Pelican Air – Now Up To 40% Lighter Cases

Photographers/videographers: Bags and Cases can be the most important part of your kit.
Getting the gear to and from a gig, safely, is key.
And traveling by plane can be the most crazy, as you try to get the window or early boarding surcharge so you get an overhead compartment for your carry on, main gear. (We’ll get into the checked gear in a second)
The standard for many has been the Pelican 1510, which meets the airline standards. A bit heavy, honestly, but protected.
I started to use a Pelican case when flying, after having my roller bag being taken from me, and hand checked. I could have waited for 12 hours for another flight, or trust they would take care of the bag. I moved camera bodies and some glass into a backpack I stashed under seat. They did hand check it, but it was a very uncomfortable flight.
So now I use Pelican 1510, with TrekPak dividers, when flying, and transfer needed gear to a ThinkTank BackPack when I hit location, which I pack in my luggage.

OK, the folks at Pelican have now come up with a series of lighter, just as strong, cases. The carry-on is 28% lighter! Pelican Air should be shipping as of May, 1st, 2016
Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 10.32.18 AM

What would you do with this bonus? Add more gear, or just make your load lighter?
Just get ready to lose some weight, and I think a lot of us will be happy for that!
Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 10.40.33 AM

there is one last test: Can you stand on it to get a better shooting vantage point, as many photos do now? We’ll see, once they come out!

and now, the official word: Continue Reading »

Lexar + PhotoMechanic = Supercharged Workflow!

Waiting is the worst.
Waiting for your media card to read/write after shooting off a burst of shots, or waiting for your media card to load into your computer after, so you can edit.
We have 2 main issues with waiting:
1: the frustration about losing a shot because your card was still writing your previous shots;
2: after returning to your computer, waiting for the images to load, so you can edit, and post process, and share.
After shooting an assignment a few weeks ago that happened at night, the client wanted to get a selection fast for social media, so that meant that night. A late one.
Now with a Lexar Hub, you can load all of the cards to a single file on a hard drive, but it is a bit laborious. At this time, Lightroom, my main asset management program, won’t let you load in multiple cards concurrently, only consecutively.
There had to be another solution.
Based on conversation with some fashion week shooters, I had tried software called PhotoMechanic a few years back. Primarily spoken about as an editing solution at the time, but I felt it was just another step.

Nikon D810, 70-2000mm 2.8 lens, Lexar 32GB 2000x SD cardSXSW 2016 day 58301

SXSW is one of the best overall festivals of the year, and with the amount of events happening there, it’s the perfect place to do real world testing of photo gear, and try a new workflow.
You are shooting Music in large and small venues, Keynote Speakers, Street Scenes, so a large variety of shooting situations, compressed into one event. Heck, I’ve been been hired to shoot a book signing, BBQ event inside a local meeting hall
Long, long days, and awesome. It’s a 10 day affair so you get to know gear/software results pretty fast. I’ve been shooting there for 8 years, and kinda knew the run of the show, so a great place to try something new.

OK, let’s get to it.

The cameras are: Nikon D810, for primary shooting of music and speakers, Fuji Xt-1 for more discreet shooting with a compliment of lenses, and Fuji 100T for walk around (best street shooting camera, but that’s another review)

First the read/write buffering issue:
The media cards I use are Lexar, CF & SD, super fast read write, and reliable as hell. I always carry the cards in a ThinkTank Pixel Pocket Rocket for security and ease of operation. Clip it to a belt loop, and put the wallet in your pocket for easy access. With speeds of 2000X, the waiting issue with media cards is solved

There are a few key elements to the sped up workflow:

First of all is the Lexar Hub 2: this is a media card reading tower, that has modules you can switch out depending on your card situation (CF, SD, MicroSD, XQD, and even a hard drive to back up things, right in the tower. I had 1-64GBSD cards, 2-32GB SD card, and 1-64GB CF card, and this has room for 4 modules.
The key on this is the Thunderbolt connection to the computer, in this case a MacBook Air. That connection is another step in the speed process.

Honestly, there is a bit of bulk on this unit, as the Thunderbolt requires a good sized power source. Worth it.

Then comes the magic software thing it all together: PhotoMechanic.The main elements on this program are the ability to ingest multiple cards or hard drive concurrently. Not consecutively. Huge time savings to start.
The speed with which it ingests the files is incredible, and 4 cards all loaded in about 15min!
I was ready to edit!
SXSW 2016 day 7 Fuji 9060
In the picture: Left to right: Olloclip Studio modules with Olloclip lenses (always in my bag) Apple watch charging cable, Lexar Hub 2, 4 Input USB 3.0 (bus powered), 1TB hard drive, MacBook Air, ToughTech Duo RAID drive, business cards, LensPen, and you can barely see the earplug case, but if you shoot music, a good idea when you are shooting at the stage. And yes, MOO business cards. People still use them.

When you ingest the files, I always recco a RAID and a separate hard drive, so 3 back-ups to start.
This program gives to all of those choices to select your target drive. Plus, you can rename all of your files as the come in, and add a sequence start so on a long gig, you are clear and things are in order.
In the edit process, you can go to a single large image, and the speed with which you can fly though them, without waiting on a load-up will astonish you.
I know, LightRoom can do these things, but not with the speed, and that was the point of this whole workflow upheaval.
I went with a star system, and just gave the heroes 5 stars. You also can a color code.
Now that have done your initial super fast edit (you can go back and fine tune later), select the edits and drag to Lightroom OR you can set it up in PhotoMechanic to export directly.
I still am hooked on Lightroom for my post-processing, so I send the select folder there. And all of the select markings are intact. 5 Stars in PhotoMechanic shows as 5 Stars in LightRoom.
Here is a great overview on the editing system using Lightroom, by Matt Kloskowski, and may help you see if this is for you:

It’s about the speed.
I would say that every night I gained about 1.5-2 hours of extra time=sleep.
Coming into the hotel at 2-2:30 AM, then up again at 8:00 AM , you need all you can.
And if you shot right, your initial post processing should be fast.
I know that I’m a bit late to this party: fashion week shooters, wedding photogs all use this system, and as the rest of us music/event photos gathered in front of various stages, the discussion went to workflow and sleep. Some of the photographers were already there. As a noob, I was singing its praises.

Here are some of the workflow screen shots from the company:



All I can say is, if you shoot a lot, the Lexar Hub2 is a must have. Make sure you have the fastest cards that your camera can handle. And if you need the edit speed (who doesn’t?), Check out PhotoMechanic. If you are a member of a few of the photographer organizations, there is a discount on the software. Lots of youtube tutorials, so you can see if it’s for you.
There is a 30 day trial, which is what I did, and near the end, if you are satisfied, you can purchase, and not lose any of your work or presets.

And how did all of it get powered?
SXSW 2016 day 7 Fuji 9073
Here was the “charging station: Using a Watson Dual Charger, with a variety of plates for each camera I had. Just put labels on each plate. And there you also see a Re-Fuel go-pro handle (so much easier than changing batteries on the run, and one of their battery blocks for the phone. And a Photive AC powered USB 3.0 charging hub. There is a Ventev charging cable (1 of 3, I always carry) and, yes, a Jawbone bluetooth speaker, because music is my girlfriend.
All charging items, and cables are stashed in Muji mesh bags so I can see what the heck I have. Now the Fuji’s burn through batteries so have a handful always. Nikon D810 is a much better on battery life, but there are times that discreet and silent will get the shot.

Some images from the event:
Nikon D810, 70-200MM 2.8SXSW 2016 3-121234
Fuji XT-1, 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8Obama SXSW 20160542
Nikon D810, 70-200MM, 2.8Obama SXSW 20162937
Fuji 100T, 23mm, 2.0IMG_9070
Fuji 100T, 23mm, 2.0 SXSW 2016 day 7 Fuji 9250
Fuji XT-1, 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8SXSW 2016 day 7 Fuji 9735
Nikon D810, 70-200MM, 2.8SXSW 2016 day 58473

Olloclip Lenses Featured on The History Channel

You know that Olloclip lenses for the iPhone, have been in my bag since they first came out.
Having well made, actual glass lenses that perfectly attach to my phone, and have a sweet range of focal lengths, is a kind of a photographic security blanket for me, while shooting with my iPhone.
Telephoto, wide angel, fisheye, macro, the whole deal, in a compact package.

And now Olloclip will be featured this Friday, February 26th at 10:00 p.m. on the new HISTORY CHANNEL program titled “MILLION DOLLAR GENIUS”, produced for A&E Television Networks, LLC. And we wanted to give you a heads up before the show aired.

The new Million Dollar Genius program started airing last week on the History Channel, and it will run through May. Each half hour segment will feature amazing stories behind some of the world’s best inventions. There will be interviews with inventors describing their idea and process, including their “eureka moments” the engineering and design process, sales and marketing, and finally their “revelations of success.” Here’s the link to the show website.

includes interviews with Patrick (Founder and CDO), Steve (CEO), Chong (Design Director) and Sophie O’Neill (Patrick’s daughter and Marketing Intern).
And if you can’t catch it tonight, use the link to watch at your convenience.
I will.

Canon Announces EOS 1DX, Mark II : Coming Soon

Canon Announces New Flagship DSLR, The 1DX, Mark II, coming in April

Continue Reading »

Kodak Super 8 FILM Camera : Same As It Ever Was?

Sure, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was shot in Film.
So was Hateful 8. And people are buying turntables again. And vinyl has been on the rise for awhile.
What is going on?
A return to analog is creeping back into our digital lives.
But why?
Has there been enough pixels and cloud stored images? Is there a desire to experience the warmth and imperfections of the analog mediums? Everyday I read about photographers retiring to, or supplementing their shooting with film cameras.

On the flip side of 360º video and VR markets, comes the old yellow stalwart Kodak, with a return to the past glory of a Super 8 Film Camera:

“You Press the Button, and We Do the Rest” was the selling point of Kodak Brownie in 1889.

And the came the home movies, with the same promise of ease.
Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 10.24.27 PM

The new Super 8 model has an LCD screen, and will take an SD to record your audio.
You pay for a cartridge, send it to Kodak and get back the processed film and a digital scan of the footage.
What you donut get, for everyone used to video cameras, is the audio tied to the visual.
That’s right, you have to sync the audio in post.
I you are a hobbyist, that is part o the charm.
If you are a student, that is part of your learning process.
If you are a general user, you will have to sync your audio files, which may be more than a lot of folks want to do.

The whole idea here has a throwback feel, and a kitsch factor that will appeal to many. The wait time to see your results?
Hmmmm… we’ll see if buyers are truly ready for that.

Does shooting analog make you a better image maker, slow you down to be more thoughtful, or have a look that no algorithm can reproduce?