May 7th, 0229

Friends, the last few months have been extremely busy for me on a personal front.  I haven't had time to pick up a camera much less write articles and keep this site updated.  You have my sincerest apologies for my neglect.  This has been one of those "family comes first" times in my life and I hope you can see your way clear to returning to our site to read the new articles I plan on publishing perhaps as early as the first week in June.

 

 

 

 

April 16th, 0500

Ad0be releases a Public Beta of the new Lightroom 5.  You can get a copy here.  This is a major upgrade with many new features. Keep in mind the worlk you do in a a public beta and your catalog entries WILL NOT transfer to  a release version in the future.

 

 

 

 

April 3rd, 0015

Adobe releases Lightroom 4.4 final and ACR 7.4 Final.  The latest versions include Raw support for 25 additional cameras, including the Nikon D7100, Canon EOS 100D, Fujifilm X100s and Sony SLT-A58.  Corrections to the demosaicing algorithms for  Fujifilm X-Trans and EXR sensor cameras are included along with several new lens profiles.   You can get Lightroom here, and ACR here.

 

 

 

February 26th,  1140

Adobe releases  Lightroom 4.4RC and Adobe Camera Raw 7.4RC.  which incorporates fixes for hundreds of bugs and specifically for support of Fuji's  X-Trans sensor models, including the X-Pro1 and X-E1. You can get Lightroom 4.4RC here, and Adobe 7.4RC here.

 

 

 

February 2, 1800

This month we bring you seven full length articles starting with "Semper Fi Marine" showing some portraits from a recent Christmas shoot and the difficult circumstances under which they were captured. 

 

 

Khun Klit is back this month with his every-man's reportage from his travels through "Champasak in Laos" which is interesing. 

 

 

World traveler and perhaps the most interesting man in the world Akulka is back with some great image captured during the "Tanna-The Toka Festival."

 

 

And yours truely, BkkSteve was recently tasked with building  and evaluting Lenovo's famed W530 laptop built with photography as it's primary role, and gives you step by step instructionss for installing what is currently the fastest and highest capacity MSATA SSDd into this awesome workstation.  The review is here "Lenovo W530 THinkpad Laptop Workstation w/Adata 256gb X300 MSATA SATAIII/6gbps SSD."

 

 

We also bring you the News rom the month of December 2nd through January 2nd 2013.  Seven interesting photography related stories you won't want to miss.

 

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Our Q&A this month finds Amateur Photographer Rod C. with a bunch of great new lighting equipment trying to use it to get great pictures of his beautiful wife and fearsome looking dog.  I suspect we'll be on this subject for a few months, so if small portable high quality lighting is of interest to you, check back next month too! 

 

 

And finally yours truly BkkSteve once again pens a fun Thailand Photo Story about my wishful experience with Polaroid's new Land Camera back in the 80's where I was a patrol police officer for a large SoCal city. ::"My First Polaroid."

 

January 16th, 1400

I just put up our comprehensive review of Lenovo's W530 laptop workstation designed with photographers and heavy power users in mind.  This was fun to build and even more fun to use.  It's Geeksbench 2.3.4 pro benchmark score of 12,544 puts it above all but the fastests Ivy Bridge Desktops.  A great computer, a unexpected low price-point, and a very intelligent design puts th W530 at the top of anyones list.

 

 

January 8th, 0245

Dana's interview was short a question and Dana just answered that question and sent it in.   I ammended his inteview accordingly and you can find it posted at the end of "Dana Unplugged, The Interview."

 

 

January 2nd, 1100

Today on special request the mother of a young Marine asked if I could make a nice portrait of her and her son in his dress blues.   I'm not set up for portraits at the moment, especially for indoor portraits which is made all the more important as I watch the mercury dip into the single digits.  But when  a young Marine requests a portrait of him and his mother you don't make excuses simply because Marines never make excuses.  Not ever.   With that decision made we head out into the afternoon weather peaking at 15f and looked for a good spot for a portrait.  Operating my Canon with gloves was an experience worth  having as well.  As we drove through the downtown area full of trendy pubs and restaurants serving the university an abandoned outdoor eating area caught my eye and the rest is history.  I hope you like it.

 

Canon 5D Mark II, 24-70mm f2.8L  @F5.6  1/160th  70mm  ISO200

Two Quantum T5DR Q-Flashes, 2x2 Turbo battery, Compact Turbo Battery, Two FW7Q Freewire Wireless Receivers,

controlled by a Co-pilot Wireless Transceiver/Controller all shot bare bulb. One light was shot in ETTL and the other Manual.

One of my most popular advanced workshops centers around learning to use external flash devices and controllers during various ambient light conditions such as the full daylight in the shot above, when it's dark or even low light.  When you can control your own light a world of possibilities opens up which allows you to create ANY shot you can envision in your minds eye.  I've been considering a short series of tutorials anyone can use to create images like the one above.  Let me know if you're interested as I know this subject is a bit more advanced then the average user of this site might enjoy.   But  if you'd enjoy it I'd be glad to write the articles.

 

January 1st, 1000

As another year starts and Thailand's expatriates stumble out of bed after a hard night celebrating New Years Eve, greeted by a brisk (for Bangkok) morning temperature I can't help but be reminded of my own such mornings.  I loved my apartment, 20 odd floors up a 32 story building with nothing higher or even close for 4-5km all around, I had complete unobstructed views in all directions.  From my apartment  We could look out in three directions.  With the big windows open a cool breeze would move through the offices, through th dining room, into the living room and out the bedrooms on the other side.  From my vantage point I could see in all directions, sometimes I felt there wasn't another place like it anywhere.

 

 

On mornings such as this one the brisk breeze would move end to end through the apartment making sure you were awake and ready for whatever new adventure you decided to undertake.    From mid-Decemher through mid-February such days were common and I'd find myself on the road heading for yet another site peviously unknown.    Life in the Mid-west is different.  This afternoon we piled in the all-wheel drive iSubaru Sedan, but not before starting up the snowblower and moving the snow off the driveway so we could get the car out.  With a  cold 13 degrees activities will be limited and the roads even more so. 

Enjoy your time in Thailand, enjoy the weather and as the song  'Auld Lang Syne ' tells us to enjoy good times gone by with friends and family I wish you a very Happy New Year 2013.  I'l be back to visit in a few months and I can't wait!

 

December 24th, 1050

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy Hannukah!  I worked hard to come up with something resembling a column oveor a week early to be posted on Christmas Eve.  Thank you Tom Tweedel, Dana, Stick and the others who made it possible.  In this months column we have "Is It All ABout The Planning?", a fun piece that examines what it took to capture one of my favorite images.  Next we have "DANA UNPLUGGED, An Interview." If you've ever wanted to learn more about Dana, his background, and what he thinks about Photography you won't want to miss this special interview.  Tom Tweedel dug deep this month and turned out to fine tutorials titled "Use Your Illusions" and "Water Proof Camera Bags."  And I wanted to share m thoughts on a very important topic in my country over this last week "What Woud Have Prevented The Sandy Hook Ct School Shootings."

 

 

I wanted to thank Dana for his interview and his wonderful Thailand Photo Stories.   Khun Klit, Big Joe, Tom Tweedel, Charles, RIck, Jodi (JTG), and all those who submitted Readers Submissions, Readers Questions, and who gave life to this site one way or the other.  Our numbers continue to grow with 400-500 hits a day from all over the world.  Thank you!

 

December 15th, 0440

By now most of you have heard of the school shooting in Sandy Hook, CT which took over 28 lives (and counting) and of those over 22 were children.  Young children between the ages of 5-8 years old.  Our hearts go out to their families and of course they'll be in our prayers.  But today I'm angry.  Angry because we never talk about what will really protect our children regardless of politics.  As I sat watching the horrid scenes on televiiosn, bodies being removed, scared survivors, police running around in SWAT gear with automatic weapons, I took out my frustastion on the keyboard and wrote "What Would Have Prevented The Sandy Hook, CT School Shootings?

I'm interested in your feedback on this one.  Please leave your feedback ikn the comments section.

 

 

December 14th, 0010

I just put up a short Thailand Photo Story you mind have fun reading titled  "Is It All In The Planning?" 

Adobe releases their final release of version 4.3.  I've installed it and so far so good on three machines.  You can get yours here.

 

December 1st, 1430

I hope my input on this page will pick up soon, look for more talk about the new cameras we've seen released recently and we'll be talking about things you usually won't see much of, such as ensuring a satisfactory warranty return and how to deal with their customer servicie representatives.  I have many ideias and until refently not much time.

This month we have six new articles.  I wrote a short piece titled "In Contrast" which takes a look at what differnces you'll see in images taken in cities in the east and west.  Khun Kliot follows up wiht an interesting travel piece "Pakse, Located At the Confluence of the Mekong and Se Don Rivers."   A rather long article titles "USA Expectations Realized" is my look at a 25+ year Asia Expat and a 10+ Thailand Expat who I tried to anticipate the major differences between living in Thailand as compared to living in the USA.   News For The Months of September 2nd through December 1st, 2012 is also posted.   We have some interesting questions titled "How Do Pros Travel Airlines, WD Media Player." And Dana has been generous with us by writing another Thailand Photo Stories titled "Thinking and Ponderintg."   I'm reallly enjoying this series of stories by Dana, some of his best writing yet!

 

 

November 10th, 0100

My reponse in a critique forum early this morning I thought might be of value here:

What was your purpose in posting, to learn you had a wonderful image or to become a better photographer through critique?
A wonderful image needs no confirmation.  You'll just know because really your opinion is the only possible way to arrive at this conclusion for longer than a quick moment.  Once you start adding opinions other than your own invariably you'll start collecting opinions different than your own.   A "wonderful image" therefore can exist in singular minds only.  Once shared in the collective such an opinion, sadly. becomes impossible.
I'd say one is meaningless other than to yourself, while the other holds potential value beyond yourself.  And this is why you post an image in the critique area.

 

November 6th, 1700

I just put up an article titled Expectations USA Realized.  After 18 months back in the USA I've formed my impressions and opinions about the differences of living in Thailand and living in the USA.  Some of my opinions are hard hitting with nothing held back, others you can feel I'm soft on.  In the coming months I'm going ot use this list to discover how I really feel on certain issues.  Give it a read and let me know how you feel about these differences.

 

 

November 3rd, 2030,

This month there will be no new column or new content.  I've been feeling under the weather and I didn' t have much content coming in so I decided to take this month off and we'll resume with a great new column on December 1st.

I've had a number of questions on the car project below.  From it's ugly as hell, to what a great look!    Iit's good to know when you take on a car project that most of them never get completed.  They never get completed because there's no plan.  In this case I haven't yet finalizd my plan because I haven't fully evaluated the car.  I've been taking my time wiht this because a large part of the value of this project is to expose my son to old time mechanics.  He's never had to replace a set of points, rebuild a carburator, replace a mechanical fuel pump, or even set timing.  These are all functions now managed by computers, electronic ignitions, and fuel injection.  So a great part of the value of this project is in the education and exposure to older technology and techniques.  The second part, which is basically what I'll do with it.. I'm not yet sure.  What do you think?.