Adobe CC Updates: Next Level Additions!

If you are not using the Creative Cloud By Adobe, I just don’t know what to say.
For $119 a year, you get the best tools for your photographic life, designed by a company whose base level DNA is digital imaging.
Seriously.
They have a new round of updates, and some things you can’t live without, and some thing you may want to just check out.
First up is a fix for something that we all have done, and now made simple.
Have you ever skewed the horizon line on a fave photo, adjusted in LR so things lined up, but you then cropped out key parts of the image?
Yep, we all have.
There is a new tool called Content Aware Crop that will fill in the missing parts and restore your faith in photographic humanity. Like magic.

Cool, right?

OK, next up is a new Liquify tool that allows you to make fun of anyone you want to.
Make them a caricature, if you want.
Fine, a great use would be to open eyes on a portrait, of increase a smile. Just don’t get too creepy, ok?
Portrait of smiling young man with beard

Yeah, I’ve wanted that for a while. Add in some texture, and you could be doing portraits in Time Square from your laptop, and sending files to customers. Just kidding. (or am I?)

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 9.55.08 PM
We are all looking for the perfect online portfolio, amirite? Now included in you Adobe CC package is a portfolio option.
portfolio_masthead_live
You can do better, right?
I haven’t tried it yet so I’ll hold off til I do. Direct posting from PS to a site sounds pretty cool. Let’s see how the designs progress. But it does have a sales option built-in.
I’m due for a change, and will report back.

The stock market (photo-wise I mean) has been in a downward spiral. There is just not the same kinda money in it that there once was. Heck, if you’ve ever looked for images for a project, you know that it’s not that expensive.
If you’d like to try that shoe on the other foot, Adobe CC makes it easier for you with tagging, posting and tracking software for you, baked in.

And there are more improvements, like better masking, so good, the hairs on your head will not only stand up, but be even more easily separated from the background.

You see, this is what I love about Adobe:They make the best digital imaging software, and that’s what they do.
No hardware or gizmos.
And they listen to you, the end-user, to find out what would make your imaging life better. Then do it.

Are you going the way of video? At some point you will, if you haven’t yet.
Well, Adobe Premiere has taken over where Final Cut was. Yeah, I was a Final Cut guy, and it’s all about the Adobe Premiere now. CC as well if you want to add it one.

Messenger Bag Roundup Part 2 : Peak Design 13″ Messenger

Ok, you saw the value proposition, now let’s have a look at the higher priced spread:
The Peak Design 13″ Messenger Bag
51B2nsHBDYL
Coming on the heels of a very successful launch of the 15″ messenger bag, the public asked for a smaller more manageable version, and the company listened.
This is a beautiful, well made, bag. The fit and finish of all parts will do you well in any kind of circumstance. Formal or casual.

Sunset7872
Even the interior stitching is pretty deluxe.

Let’s get down with some of the features:
The top design feature for me, are the origami-like inserts.
412pUyepfAL._SL1000_ (2)
With the pre-indented areas, you can fold and maneuver these to solidly hold whatever camera/lens configuration you need. Personally, I went with a Fuji X-T1, 56mm on the body, on one side, with a 14mm in the center, then a Fuji 100T, on the other side.
61+ZvqU1y-L._SL1000_
Another unique design feature is the ability to hold a traveling tripod, easily secured on the case.One leg goes through the top flap, and the legs are help together with a rubber band type strap. I put my Gitzo traveller there with ease, and the weight distribution worked well. So you can carry you tripod, but honestly, I only carry it specific shoots.
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There is an outside pocket for a laptop/tablet, and a front set of pockets to fit your essentials.
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A key point is the top zipper, allowing you to get at your camera without opening the front flap. Very useful, and, coincidentally, available on another bag we are reviewing.

A good idea, is a good idea.

Now, the bag is a bit stiff. The main section has side flaps to allow you to pack a bit more, and the front flap has 4 different settings to adjust to the packed load.
Great perhaps, for protection, but could be more pliable for your goods, so you’ll have to pack specifically, especially in the front pockets
61SVGF8sG6L._SL1000_
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The strap adjusts very easily, and you can go from a messenger sling to sit on your back, or as a shoulder strap.You can tell a lot of thought went into that part. Like all of the parts.The machined metal parts are all well crafted and have a sleek finish.

I do wish it had some outside side pockets for a water bottle, or a fast holder for a phone or sunglasses. This bag does stay true to its design mantra, and eschews the net pocket with elastic, with slim pockets, that meld beautifully into the bag.
However,they should have some kind of closure as I wouldn’t put a phone in there and sling it on my back for fear that it could fall.

The good: well designed, great build, origami foam dividers, upscale look for any situation.
Wish it had: better side pockets, more pliability, less weight.

So if you are up for the spend, about $220, this is a great choice, not only as a walk-around camera bag, but as an everyday bag to take to your work, or client meetings.

And here is what it can hold:
Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 11.32.10 PM

2 more bags to go……

Messenger Bag Round-Up : Part 1 – The 24/7 Traffic Collection

247tcm-1I know, I know.
Photographers have soooo many bags, why do we need another?
Because you just do. The right bag for the right assignment. There is no one perfect camera bag.
And why a new bag? Well, depending on your assignment, you may not want to show up at the gig with a nasty beat up old bag, especially if your clients are all in business attire, or formal wear.
Living in New York City, messenger bags are the primary order of the day, for most people.
Before I start getting into the different bags, I would like to point out that a messenger, cross slinging bag, isn’t right for everyone. Many woman find them uncomfortable.
I’ll be talking about 4 bags in total. All bags have been used on the street for 2 days, minimum.
OK, here we go:
First up is a bag called the 24/7, sold by Adorama and Amazon.

With a design made for slinging to the back, the bag has a back, zipped pocket, the full depth of the bag, mirrored with an internal padded laptop pocket.
The flap is secured by a pretty standard clip system, velcro free.
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Under the flap there is a very convenient pocket, where I put my ever present battery for charging the phone. Perfect placement. On the top of that section are some easy to get to pockets for pens, biz cards, cleaning cloths, etc.. They do give you a little card holder case deal, pictured, but I never used it.

That whole thing zips up, to give you some more security, especially if you are riding a bike, or just slinging it back.

Once inside, the orange interior gives you a better view of what may be hidden. Enough additional pockets for perhaps a portable drive, media card wallet, pen slots, card reader, etc.
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Then we go to the bulk of the interior space. Designed to sit flat on the ground, it’s a pretty open area.
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But wait, there’s more.

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You get a sweet handled pouch, with zipper, and some simple foam dividers. A great way to pre-pack your cameras.
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Plus there is a cable, or whatever extras you like, pouch.

The flap of the bag is made is some kind of rubberized, or waterproof material.
I found out just how waterproof it was, as I was shooting Cage The Elephant (incredible band) in the pit during fleet week, and the crowd was well lubricated and sloshing their free rum drinks, all the way into the pit. (Photos below)

The flap was closed on the bag, an my loose lenses were well protected.

My gear on this jaunt was 2 mirrorless bodies, 3 lenses, card wallets, plenty o’ camera batteries, tablet, large phone battery, cables, snacks, biz cards, lens pen, .

Admittedly, I was a little bit dubious about the weight, and how it would sit on may back.
That was the first clue that 24/7 had a sweet design: walking 15 NYC blocks from my apt to the venue, the bag was comfortable and secure on my back. And day 2, when I shot at the Intrepid for Memorial Day, with the same set-up, another comfortable shoot.

By slinging the bag to the front, I was able to get to the gear quickly, and actually, kinda tossed the changed lenses in the gear pouch, and felt that it would protect the glass. And it did. Could use some work on the access, but got it sorted for this gig.

What I like:
Great price, simple, well made, waterproof flap (also comes with a rain cover), flat bottom.
What I didn’t like:
A bit too deep, no outside pocket for water, needs more versatility on the strap to use easily as a shoulder bag, top of bag access would be helpful.

Overall: a great value proposition($80), perfect for a mirrorless system, and if you ride a bike, a secure, comfortable way to get your gear to the gig, or use for everyday use.
Although isn’t have a camera with you an everyday use?

and even a video!

Shots from the gigs:

Fleet Week

Cage The Elephant


Fleet Week

Cage The Elephant


Fleet Week

Memorial Day at The Intrepid

Fleet Week

Norman Reedus

Magnum Square Print Sale – Time To Refresh Your Walls

David Seymour Chim _ Magnum PhotosDAVID SEYMOUR ISRAEL. 1951. © David Seymour / Magnum Photos

I always look forward to this event.
Imagine buying a museum quality print, from one of the most prestigious photography agencies, Magnum Photos, for $100.

Signed or estate stamped, high quality printing, and the selection is prime.
Now, when they say SQUARE, that is exactly what they mean.
6″x 6″ prints.
Raghu Rai_Magnum PhotosRaghu Rai INDIA. Delhi. Wrestlers through the painted gate, Paharganj, 1988 © Raghu Rai

You surely have room for one of these, right? I bought one last year, and hung it so every morning I get to see it smiling back at me. The archival matte and framing was pretty affordable.

And the theme this time is:

THE (MORE OR LESS) DECISIVE MOMENTS
The sale will take place at the Magnum Photos Online Shop: shop.magnumphotos.com

David Alan Harvey _ Magnum PhotosDAVID ALAN HAREY SPAIN. Ibiza. 1991. Soap suds party © David Alan Harvey / Magnum Photos

The details: Continue Reading »

Lexar + GoPro : Video Studio In Your Hand

Packs small, plays big.
How would you like to be able to shoot, edit, and BACKUP your GoPro or drone videos with only a pocketful of tech?
Take a look at this set-up:
NYC_4640
I take a real world imaging problem, and try to find the right tech solutions.
In this case, it’s a matter of walking around in NYC, with a messenger bag containing some GoPro video gear, and being able to sit anywhere, like a bench, and editing, saving and backing up the raw files.

The goal was to keep it as small and lightweight as possible.

And whether you’re going to the skate park, or a mountain hike, compact gear is a huge advantage.

One of the issues, was the amount of space on the iPhone, after all of my apps and content already on there. And unless you subscribe to a music service, you need your tunes on the device.

With microSD cards being 32-64gb in the sweet spot, especially with higher quality capture modes, space is critical.

Finally a full workflow solution!

With an iPhone, the new Lexar lighting connector microSD reader, and the C20i 3-in-1 flash drive, I get a direct media card into my phone, AND a lighting connector flash drive to back it all up.
NYC_4634
C’mon, you’ve gone through the painfully slow upload to your site/cloud/transfer with wi-fi.
Sure, it can happen, but it is so much faster with a file transfer to flash drive.
The app you use (free download) can also send your card files to dropbox, but I like a hard copy in my hands.

So it goes like this:
•Make sure you have enough storage space on your iPhone for your intended content.
(If not, back some of it up on the C20i flash drive – go for at least the 64GB)
•Shoot your content on a microSD card with GoPro, drone, or whatever using a microSD card.
•Load it into your iPhone, using the Lexar MicroSD card reader with Lighting connector
•Edit in your favorite editing app.
•Offload a copy to the flash drive, and depending on your wi-fi signal strength. upload to social media and/or Dropbox.

All with tech that fits in your pocket!

And when you get back to home base, plug the USB 3.0 end of the flash drive into your back-up system on your computer, hopefully RAID, and empty the contents of the flash drive . If you want to go old school, you can load the MicroSD card into your computer via the other Lexar card reader, with USB. It’s a full set you should consider

Here are all 3 Lexar units:
NYC_4635

This first part was primarily about using these items in a walk around or lightweight situation.

Now, of course, the 2 Lexar pieces can be used for a ton other things: keep music/movies/photos (your portfolio?) on separate micro Sd cards. I can’t always get wi-fi where I shoot. Having my music on MicroSD cards insures I always have my tunes.
I have been to concerts where I’m shooting the whole thing with my iPhone and Olloclips lenses (Iggy Pop and Nick Cave when I didn’t get credentialed, and quickly run out of space. That’s when the flash drive to carry your extra media comes in handy. Or if I have to look at videos emailed to me on my phone.
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If you are going to be doing a lot of shooting, we’ll need to talk about some power solutions.

We all know that you need a handful of batteries for a good day of shooting with a GoPro.

Here are 2 solutions:
lexar power

Digipower is a company that has made a series of batteries that plug into the back of a Hero 3+, and Hero 4, giving up to 12 hours of shooting, aptly called ReFuel. By adding this unit on the back of the GoPro, you’ve got a solid block of shooting.

The other smallish option is a battery filled, Quikpod, 7inches to the GoPro connector. If you use a GoPro, there is a good chance you have a 1/4-20 standard tripod adaptor, which can also be added to use the Quikpod for other cameras, lights or Lume Cube. It has a rubber-covered USB output, and a 4 light, power consumption scale. It has 5200mAh, so you can also use it to power anything else.

For the phone, I’m still a fan of the PNY battery for it has a visual percentage readout of the available juice, 2 USB plugs, and has just been working for 2 years, with no issues.
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The new ones, have 3 USB plugs. Only about $18!

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After looking at a bunch of cases, if that’s what you like, for the GoPro plus batteries, accessories, and everything you saw above, I’m a fan of the Fotodiox line. Deep enough, pre-cut dense foam, a flap to separate came/batts, from other items, a net pouch for tools.
And check out the Fotodiox set of GoPro tools. You need them, and these are great. They come in colors so you can tell whats what pretty fast in a case.

Yep, only discussed the Micro SD solutions here. We do know that there are Lightning SD card readers by Apple available.
Perhaps you want to have a larger screen to edit, like an iPad.
Sure, all of that is true.
I like to travel light. Sometimes, isn’t that the best way?

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Upcoming Events

Is there an event we should know about?
Let us know on twitter.

Current Exhibitions

  • Getty Center
  • Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium
  • March 15–July 31, 2016
  • 1200 Getty Center Drive
  • Los Angeles, CA. 90049
  • Tel: 310-440-7300
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Nan Goldin
  • May 26–August 10, 2016
  • 11 West 53 Street
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel:212-708-9400

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  • Yossi Milo Gallery
  • Simen Johan
  • May 26–August 10, 2016
  • 245 Tenth Avenue
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel: 212-414-0370
  • Howard Greenberg Gallery
  • ATTITUDE: PORTRAITS BY MARY ELLEN MARK, 1964–2015
  • MAY 5 – JUNE 29, 2016
  • 41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406
  • New York,NY 10022
  • Tel: 212-334-0100
  • KlompChing Gallery
  • Cornelia Hediger, 02/01-07/09
  • June 1st-July 16th, 2016
  • 89 Water Street
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • 11201
  • Phone:212.796.2070
  • Peter Fetterman Gallery
  • Neil Leifer
  • June 4 – September 3, 2016
  • 2525 Michigan Avenue Gallery A1
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • 90404
  • Phone: 310.453.6463
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Crime Stories: Photography and Foul Play
  • Through July 31st, 2016
  • 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street)
  • New York, NY 10028
  • Phone: 212-535-7710

Is there an exhibition we’re missing? Let us know on twitter.

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