Photoinduced Holiday Gift Guide Part 3: The Beauty of the PhotoBook!

The list of items you can wrap now moves into a more classical vein. A book!
You may learn from them, be inspired, be moved, motivated, or just enjoy the images that you share without being logged on.
I’m a voracious collector of books, and have just one pet peeve: when images are split between 2 pages and the image ends up cut in the “gutter” or center of the book. My feeling is either make the image smaller or the book bigger.
Most of these books pass that criteria, but there will be image exceptions.

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Photoinduced Holiday Gift Guide Part 2: The Extras They Need

Let’s continue on with some more gifting ideas, taken from our real world usage of this gear.
We can call them accessories, but these are some needed items for the photographer.
Hmmmm….. difference between need and want? Not for me to say.

Let’s start with gifting the portrait shooters using speedlights and recco of a couple of cool Lighting Modifiers:
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Photoinduced Holiday Gift Guide 2014 Part 1: GoPro or GoHome

Ahhh yes, it’s that time of year again!
Gifting for others, self gifting, deals aplenty, and the economy moves forward.
But how to discern the right goodie to get?
We’ve been looking at a ton of good through the year and will let you know what we feel is worth your time, and wrapping expertise.
Today starts the posting of the Photoinduced Holiday Gift Guide with Part #1, and in a shift from all photography, this time we’ll start with GoPro products. This is one piece of gear that should be in your kit, and the accessories that are available should make the recipient a creative wonder. Or delight them as they open the package.

First up this year is one of the best tools we’ve seen in awhile: the 3 Axis stabilizer from DSLR Pros. Using a GoPro 3 or above, this trick bit of cool gear makes handling a tiny camera, making pro smooth moves an easy task.

About $350.
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Fotodiox Flapjacks : Tasty Name for a Sweet LED Lighting Solution

Have you tried them all? The explosion of LED lighting solutions in the past years have yielded some great choices for the videographer or still photog needing continuous light.
The Studio options are getting cheaper, but are they getting better?
After year of using the square or rectangular, which are still viable, I’ve found that the circular options give the best catchlights.
You know what they are, right? That reflection in the eye which give that spark of life in a portrait. Also, it’s a good lesson in how a shot is lit.
The Fotodiox Flapjack has taken a huge cue from the industry’s needs and produced a well made, set of LED lights with the star for me being the Pro Flapjack being the star for me. Specifically the Pro FlapJack LED 300R 10″ round

The Flapjack Pro does come in a storage and transport case with everything you need: battery, charger, extension cord, even a car charger.


By using an edge array of LED lights the white main panel gives a smooth, even light. All of my previous and current LED light require a layer of diffusion to take the harshness of. Here it’s all done, and done right.

This last item speaks to the portability. I have taken the unit in a backpack, throw in a Nano light stand or 2, add in a reflector and I’m interview ready with beautiful light.


That’s the main deal: with a good, diffused light, your subjects get a gentler touch.

The power output is adjustable, with a twist know to get you the exact output you need or want,from 10%-100%, as a key or a fill.
Battery life is about 1- 1.25 hours at Full output,4.5 at 50% so take extra batts, and the power cord if you need. Check out the Wasabi Batteriesline-up on Amazon. Actually use this company for a lot of battery needs.

Here are some of the specs on the unit. Good, strong, yet relatively light weight.


If I’m in an environment where there is an outlet, I’ll take advantage of it.

And for fast product shots, this Flapjack now lives on a light stand, when not in the bag. The unique slant to the yoke, gives an immediate head start to the top lit shots and lets it reach in just a little bit more.


For $400, you get a well made, solid, great looking, versatile, lighting solution.
Solid recco for a BUY!

And when I’ve coupled it with the some some of the other LED lights they make (like the ringlight I can’t find anymore in the catalog) I’ve got another version for a lightweight portrait studio, with a sweet look.

Fotodiox has been around for awhile, and has been supplying affordable solutions for the photographer/videographer. My kit bag has a bunch of their products an I’ve never been disappointed, plus saved I’ve saved some good dough.

By the way, if you are a GoPro owner, check out their line of accessories, not the least of which is a fantastic case.

Padcaster : An iPad studio tool AND a DSLR Camera Cage

There are times when the gear you need, is cloaked in another format, used for something completely different.
After purchasing the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera recently, the small size is amazing for the media quality you can generate.
There are some drawbacks: you need an external sound recorder, and the small size means you need some way to stabilize the camera. A cage would take care of a lot of needs.The search was on for a solution.


Enter the Padcaster.
Originally designed to act as a tablet frame for shooting video, ( see the home page) this has solved a bunch of problems for my video shooting.
A frame that has a series of 1/4-20 , and 3/8″ holes, along with a centered base, that allow you to use the aluminum frame as cage for your DSLR or 4/3 camera. Add on a mic, light, Zoom recorder, plus combine it with a quick release video mount, and go from handheld to tripod easily.

This company has created 2 frame sizes, iPad and iPad mini. One is best for DSLR’s and the other for a 4/3rd camera as a cage.

OK, they are truly meant to use the polyurethane insert (very strong) insert your tablet, and then you can purchase their padcasting package with lens, mic, and mic adapter, plus all of the mounting hardware, and shoot edit on the fly and upload your newsbreaking story. Or kids recital.
On the site , they give you a list of all of the accessories available.

How was it in the real world?
Took it out to Rockefeller Center today, and gave it a whirl.

First of all, the full size frame with iPad Air and lens installed, fit perfect in my Think Tank CityWalker
Very important, as the rig could’ve been unwieldy.

Felt firm and steady in the hands as the extra weight gave the vid a bit of smoothness. Almost like a FigRig
The hand movements to operate all were in a good place, even with the added frame dimensions.

A bit of fringing on the lens, so I’d use another from the bag, but easy enough to swap.They give you step rings, so more made for the add on type lenses. If you want to use your real glass, there must be an adapter that’ll hook you up.

On the mic, you can swap out for a wireless lav receiver mounted on the cold shoe, your favorite Rode, or just go for a Zoom. Lot’s of stuff on the cage, so gauge your comfort level. def go for the JAM guitar inout for iPad as that’ll get your audio in easily.

My preference is a Mini cage with the BlackMagic Pocket Cinema, Litepanel mini, Rode Mic ( may switch it up to a juiced link pre-amp) and a Manfrotto quick release base.

I will tell you that they are making a new tripod mount screw for the Mini. Just a hair too long, right now. I used some furniture foam discs to make the size slack, and my rig works, and it is solid.

This goes in my bag right now.
I’m not an iPadcaster but, I can see how this rig will make things easier for you if you are, especially by editing on the tablet after your shoot, and uploading fast.

Like I said, I had a need, and this rig fit it perfectly and at the right price.
The size,the versatility, the overall build quality makes this a solid buy.
Could be just right for you,too.

Check em out on padcaster on amazon
If you’re looking to get the basic rig, it’s about $100 for the mini and $160 or the fullsize.


Upcoming Events

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

Current Exhibitions

  • Annenberg Space For Photography
  • “Inside Tracks: Behind the lens on the assignment of a lifetime”
  • Through February 1, 2015
  • 2000 Avenue of the Stars, #10
  • Century City, CA. 90067
  • Tel: 213.403.3000
  • Getty Center
  • Through March 22nd, 2015
  • 1200 Getty Center Drive
  • Los Angeles, CA. 90049
  • Tel: 310-440-7300
  • Yossi Milo Gallery
  • Assaf Shaham – Division of the Vision
  • Jan. 15th,-Feb 21st 2015
  • 245 Tenth Avenue
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel: 212-414-0370
  • Howard Greenberg Gallery
  • Staff Picks
  • Through Jan 24th, 2015
  • 41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406
  • New York,NY 10022
  • Tel: 212-334-0100
  • Staley-Wise Gallery
  • Deborah Turbeville
  • Jan 23th – March 21st, 2015
  • 560 Broadway
  • New York,NY
  • 10012
  • Phone: 1-212-966-6223
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Modern Photographs from the Thomas Walther Collection, 1909–1949
  • Dec. 13th, 2014 – April 19th, 2015
  • 11 West 53rd Street
  • NYC,NY
  • 10019-5497
  • (212) 708-9400
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Thomas Struth: Photographs
  • Through February 16, 2015
  • 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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