Reviews

How to sell on Amazon

Or how I traded wits with the Nigerian Mafia.

Unused, Unsold and Unwanted

In the past, I have disposed of my used equipment on eBay. Writing the perfect sales copy, creating images and positioning myself against other sellers in the hope to fetch a fair price took too much of my valuable time, hence I didn’t bother going through the motions and left much of my equipment unused, unsold and unwanted.

Predict the moon for better photos

You do not have to be a magician to put the moon where you want it in your pictures.

Moonrise over the two Pillars of the Golden Gate

In this article, I am going to reveal how you can use software to predict the exact moonrise time, direction, angles and phases. You can use this information, in combination with a simple Google Earth trick, to enhance your composition with a celestial display de extraordinaire.

Unified Color HDR PhotoStudio Review

Aztec Butte HDR Photograph processed with HDR PhotoStudio

The successor to HDR Photostudio has arrived. Read my reviews of HDR Expose to find out what has changed and learn more about the new software.

In the fascinating world of technology, nothing is ever static. Once more, a company from the San Francisco Bay area set out to change the world forever.

Unified Color have just released new software, HDR PhotoStudio, which promises to satisfy color fanatics and bring HDR to the masses. Unified Color invited me to review the software and write an honest review.

As always, I will update this page as new updates become available and I will try to answer your questions if I can.

Netbooks for Photographers Asus Eee PC and others

I found a better way to back up my photographs in the field.

Asus Eee PC 1000HESince laptops are too heavy to carry around all day, I used to rely on image tanks for backup outdoors. That strategy works very well for me, but it did lack the capability of viewing images. That is where expensive image tanks with RAW viewer such as the Epson P6000 come in. Since the P6000 costs about $600 at the time of this writing and this photographer is always looking for better deals, I never bought one.

I ended up carrying my laptop on many trips so that I could connect to the internet and manage my websites. Outside, I simply swapped flash memory cards and back in the hotel room, I ran backups to my laptop and my image tank. I carry the image tank into the field, in case I run out of memory.

Why the Gorillapod needs improvement

Gorillapods 

Joby flamboyantly markets the Gorillapod SLR Zoom to “serious photographers”.  Will it hold up to the promise of freeing us from our tripods or is it just another useless gadget cluttering our bag?

Let me give you the answer right now. The Gorillapod SLR Zoom is not stiff enough and therefore, sags a bit, making very long exposures difficult, if not impossible.

The Manfrotto 190XPROB and the 190CXPRO3 Tripods

…are the best value for your money.

Me with pods 

The 190XPROB Tripod legs together with any Bogen Manfrotto Tripod Head are an affordable, versatile and easy to use combination. It is my tripod of choice for all my needs.

I like this Tripod so much, that we upgraded Dani to the same one for our last Christmas trip. It makes a big difference to have a professional tripod that just works the way you would expect it to.

PicMarkr Pro Review

Sponsored Post:

Watermarking SmallFlickr is the most successful picture website with social networking aspects built right into their business model. Since some of my visitors keep asking about my Flickr Stream and my lack of presence on Flickr I decided to create my own user account and try it out.

Flickr is a fantastic repository of great photography and knowledge and I always wanted to participate in this giant community to explore new aspects of social networking. When the publishers of PicMarkr asked me to review their software I jumped on the chance to try out their software which functions as a Flickr Interface.

RAW HDR Processing

Update

Learn how to create stunning HDR photos from a single RAW file.

The rapid progression of camera technology and new options in Photomatix require an update to this tutorial.

Cameras are now 14-bit

Bathesda Fountain

HistogramWhen I wrote this tutorial over 1.5 years ago, most cameras were using 12-bit sensors. Camera makers have switched to higher dynamic range sensors now. I am currently using a consumer level Canon Rebel XSi which already exceeds the performance of many professional cameras of just a few years ago.

Ideally, 14-bit RAW files contain 4 times more information than 12-bit RAW files in the shadows. Realistically the gain may be limited somewhat by noise, but the noise levels also improved, leaving us with more bits to use. This much dynamic range just begs being made visible.

The picture above was taken in Central Park. The picture on the left side was processed via this HDR method. You can see a larger version here.

In the processed image you can see people outside and the fountain, while those are clipped in the unprocessed version. The histogram of the uncompensated picture, a picture processed for highlights and a picture processed for shadows is shown on the left side. The HDR is a combination of 5 images between EV-2 to EV+2.