put up a Featured Photograph called "Photoshop Meets an Unremarkable Image" where the subject focuses on an image which met part of my clients requirements, and Photoshop allowed me to meet the rest.  It's not an uncommon occurrence and these are essential skills every photographer can benefit from.

Fuji x100 F8 1/500th ISO 320