Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Great Deal on Adobe Lightroom 3

ADORAMA EXCLUSIVE OFFER - ONE DAY ONLY

$150.00 Instant Rebate on Adobe Lightroom 3


Bring out the best in your photographs, whether you're perfecting one image, searching for ten, processing hundreds, or organizing thousands. 

Create incredible images that move your audience. All from within one fast, intuitive application and now for $150 off the regular price!

Reg price: $299.95

$150 Instant Rebate = $149.95

Limit 1 per customer - this offer ends midnight 9/1/11

OK, a great deal from our friends at Adorama in the U.S. A great place to buy from. Caution required when shipping to Canada. Watch out for brokarage fees. Use UPS WorldWide! and there will not be any fees. One day only!

Its currently $218.00 at Amazon.com!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Android, iPad, webOS and Flash!

There is a great debate amongst photographers about which tool, or Tablet is the best for Photographers specifically. This is a tough one and there are several choices and some great pros and cons no matter what fence you sit on.

I have been sitting back and like others, waiting. During that time I have checked out several Android Tablets, the HP webOS Tablet and the iPad. Love the iPad and love the Photographers Apps that are available for for the iPad. The Android Tablets like the Motorola Xoom or the Asus Transformer rock, they are fast and there are also some great apps. The new pricing on the Transformer with the Dock Keyboard also rocks. Thinking about the HP Tablet using the Palm webOS, its dead. HP has officially dropped the product. So whats the problem, the problem is the the iPad has no Flash!!

Flash is almost a must for Photographers. Most photographers web sites use Flash, many apps for doing ROES (on-line ordering of Prints, Books and such use Flash (some are Java Based)). Want to check out Yosuf Karsh's website at www.karsh.org, sorry, you need Flash. The list goes on. Want to check out your own site? Most ready made photographers sites including and many plugin modules for doing your own site use Flash. Oh, check out a great Video on YouTube that a coleague did on their 5D MkII, oh wait, you need Flash.

So, if you want a great tool that you can work with and tether to your camera, have great Photographers apps, and have Flash, the best way to go is a MacBook Pro (it has flash!!) or any good PC Laptop like an HP or a Lenovo ThinkPad. Ok, so they are a little bulkier than a Tablet, but the MacBook Pro is not huge and neither are Lenovo's newest ultralites. You get anywhere from 250GB to 1TB hard drive space versus the Tablets 16, 32 or 64GB storage which is great for backing up your memory cards. And unlike the Tablets you can run Adobe Lightroom and CS5!! Can't do that with a tablet.

So Jobs hates Flash yet he leaves it on his Macs??? He apparently hates Adobe and Microsoft yet without them the MAC and Apple would be dead! Yes, you heard me right. Years ago when the MAC was nothing and almost dead the only people that bought them were Photo and Video people and even then only because of the great A D O B E products they needed to run!! Yes lots of schools had Macs but they were mostly given away for almost free. When things started getting very bad for Apple (before the iPod revolution) on August 6th, 1997, Microsoft bailled out Apple to the tune of $150 million dollars. This boost and with some other help from Microsoft and continued support from the Photo and Video communities helped see them through to the iPod days when they finally flourished.

Jobs wants to kill Flash because he states there are other and better technologies out there? Several problems here: Where are they? Why is no-one using them? And Jobs doesn't tell you he has millions invested in the competing products and stands to benefit if Flash dies! Is he really looking after his customers? Think not.



Get a Mac or PC laptop, have your Flash and watch it to!


© 2011 François Cléroux

(Version 1.02 - August 2011)

Please feel free to leave comments, corrections, ideas, thoughts or suggestions.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Stolen Scream

This is a story about a stolen image. I have dealt with this having found someone that stole someone else's image and tried to pass it off as their own. I reported the stolen image to the real owner of the image and had the culprit removed from the photography site he was passing the image off as his own.

I have blogged about this (Photographer on the Web - Part 6 - Protecting Your Images) and I also cover this in my "Photographer On the Web" workshop. In the workshop I also give out many links including www.TinEye.com which you will see in the following video.

This is an incredible story, one that should be shared and one that should be thought about. In this video, Noam Galai, the photographer and the face in the stolen image tells his story.

Before you freak out about your images, note these were posted rather large on Flickr.com. They should have been posted smaller or should have had water marks. Note that smaller sites like DeltaPhotoClub.com and such have fewer viewers than the millions on Flickr and so images are less likely to be stolen.

Most photographers get very upset when they think about someone stealing their images. However, most don't give a second's thought about copying software or borrowing music for a slideshow or for personal use. Think about the millions of dollars and all the work that goes into creating software like Adobe Photoshop CS5. If it's OK for you to download an illegitimate copy, or a copy of a commercial Plug-In, why is it not OK for someone to STEAL your image?

So, please watch the video, learn from it, and if you are a borrower of music or software, think about what your doing. Paying for a great tool like Photoshop is worth every penny.

Also, as a final and funny note, listen to Noam talk about a Stock Site. How interesting.

Flash Required to watch video. Why do iPads not have Flash?

This Video was created by the fine folks at fstoppers.com. A great site, please check it out. This video is linked from YouTube. To support Noam, please check out his new on-line store. I just purchased a T-Shirt!

Original Image by: Greg Schurman

Note that award winning photographer and Delta Photo Club member Greg Schurman (BlooTung.com), has also had an image ripped off (above) and doing a TinEye.com search on this also gets seven pages of results.

Have your images been stolen?

© 2011 François Cléroux

(Version 1.00 - August 2011)

Please feel free to leave comments, corrections, ideas, thoughts or suggestions.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Stop and Smell the Roses

"Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.” - Yousuf Karsh

Two posts ago in Back To Basics I suggested that we work on getting Sharp, Well Exposed and properly Color Balanced images as part of the getting “Back to Basics.” Not forgotten and just as equally important to your images is the composition or rather the artistic aspects of the image itself. There are also some simple things we as photographers can do and some simple in-expensive tools we can use.


When we start out in photography we usually just head out and start snapping away. After learning the Basics we then often work on the composition and artistic aspects of our photography. We learn to slow down our process, look at all the corners, all the edges, look behind our subject matter, compose and re-compose until we get it right. Somewhere along the way we also learn to use all our pixels. Zoom in or walk closer to the subject if you have to or perhaps change the lens. This is all usually done using our tripods, right? Well it should be.

Going back to the basics is a great time to re-think, re-learn or re-introduce all these concepts back into our photography process. Just like we forget to do the basics we often forget to slow down and to do the artistic process properly. Remember, it’s about the photography, not about the post processing!

The photography process also includes the walking, getting fresh air, smelling the roses (literally), looking at your subject matter and studying it. Look at the light. Can you move the subject matter to increase the quality of the light or the shapes or forms of shadows to increase the strength of the image? If not, can you move or change your vantage point to change the light and shadows? Should you lie down, kneel or step up onto a base of some type? Should you make a note of the location and return to it when the lighting is better or perhaps when the weather conditions have changed completely, perhaps even covered in snow?

What about your lens, is it the right one to use in this specific situation? Do we want to capture a lot of the background and use a wide angle lens or do we want to narrow our focus onto the subject and separate the subject from the background using a shallow Depth-Of-Field (DOF) afforded to a long telephoto lens?

Now that you have the right lens, and the composition is perfect, what about a filter? Will a filter of some type help? Even in this world of Digital Photography, yes a filter will often help. Think Polarizer for blue skies and white fluffy clouds or to handle reflection off of water or water drops or just the reflection off of plants, specifically shinny leaves. Digital post processing does not work well in either of these situations, difficult in the first situation and impossible in the second.

How about a Neutral Density Graduated Filter for slight overcast days? I was just at an outing in the Pacific Northwest a few months ago with many members of the Delta Photo Club. It was an overcast day at the beach and I was using a Neutral Density Filter. Later that evening we were looking at projected images. Someone commented, “Where were you? I didn’t see those colors in my images.” referring to some slight blue and other colors in the sky. The filter ended up properly exposing the sky, not bleaching out the colors caused by over exposure.


Fixing this digitally would have required multiple exposures and then combining them using HDR software. All I used was a single filter that should be in every photographer’s bag. How easy.

I also used a non-graduated Neutral Density Filter, a fairly dark one, to allow me to use fairly long exposures. This allowed me to soften the ocean and to create a surreal artistic image. This image has not been properly processed for final print but it should give you the idea. Again, an in-expensive simple tool that should be in your bag that creates and image that would be rather hard to re-create on the computer.



So, go back to your photography roots. Think about why you do photography and what you want to accomplish. When on location, spend some time with your surroundings and “smell the roses”. Be creative and get the most out of your photography!

I will be covering Digital Filters soon and will be doing a workshop "Filters for Digital Photography" in spring of 2012.


© 2011 François Cléroux

(Version 1.10  - August 2011)

Please feel free to leave comments, corrections, ideas, thoughts or suggestions.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Another Great Workshop: Scott Kelby

People always wonder why some of us photogs go to workshops or seminars, after all, they say "but you already know everything". Well, that's what I like about photography, and computers for that matter, you never know everything. There is always something new to learn; new trends, new techniques, new software, new hardware or the newest new cool filter. How could you know it all?

Scott Kelby working with a model at Kelby Training Live!
So a week ago several members of the Delta Photography Club when to see Scott Kelby's "Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It, Live!" workshop in Vancouver. Now, for those of you that do not know Scott Kelby (www.scottkelby.com), he is the number one selling photography book author in the world, a great photographer and probably the number one Adobe Photoshop guru! This guy is a "master" but more importantly, an incredible presenter. He is funny and he knows his stuff.

The workshop was a full day but right off the bat he was fun to listen to and within an hour the person sitting next to me said, "This workshop has already paid for itself!". The cost of the workshop for the whole day was $99.00 which included a great handbook, a few other handouts and all the free coffee you wanted. An better, if you are a NAPP member (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) it was only $79.00. What a deal.

So the whole day was great and yes, worth every penny. Lots to learn and like other workshops I attended this past year (Joe McNally, "The Moment It Clicks: Photography secrets from one of the world's top shooters" and other great books and Freeman Patterson, "Photography and the Art of Seeing: A Visual Perception Workshop for Film and Digital Photography" which is a Photography students must read, and again, other great books and Andre Gallant, "Dreamscapes: Exploring Photo Montages" and other great books), very, very, inspirational.

Every time you do one of these great workshops, your spirits are elevated, you creative juices start flowing and all you want to do is grab your camera and go out and shoot. This workshop was no different.


Scott Kelby and Me, July 2011
If you have never taken a photography workshop from a master photographer, I highly encourage you to do so. Specially if an incredible oppertunity presents itself. In the spring of 1984 I started planning to attend an Ansel Adams summer workshop. He died in April of that year and that incredibble oppertunity was lost forever. Do not let this happen to you, not the dying part, but missing a great opportunity.


© 2011 François Cléroux

(Version 1.00 - August 2011)

Please feel free to leave comments, corrections, ideas, thoughts or suggestions.