If things just weren’t interesting enough when you fly these days, TSA is making them even more so starting Jan 1. TSA has a whole new set of regs for lithium batteries, spare batteries in particular that can no longer fly. It’s not all grim, some spare batteries can go as carry-on though not checked (you had plenty of spare room for spare batteries in your carry-on, right?).
TSA uses a unit of measure, grams lithium, which while we might be able to decipher it, I seriously doubt most TSA agents will be able to with some of our unique camera batteries. Especially on the fly as bags go past them with the pressure of time on their shoulders. I contemplated adding my spare Dell batteries to this photo but I didn’t want to totally freak you out with the news. So, I guess I’ll be shipping all my spare batteries in my FedEx Pelican along with lenses and other items that simply can’t be trusted to fly in the belly of the plane.
Update: This explanation of the new regs was just posted. Interesting that the TSA site pictures rechargeable batteries, has it in its text, yet it’s supposed to only cover non-rechargeable batteries as a possible fire risk. Clear as mud!
In case you’re wondering, I use the Pelican 1660 to ship my extra gear to locations. These days, typically this contains the 200-400VR, 200VR, Lastolite panels, SB-800s, Leatherman, litestands, Justin Clamps, binoculars and now, spare batteries.
With a break between storms, it was time to get out shooting. With my good friend Jeff Cable from Lexar in town, we headed out to a part of California’s history to shoot. Benton Hot Springs is an old town that was founded in 1852. Today, the Great Basin sage is its largest resident. What’s left is the famous hot springs, a B&B, a collection of old wagons and a couple of old homes.
All of these photos were finished using my new favorite tool found in the new Nik Color Efex 3.0. Those coming to DLWS in 2008 will find out exactly what that filter is, and a whole lot more.
Photos captured by D3, 24-70AFS (top) & 14-24AFS (bottom 2) on Lexar UDMA digital film
I’ve received a number of emails from folks asking just how I use / deal with all the body plates. Well, the BD3-L resides the majority of the time off my main D3 body. I attach it to the main body (what is normally attached to the 600f4 AFS II) when I’m heading out to photograph landscapes. I always have the BD3-L with me, just not always on the body. The second D3 body which always has a strap on it and rides mainly on my shoulder, always, always has the RRS BD3 plate attached. The D300 always has attached to it the RRS BD300 . Why do I do it this way?
The L Plate is essential when shooting landscapes, couldn’t make the images without it. It’s not needed when shooting wildlife so why carry the weight? The 2nd body riding on my shoulder is rarely on a tripod, but just in case, it has the BD3. Why not just attach the BD3-L onto it? Why carry the weight? While I might have all the right stuff with me doesn’t mean I need to have it on me all the time, only those times when I need their magic. Hope that helps.
There’s no secret I’m a HUGE Nik fan using their products in every image I process. From NX , Dfine2.0, Color Efex 3.0 to Sharperner Pro 2.0, I use them all. You’d probably wouldn’t be surprised to find out that I’m also involved in the beta testing of all of these products. I mention all of this because it all comes back to help you! Nik, to say thanks for my voicing my two cents worth is offering YOU a heck of a deal for the holidays. Good until 01.31.08, when you head to this page and put in the code MP2008 (wonder what that stands for), YOU receive 10% OFF (offer expires 01.31.08). You’re buying this directly from Nik right from their site. It’s just a real nice way of their saying thanks that benefits you!
Now the photo you see here is a prime example of how I use Color Efex 3.0. With this particular image, I first used the Darken/Lighten Center filter and then I applied the Glamour Glow filter on top of that. The finishing of the photo took no longer than simply clicking on these filters. CF 3.0 is all new with a UI that’s to die for! There are a bunch of new filters, my favorite I’m not telling you about, it’s my secret weapon. But, updated are old favorites such as Classical Soft Focus, Darken/Lighten Center, and Vignette filters with exciting new filters like Film Effects, Glamour Glow, High Key, Tonal Contrast, Bleach Bypass, and more (two of these are demoed here).
Here’s an opportunity to give yourself (or drop the hint) an early Christmas present and save yourself some dough. Thanks Nik!
Photo captured by D3, 24-70AFS on Lexar UDMA digital film
No sooner than the first IP D3 arrived and I needed to clean the CCD. I reached for my favorite tool, the Arctic Butterfly, and realized it was the wrong size. You guessed it, it was for DX and not an FX sensor. So, I contacted my good friends at VisibleDust and asked what they recommended. In a heartbeat Mr Postman delivered the coolest kit I’ve ever seen. The SD 800 kit rocks because it covers ALL the bases. It includes: BriteVue XL Sensor Loupe (my favorite), Arctic Butterfly, 1.6x Sensor Brush, 1.0-1.3x Sensor Brush, Angled Mirror/Focusing Screen Brush (great tool!), and one size fits all adapter.
You’ll be cleaning the sensor of your D3 or D300 the most when it’s new during the lens mount break in period. I strongly recommend you check out our CCD Cleaning pages and buying the right, new brush sizes you need! If you don’t know what’s the right size for your camera, contact the folks at VisibleDust, they are really nice!
I can tell folks have been receiving their D3′s, the emails are flooding in asking what settings to use. While I did publish my D3 settings on our D3 website, and updated the AF page with this important info, I will admit the new AF settings might be a little overwhelming for “right out of the box” shooting. SO….here’s a visual. When you have a subject like this, a wild Mallard Duck, but more to the point, a single subject against an simple background, you might want to use 51 3D. If you want a complete explanation of the D3′s AF (same as the D300) and times to apply which AF mode to what and how, quickly, you’ll simply need to get the upcoming (mailed later this month) BT Journal. Hey, I can’t give it all away for free.
Photo captured by D3, 600f4 AFS II w/TC-17e on Lexar UDMA digital film
Wacom announced today TWO new Cintiqs, the 20WSX and the 12WX (pictured here). Those of you who have been either to a DLWS event or our office (where two 21UX live) know how much I depend on these tools, and just how cool they are. These two new introductions, a wide screen (20WSX) and portable (12WX) model, makes them fit everyone’s needs like a glove! We’re hoping we’ll have the 12WX at our DLWS events (along with the 21UX) in 2008 so folks can test drive and then get hooked on this vital tools for the digital darkroom. I highly recommend you not only check them out, but buy them! Oh, this is going to be a great xmas!
One question is flooding in, “how am I dealing with D3 files?” Real simple, DigitalPro 4.2 and Capture NX 1.3. I’ve been very fortunate to be on the Alpha & Beta for both of these programs so know firsthand just how killer a duo they are. Did you know that DigitalPro displays not just the Nefs from the D3/D300, but also photo info such as Flash Compensation and Picture Control (and a whole lot more)? Did you know that in NX 1.3 under Edit List > Base Adjustments > Camera Adjustments you access Picture Control where you can either change what you had set in the camera, or create a curve and load it into your camera?
It’s using these programs and knowing what they can do that makes it possible for me to get through my images so quickly and than, back out behind the camera again. You can check out either program for 30days for FREE…You should do just that! DigitalPro download / Capture NX download
With the D300 now in folk’s hands (lucky people…I’ve not shot one yet) and with the D3′s eminent release, I thought this would be a good time to make live our D3 site. What you’ll find here are just some of my early observations shooting with the D3. I really enjoy shooting with the D3, know you will as well! This is just a user report based on my first month of shooting with the D3. It’s nowhere near complete, I have more I want to add, this is just a start. We have more to post but that won’t happen until we simply have more free time to get the writing done and videos edited. We hope though this gets you excited and ready to shoot with the D3 once you have yours in hand. Enjoy!
Photoshop CS3, Bridge & Lightroom have some updates posted. They take care of a number of annoying bugs that have been present since CS3s release. The easiest way to update is go to launch Photoshop CS3 > Help > Updates click OK, close Photoshop and let’er rip. You can find out some of the improvements by heading to John Nack’s blog. I’ve already updated and a couple of my pet peeve bugs are gone in printing which is really nice.
Have a great weekend!
It was field trip day today for the Base Camp staff. I took them to a favorite old haunt of mine in MT, Nevada City. This great old “ghost” town has a killer old train yard. The combination of 1800′s wood buildings kissed by the winds of time in combination with as old and as kissed trains made for one helluva afternoon of photography!
Cruising the town, I personally saw much of what I was photographing as either B&W or IF B&W images. Images were composed and exposed to that end. Going to B&W IF was real easy using Nik’s new Color Efex Pro 3.0. The rotting old boxcar with their age worn red paint were the exception, they cried out for color! And of course, the D3 made it just that more fun and sweet with the new lenses connected.
Photos captured by D3, 14-24AFS / 24-70AFS on Lexar UDMA digital film
Passing the snow plow, Sharon & I raced up the hill when we saw a break in the storm (it had been snowing most of the afternoon). Within a couple of minutes, we were at 9300 feet at one of our favorite vistas overlooking the Eastern Sierra. There, the storm was reforming for the snow coming tonight. I had a great time running around shooting with the D3 a fast changing scene. I had programmed the D3 so the DOF Preview button when depressed shows the Virtual Horizon inside the viewfinder which really helped me as I steadied myself on the hillside. Getting horizons straight is a challenge for me.
Than the breeze brought a small, temporary opening so we could almost see the bottom of the San Joaquin River down below. The swirling fog moved fast, the D3 had no problem finding and holding focus while metering the scene perfectly.
And than as we turned to head back to home, the storm parked literally over our home and performed its magic. This is one of the many reasons John Muir called this the Range of Light!
Photos captured by D3, 14-24AFS / 70-180macro on Lexar UDMA digital film
Hot off the presses….
Epson Redefines the true essence of creating “signature worthy” prints with launch of its highly anticipated Exhibition Fiber Paper
New Fiber-Based Technology Delivers Look and Feel of Revered Darkroom Paper with the Creative Benefits Epson Ink Jet Printers Offer in Both Color and Black-and-White
LONG BEACH, Calif. â€“ Oct. 8, 2007 â€“ Epson America Inc. today announced what many professional photographers are saying is the perfect blend of revered darkroom papers with the limitless creative control of ink jet printing with the introduction of its Signature Worthyâ„¢ Exhibition Fiber Paper. The paper will be available in 25-sheet packages of 8.5â€?x 11,â€? 13â€?x 19,â€? 17â€?x 22,â€? and 24â€?x 30â€? cut sheets.
This breakthrough paper was developed over several years in collaboration with many of the industryâ€™s leading professional photographers to meet their most discerning requirements. Many who have contributed to the development of Exhibition Fiber Paper have commented that what sets it apart are its extraordinary blacks, clean whites and a surface texture that is just like a true black-and-white silver gelatin print. Additionally, Exhibition Fiber Paper produces extraordinary color output enabling photographers to make stunning prints in both color and black-and-white.
More About Exhibition Fiber Paper
As part of an ongoing collaboration with creative professionals to produce the highest quality prints, Epson has partnered with the Pixel Geniusâ„¢ group, a unique collaboration of industry-leading digital workflow experts, to produce custom color profiles for use with the new Exhibition Fiber Paper. The custom profiles will be available for download October 15 at www.pixelgenius.com/epson, along with valuable information on their use and how to optimize a color managed workflow.
â€œThe print is in many ways the ultimate expression of photography,â€? said Dan (Dano) Steinhardt, marketing manager, Professional Imaging, Epson
More information about Exhibition Fiber Paper can be found at www.proimaging.epson.com.
Exhibition Fiber Paper will be available in November through authorized Epson Professional Imaging resellers.
You might not be aware that I’m now Dell sponsored (have been for about a year actually) and I’m working with them on projects that should help you in the future! In that process, Dell has produced a white paper on our work and how we use their products in our work. You might want to check it out here.
What a morning! I’m incredibly fortunate that Bill Pekala & Carol Fisher at Nikon NPS have made it possible for me to shoot with a D3 right now and OMG! I mean, OMG!
The DLWS gang spent their first morning shooting at Fishtown and what a subject rich environment, perfect for my first run with the D3. The camera just rocks! If you shoot with a D2Xs, getting comfortable with the D3 takes seconds. The large viewfinder and FX sensor is just to die for. Shooting again with a 14mm at 14mm brought tears to my eyes. The AF system is awesome, the metering and dynamic range is better and 9fps is simply the sexiest sound in the world! The new color engine and AWB are really nice and the dual card CF works beautifully. If I wasn’t in the middle of teaching, I would go on and on and on and on about the D3. It’s SO much more than a high ISO stud! I’ll keep posting D3 images as long as I can produce ‘em. Can you tell….I’m dam excited!
Photos captured by D3, 14AF on Lexar digital UDMA film
Those who have been shooting with me of late know that my 200VR, 200-400VR & 600AFSII are all covered in the black LensCoat from LensCoat. Many have asked where I got though the cool “Hoodies” or better known as lens caps for those lenses as well as those on my 28AF and 14AF. They all come from LensCoat and they are VERY cool! They work really great and I highly recommend them. For example, those of your who own the 200VR know what a pain the factory lens cap is, especially when the shade is in its stored position. Well, their one Hoodie (Large) fits the shades when stored or in use and slips on and off with one hand tied behind your back.
I apologize for grabbing the screen shot from the LensCoat website, but I’m writing this from O’Hare Airport and I forgot to upload my product shot (this one doesn’t do this cool product justice). I can tell you though that Scott has a great product YOU should buy. I do know that Scott is right now working on the LensCoats for the new Nikon VR telephotos (might even switch to Nikon because of the D3(sorry Scott, just had to say it)) and he made a custom coat for my treasured 28AF which is great.
You want to take care of your gear and keep the eagle crap from getting in the cracks, this IS the way to go!
In follow up to many emails in regards to if I’m going to upgrade to the new 600VR. The new 600VR focuses 3 feet closer than the 600AFS II, that in itself makes it a must to me! The fact that my good friend Joe McNally says it’s a whole lot faster has me digging through the couch for pennies (and all my neighbors couches too!). Yeah, I plan on having the new 600VR & 400VR as soon as possible!
I just received a sample of the new LensCoat Wimberley Cover and it’s very nice, very nice indeed! If you have one of the new WH-200s, you know the finish shows every, every little spec of dirt. When it’s cold out, working the Wimberley can be no fun. Both of those problems are solved with this new product. It takes only seconds to cover the main arm, no disassembly of the head is required, it’s a no-brainer to attach! LensCoat has come our with a line of lens caps which are very nice as well. You might want to check them out too! Good stuff to protect your expensive gear!