Studio Photoshop » Photography, Photoshop, Art, Workshops, Tutorials, Books, Cool Stuff

I had the opportunity yesterday to go to the Ansel Adams photography show at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa,FL. I have seen a few of his shows and I have been to his gallery in San Francisco and I cannot get enough of his photography. Every time I see his work I get inspired to go out and do my own black-and-white photography. Ansel was truly a master with black and white photography; the tonal range that he obtained in his prints still amazes me to this day.

Two years ago I was in Yosemite for a few days and the whole time I was photographing my thoughts were of how Ansell Adams would be photographing the subjects I was shooting at the moment. Adams was not just a great photographer, but he is also a technician in the darkroom and I always wonder what he would think of the digital world and how it relates to black-and-white photography today. He came up with the zone system and in reality we are still using that system today when we evaluate photographs, we are still talking about 11 zones, D-Max and about highlight detail in zone 10. These were all terms and ideas that Adams, through his books, taught the rest of us photographers how to evaluate our images.

I was wondering what Adams would say on how we evaluate photographs today as we nitpick every imperfection instead of evaluating the image for its artist quality. In a few of his images I noticed dust in the skies, something that we would not even think of allowing with our digital retouching today. This question has occurred to me before as I listen to how we evaluate photographs during competitions, and I sometimes think we lose sight of the artistic aspect of these photographs over evaluating them for their technical perfection.

I’m not saying that technical perfection creates a great image, but I sometimes think we lose sight of the artistic attributes because of the technical issues that are involved nowadays. I have a feeling that Adams would have embraced the technology and perfected his craft, but I do feel also that we as photographers need to work on perfecting our own visions and our artistic qualities of our photos.

Here are a few photographs from my walk in Ansal Adams footsteps.

Hope you all have a great 4th of July with your families and as that is what I am doing and there is no new video today. I will be teaching a Lightroom workshop this Saturday at the Morean Arts Center, in this workshop I will get you started the right way so you will get the most from this program.

Here is photo from my last trip to Mexico.

The iPad has made a noticeable impact on how photographers work and how they use this new technology, so I have put together a list of ten must have apps that photographers need for their iPads.

Easy Release – This easy app allows you to have a model or property release with you at all times. You fill in the models and your information in the field provided, they sign it right there and it gets e-mailed back to you and the model.

Portfolio – The iPads photo viewing app is OK, but it doesn’t let you arrange your photos the way you want. With Portfolio you can arrange your images in the order you want them viewed and you can add your logo so clients will see it first.

Adobe Photoshop Express – A very pared down version of the ubiquitous photo-editing tool, yes, but handy none the less for making basic corrections such as rotating photos, cropping, straightening and even more creative functions such as saturation, tint and convert to black and white.

Sun Seeker – As an architectural photographer I love this app, but If you are a nature photographer or you shoot outdoors this is a must have app. It will tell you when sunset and sunrise is and show you with a compass on the screen exactly where the sun will be.

HelloPhoto – This iPad app that can effectively resurrect photos taken on slides and negatives, reviving an art form that’s slowly being overlooked in this digital era. Whether you are nostalgic, a photo purist, or have boxes of slides and negatives to sort through, HelloPhoto can rescue your film from dust.

Fotopedia Heritage – 20,000 photos from across the world’s 890 World Heritage Sites and 3,000 points of interest – if travel, landscape and architecture photography is your bag you could easily find yourself lost in this app for hours.

Filterstorm – It contains a suite of powerful tools including curves manipulation, color correction abilities, noise reduction, sharpening, vignetting, and black and white conversion fine-tuning.

DSLR Camera Remote – DSLR Camera Remote lets photographers control a long list of compatible cameras from a distance. You can remotely adjust the white balance, shutter speed, aperture and exposure. You can look at images sitting on the camera’s memory card. And you can even look through the viewfinder to see what the camera sees when you’re on the other side of the studio.

Camera Manual – This is not an app but if you have an PDF of your camera manual you can drop it into iBook and have it with whenever you go.

Square – Photographers who sell they’re images outside the studio, Square is both a unique and invaluable way to take payments on location. It allows photographers to accept credit card payments on their mobile devices.

Of course it’s possible to shoot efficiently and well without an iPad, and Apple’s tablet is never going to replace the laptop. But a few well-chosen apps can make life easier for photographers.

Two weeks ago I was in Atlanta for a Professional Photographers of America affiliate leadership meeting and had a chance to meet up with a friend and photographer Jim DiVitale. I work with Jim at Photoshop World twice a year and I have to tell you he is one of the nice people in the world. Jim has always told me that If was in Atlanta that we should meet up and go out and photograph. Jim took me to the historic Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta Georgia.

This cemetery sits on top of the hill and you can see the skyscrapers in downtown Atlanta from it along with some damage that was done from tornadoes a year before. Jim’s assistant, Keith came along and he showed me some of the Confederate gravesites and the Confederate Unknown Soldier Memorial. We were photographing in the middle of the afternoon and it was extremely hot and humid, so in that short time here are some the images that I was able to capture that day.

Startling Graphic Reveals Life “Behind The Lens”

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then an image released on speaks volumes. The recently published infographic looks at personal preferences and industry trends of 22 professional photographers.

The infographic – along with interviews with each photographer – can be found at

The interviews revealed several key insights, including preferred camera, software and opinions on digital versus film photography.

According to the interviews, an overwhelming majority of photographers – roughly 95% – prefer relatively inexpensive cameras such as Nikon and Canon to high-priced counterparts like Mamiya and Hasselblad.

For more information visit:

New Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader Dramatically Accelerates Digital Workflow

The Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader features the new SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface, which operates at 500MB per second; while the Hi-Speed USB 2.0  interface operates at 60MB per second*. The Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader takes advantage of the performance of high-speed cards. Real-world tests prove that today’s high-performance cards can be read more than six times faster with the Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader than with previous generation USB 2.0 card readers, and future high-performance cards are likely to enable an even faster data transfer experience. The reader can transfer content from both SD and CF cards simultaneously, and allows for easy file transfer from one card to another. The USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader also features an innovative, pop-up mechanism that lets users close the reader when not in use, protecting it from dirt and debris. Its compact, portable design means users can take it on the go, and its smooth contours help it slip easily in and out of a photo bag or briefcase.

For more information visit:

Tether Tools® Releases LAJO-4® ProBracket

Tether Tools®, designer and manufacturer of the Tether Table Aero System for tethered photography, has upgraded their patented LAJO® ProBracket to serve professional and enthusiast photographers using the Arca-style quick release mounting platform. The state-of-the-art LAJO-4 ProBracket now integrates the Arca-style functionality into the bracket along with the existing 1/4″-20 tripod threads, 3/8″ tripod mount threads and 5/8″ pins found on studio stands and arms.

The Tether Table Aero System, a convenient platform for laptop computers or versatile workstation for lenses, gear, staging, and more, is mounted via the ProBracket and designed to work with the tripods, stands and arms photographers already own and use.  Now with the LAJO-4, Arca-style users no longer have to dedicate an Arca-style plate to mount their Tether Table.  The built-in attachment enables photographers to mount their Tether Table directly to any Arca-style compatible head such as Really Right Stuff, Acratech and Arca Swiss.

Engineered from T6 Aerospace Aluminum, the LAJO-4 ProBracket weighs less than 10 ounces (.28 kilograms) and can hold up to 30 pounds (13.5 kilograms). The bracket is finished in a brushed silver or non-reflective black complementing the Tether Table Aero and accompanying line of accessories.

The LAJO-4 ProBracket integrates fully with the complete line of Tether Tables in the Aero System.  Perfect for studio work or on-location tethered photo shoots, the Tether Table mounts to any tripod, studio stand, MagicArm or SuperClamp in seconds; no adapters needed.  The Aero line is thoughtfully designed to easily fit into any photographer’s current workflow.

For more information visit:

AfterCapture Magazine Wins Fourth MAGGIE Award

AfterCapture Magazine, a professional publication focused on digital photographic and post-production digital image processing(and one of my favorite magazines), announces that the publication has been honored with its fourth consecutive MAGGIE Award since the magazine’s launch in 2007.

During the recent 60th Annual 2011 MAGGIE Awards Banquet, sponsored by and hosted by Western Publishing Association (WPA), AfterCapture Magazine won the Best Single Editorial Enhanced Photo or Illustration/Trade and Consumer magazines category. AfterCapture was selected for the December 2010/January 2011 issue, which featured an article about digital wizard Rob Burman written by Peter Kotsinadelis, “Ordinary to Extraordinary.” The image that garnered the award is the lead photo of the Statue of Liberty almost submerged underwater with Army helicopters in the sky and the Manhattan skyline ablaze in the background. Visit to see the article in its entirety.

“The MAGGIE Awards have long been known as the most prestigious publishing event in the Western United States. Receiving a fourth consecutive MAGGIE Award since the launch of AfterCapture recognizes that we strive for excellence in publishing,” said Bill Hurter, Editor of AfterCapture Magazine. “To all of AfterCapture’s staff and contributors, a hearty congratulations on a job well done!”

For more information visit: