Tag: photography


An opportunity came up from my friend and photographer, Bill Manning. Bill had recently gained access to some studio space in Downtown Atlanta and wanted to experiment with new lighting techniques. I put a bug in his ear that if there were ever some time he needed to mess around with gear or lighting, etc. to give me a call cause I would love to get some nice headshots done. The time had arrived.

Despite some complications in the scheduling of the studio, we made it work. All in all, we spent 3 or so hours with setup and takedown and came out with some really nice digital and film shots. Bill is a Nikon guy, which I tend to hold against him, but I know they make just as good of a camera as the competition. He has also ran through some film on his Mamiya medium format camera. We bounced lighting ideas back and forth and played around with different light reflectors and diffusers. It was a really good experience.

If you need portraits done, give him a call! http://www.billmanningphotography.com


Bye Bye, Canon EOS-M

Image courtesy of BHphotovideo.com

I made a trip to San Francisco in the beginning of March for a vacation. Even during the planning stage for the trip I was beginning to dread taking my heavy 60D with me. I did end up taking it, without the grip and with only the 28-135mm kit lens. And while I appreciated the speed and incredibly sharper and more dynamic images than that of my iPhone 5, I hated the weight of it. By the end of the trip I was already researching mirror-less camera options to sub in for my 60D for my next excursion. Continue reading “Bye Bye, Canon EOS-M”

It’s almost that time of year again

Time for the creation of the Millenia 3 company holiday card. It the spirit of the project I thought I’d recap on what we (Andrew Walker and I) put together last year. I think this was our best card yet. You can see that we started out with one idea refined it a bit and and it slowly shifted into the finished product. All the while, we were trying to stick to our theme. You’re done with your work, we’re done with ours, go home and enjoy the holidays! I think it worked out well. Now to begin planning for this years card. Continue reading “It’s almost that time of year again”

New iPhone 3GS – Why I’ll be switching

Today, I was locked in on the live blog of Apple’s keynote at WWDC. What I was listening for was the realization of rumors that I’ve been following for 3 months now. The specific rumor I’ve been waiting for was a new iPhone handset. And today it was finally announced. The iPhone 3GS!

The are a few reasons that this particular version of the iPhone will be the one that makes me switch.

In no particular order:

  • Capacity – For the first time, the iPhone has reached a capacity that can hold my entire itunes music collection plus several movies and tons and tons of apps.
  • New camera with video – As a photographer and even more so, video editor, the iPhones new 3 mp camera is a welcome feature. Increased still image resolution and also the ability to shoot 30fps VGA video, edit it down to the exact moment you want to show, and upload it to youtube is just plain cool. Or as a buddy of mine would say, “Deluxe!”
  • iPhone OS 3.0 – Copy and paste, search, push…all features my blackberry has had and one of the biggest reasons I couldn’t make the switch before.
  • Battery life – This is just speculated as Apple generally pads their battery life numbers a bit. But it’s supposed to be better. And even currently, my long trusted blackberry curve has to be charged every other day or sometimes every day.
  • It’s an apple product – I’ve used a mac for my home computing for years and it will always be simpler from Apple product to Apple product, to sync my contacts, calendar, aswell as music and movies because of this fact.

Icing on the cake:

  • MMS (eventually)
  • Voice Control
  • Faster 7.2Mbps data connection
  • Awesome apps, that do very specific things that I need done. Like track my hours for freelance video and graphic design or tons of awesome games.
  • Fairly early release date
There is one minor but noteworthy hiccup that might keep me from switching and it’s AT&T’s network. I’ll have to research it more, but I remember when the first iPhone 3G came out and I saw some very unhappy friends of mine with iphones that just plain sucked at picking up a signal.

Formula D Media Coverage – No Cell Phone Cameras

The few times that I’ve attended Formula D events as part of the press, the officials there always stated that they want to see real deal cameras out there. This means no cell phone cameras or point-n-shoots. They have their reasons for saying that I guess. But I’m not clear on what they are and I’ve never tried to challenge them on this. I have always used prosumer/professional equipment at the events regardless. Well times are changing. Print media isn’t necessarily dying, but web media is definitely on the rise. With many of the automobile based magazines shutting down their operations, web media is the consumer’s only alternative to get the information that they crave. E-zines and blogs, like WreckedMagazine.com and Speedhunters.com are fast becoming the go-to outlet for drifting and other motorsports coverage.

So, how does this relate to Formula D’s media rules?

The Internet generation wants their information fast, really fast. To me, this means that technology to get that information published quickly, needs to be utilized to its fullest potential. But this doesn’t mean the coverage can lack quality. Typical equipment for shooting a Formula D event could be a digital video camera (at least something from the prosumer class) and/or DSLR. Turn around time can be quick if done correctly. Usually media, whether it be video or stills, can be posted that night, after the event. But the current trend across the Internet is moving towards real time. People want streams of video, status updates of their friends, and instant news coverage reported live, as it happens. So how do you accomplish that? New technologies/services such as Twitter, allow websites to publish short 140 character headlines and other facts in real time, as they happen. A blog can be set to import this Twitter feed along with anyone else using certain key words, such as #FD or #FormulaD. This not only allows the authors of the website/blog to contribute, but also allows anyone with a cellphone or laptop attending the event to collaborate via text, images, or URL links, current happenings from their point of view as they occur.

The future also holds a number of great things for real-time streaming media. The revolutionary Apple iPhone is set to enter its 3rd generation this summer and it promises to be quite a leap forward. Rumored specifics as to the devices capabilities include shooting video as well as an industry first, basic video editing within the device. Imagine the possibilities that this kind of tech could open up for journalists alone.

Another potential packed technology is the Eye-fi SD card. This card can auto upload photos from a digital camera via Wifi hotspot connections. Combine this with Verizon’s new Mifi 3G portable wifi router and an amazing point-n-shoot like the Canon G10 Powershot, and you can produce fantastic images and have the ability to upload those high quality photos in near real time.

On my last trip to LA for FD Irwindale, I was toting around a Canon GL2, Nikon D90, and my blackberry curve. I shot video of drift runs first, waiting for something to report on, then shot high quality stills, and then a secondary shot with my curve to post to Wrecked Magazines Twitter feed. All very important to the success of the story. A reminder though, technology is useless without the knowledge of how and when to utilize it. It is merely a tool though, you still need to be able to tell a story. That is the root of all journalism. And by no means should this new technology replace tried and true approaches and outlets. The need for a solid flow of well written articles, quality edited video and sharp photographs published or broadcast in a timely manner, will never run dry. But with the additional need to be the first on the scene with current events, it is definitely worth it to invest in another hand or person to report via these new tools.

Formula D is going to have to change the way they look at media coverage as a whole if they plan on getting the most out of it. Cell phones, as well as point-n-shoots are becoming perfectly capable for the production of the futures web-based media.

Lowepro Classified 160 AW Review

First off, there are a lot of great reviews of this particular bag out there on the interwebz. So I’m going to go over some of the same stuff and also some things that I haven’t seen mentioned.

The Classified Series from Lowepro is their attempt to create a more discrete bag for the photojournalists/travelers around the world. Features like the discrete Lowepro logo and more traditional bag shape and colors help to achieve this goal, but it’s not a miracle bag. It’s real potential lies in how easy it is to access your camera in a hurry and also return it to the bag covertly.

It’s available in 5 different bag sizes now ranging from the brand new Classified 100 AW Kit (basically a travel size pouch for a notebook and some other things and also two new attachable pouches “35” and “30”), 140 AW, 160 AW, 200 AW, and 250 AW (the largest bag, which also can hold a 15″ notebook computer).

Let’s talk about the bag size first. The 160 AW dimensions are listed by Lowepro as 13.4W X 8.9D X 14H in. In actuality the bag (fully loaded) is more like 11.5W X 9D X 12H in. The height is from the top of the bag not the top of the carry handle and the width is with the “bull horns” tucked away. So this is a relatively small bag, especially when sitting next to the much larger 200 and even bigger 250.

As with all Lowepro products, the quality is impeccable. Quality metal d-rings, swivel clasps, webbing, and stitching. The only drawback I could find on this topic is on the all weather cover. The actual seams where the waterproof fabric is sewn together, are not taped shut. Though unlikely, in a heavy down pour, water could get through. But it would also have to find its way through the rest of the bag to get to the camera/equipment. But on a good note, the small slits on the side of the AW cover where the shoulder strap d-rings poke through, are taped to prevent tearing of the fabric.

Pockets. The bag has 3 external pockets. The two front pockets are underneath the main flap.

The outermost is covered by a velcro flap. The flap has a nice see-through vinyl window to keep business cards or ID visible when needed. Lift the flap and you’ll find a very versatile pocket with pen holder loops and another small sewn in drop pocket for coins, headphones or other small items.

Next is the larger drop pocket. Inside is a nice tether and clip for keys etc. and also the included memory card wallet.

There’s also a little pocket that is accessible on the front even with the main flap buckled closed.

The last pocket is a zippered pocket on the back of the bag, meant for relatively thin/flat items you need to carry. I suggest this only because it’s the side of the bag that will be resting on you. No need to be poked every time the bag swings into you or across you.
There are 3 slip lock loops on the bag, one on the front (is the leather loop the Lowepro logo is pressed into) and two on the sides just below the d-rings where the shoulder strap attaches.

Inside the main compartment are a few dividers that are customizable with the standard Lowepro velcro system. Two of the dividers are topped with a nice protective leather accent. And they’re also shaped to allow room for the bulky bottoms of larger cameras like the D3, Canon 1Ds, or cameras with a vertical battery grip.

They also threw in a handy micro-fiber cloth to clean a lens with and also lay across LCD screens to protect them. The cloth is stowed away in a nice mesh velcro pouch until it’s needed.

*The cloth is kind of short. So if you attach it to a divider on the right of the camera it probably won’t be able to cover the whole LCD screen. You’re better off velcro’ing the mesh pouch on the left side of the camera. Unlike what I did.

I was able to fit my ultrapod, SB-600 Flash, Tokina 11-16mm, 18-105mm, and D90 with 70-200mm f/2.8 mounted, into the main compartment the other weekend. This was in part, thanks to the expandable bellows that allow more storage space inside. There’s a large zipper just behind the two front pockets that allows for the expansion.

Here’s everything that I carry in the bag most of the time:

My complaints with the bag are minuscule. The shoulder pad on the strap, as others have mentioned in their reviews, doesn’t slide. It’s stitched to the webbing and doesn’t allow the bag to be swung back and forth to gain access to your gear. Between that and the lack of taped seams on the AW cover, this bag is hard to complain about. It works great in the field, great for travel or around town and is built like a tank.

I picked mine up off eBay for around $110 at the time this is being written.
Update: Got a real chance to use this bag during the Memorial Day weekend. This thing is great. It rained a lot and had to use the rain cover on a few occasions with fantastic results. Getting to gear and changing lens was really easy as was concealing it quickly. And in my Fiance’s opinion looks good wearing it around.
Also at work here, a co-worker saw my bag and proceeded to make fun of it, calling it a man purse…chuckle chuckle. I then told her it was my camera bag, to which she replied, “That doesn’t look like any camera bag I’ve ever seen.” That pretty much sells the thing in my opinion, very discreet indeed.