Wednesday, January 29, 2014

My Switch to Digital Magazines

 Recently in the interest of saving trees I decided to let all of my paper photography magazines lapse. Additionally, I got tired of looking at that mountain of unread magazines on my nightstand.  Slowly, I am replacing my subscriptions with the digital editions. In this feature I am reviewing my first 2 digital photo subscriptions...Popular Photography and Shutterbug.   I like the easy reading style of Popular Photography. It's short content is ideal for reading while traveling. I am reading the February issue right now while flying. It is also easy to navigate around. It is interesting the way you are able to show the photos full screen.  The color resolution of the Pop Photo images on my iPad 2 is wonderful. Though Shutterbug has always been my favorite magazine for in depth photography articles I find the digital edition to be somewhat clunky...pretty much just a copy of the paper magazine. I really do like the Personal Projects and the feed back articles from David Brooks that are a staple in Shutterbug. I like the fact that you can copy and e-mail articles from the digital Shutterbug. That seems to be missing from Popular photography.  You can access the articles from a drop down contents page in Shutterbug. Incidentally, the ad pages really pop in both magazines digital reads. So far, I am happy to have made the switch.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

iHip Headphones One of My Favorite Christmas Gifts!

I gifted myself with 3 pairs of  these Illusions iHip headphones with a microphone. These phones were in the clearance barrel at Big Lots. It was worth the $5.00 just to see if they work!

One side of my iPhone headphones was not working so I decided to use these on one of my morning walks after Christmas.  The sound and quality of these bargain headphones is surprisingly really good.  The microphone works fine too!

I haven't used any headphones except these since Christmas.  I stuck an extra pair in my camera bag for trips.  Plus, I gave a pair to Lynn to use with her electronic devices.  A great buy!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Brooksville Raid Photos for Triptych

The couple above are reenactors at the Brooksville Raid that was held January 18-19 near Brooksville, Florida.  I was told by the lady pictured that they were renewing their vows at the event.  I captured these three images and converted them in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.  This is a work in progress, but wouldn't this make a really neat verticle triptych?  Your thoughts?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Selfies Using the XShot Extender

My my 1998 Mercedes-Benz SLK 230 is now 15 years old and I am still having a ball with the car.  I waited on the MB for 16 months. I ordered the car in 1996 on the day that Mercedes Benz announced that they were going to build a sporty car with a retractible hardtop. I took a few "selfies" with my XShot extender yesterday. 

 Not only can you take cool selfies with the XShot, but you can also get the camera into crazy angles that are difficult to get without a really tall tripod or a ladder.

 Car Lights on for great photos. I learned that from Joe Farace.  

All of these photos were taken with my Panasonic Lumix DMC LF1...ISO 80, Aperture priority, f4.0, 10 second delay attached to my XShot. The XShot only works with small compact cameras.  I guess that it would also work on an iPhone. You can check this cool device out at  XShot  I bought mine at Hunt's Photo and Video.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Photography While Cruising Russia's Volga River

With the Winter Olympics coming up this year in Sochi Russia I thought that it might be appropriate to display a few of my photos from our river cruise on the Volga River in 2010.  This photo is of the 1000 year old city of Yaroslavl.  I like the hauntingly elegant buildings in the communities that you see along the river.

This wooden Russian Orthodox church is one of many, restored and still active on Kizhi Island.  These buildings are huge.  I used Lightroom's Lens Correction tool to attempt to get the building straight in my photo.

This was a bridge over a canal in Moscow.  I had a real bad lens flare in the upper left hand side of the bridge.  Hence, I converted this to black and white in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.  Also I blurred the side of the bridge in order to draw the viewer into the buildings and boat on the canal.

This photo certainly has to be my all time favorite from our Russian trip.  We attended a Cossack show in St. Petersburg before embarking on our cruise.  I love the color red in the photo as well as the impact created by this entertainer.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My New XShot for "Selfies"

Do you ever want to take a "selfie", but your arms are just too short and they get in the way of your picture.  Enter XShot...a telescoping monopod that extends to approximately 38 inches.  Here's what it looks like collapsed (9 inches).

The XShot holds a compact camera up to a bit over a pound like my nifty little Panasonic Lumix DMC LF1.  Just set the timer to 10 seconds and shoot away.  Here is the setup.

I got my XShot on Hunt's Photo and Video website   for $24.99 (a $5.00 Cyber Monday savings).  The photo a the top of this post is my "Selfie".  More later...