Don’t Touch that Dial

This week we take a look at the dial on your DSLR – what do they do and is it worth it taking it off the Auto Mode?  Or even putting it into the auto mode?  What are the benefits?  Pros? Cons?  There’s thoughts both ways and I’ll look into each and give a few answers on this weeks show.  Also on this weeks show, I had the opportunity to talk with Matthew Bamberg, a well-known and respected photographer and author of digital photography books.  We had a great chat that you definitely are going to want to tune in to to get some tips tricks and places to go for great photography.  Check out the links in the sidebar for his books at Amazon and his website too, over at the hosted version of the podcast with the folks at Personal Life Media.

Lastly, the listener questions and answers, and some contest news rounds out the show too!

  • Daguerreotype
  • Best Scanners for photography
  • Windows 7 – is it for photographers?

Lots to talk about, and a great time all around, including the theme and announcement for the November giveaway!  Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to “Digg” the podcast over at PLM, or offer a review in iTunes, or even share your comments here on the blog.  Where do you put your dial?  What do you think of a DSLR in auto mode?  Is it good or bad?  Did I call it right?  Share your thoughts…the listening world wants to know! 🙂  Here’s the web links for stuff we talked about on the show:

Happy shooting everyone and we’ll see you back here tomorrow!

Let’s Make some NOISE

Or not…since Noise Ninja is designed to remove it from your images!  Regardless, give it up for our latest contest winner!  I gotta tell you, this month was very difficult, as there were some incredible images in the Flickr thread.  Stop in there and take a look for yourself and you’ll see how tough it was to judge this one.

I know – everyone says that, but seriously – there were some images in this one that were just stunning.  But, when push comes to shove, the one I kept going back to was one that evoked three key things to me:

  1. The essence of the theme – nothing says fall more than leaves, and while many captured the colors amazingly, this one really hit the nail on the head!
  2. I’m not sure if the blur was done in camera with a shallow depth of field or if it was done afterward in post production, but either way, it forces the eye to dead center – with nowhere else to go – beautiful bokeh!
  3. Last but not least, when push comes to shove, the principle of “K.I.S.S.” applies (keep it simple, silly!) in composition, and was definitely the case here.

So, without further ado, here is the winning shot:

October Giveaway Winner
October Giveaway Winner

The best part (for me) is that after I culled through the images (I literally don’t even look at whose shots are associated with a participant until I’ve downloaded them all, imported into Lightroom, decided on the finalists, and then picked a winner), I found out that this shot was taken by a fellow blogger, a fellow NAPPer, and Twitterer!  So, please join me in sending out a huge “Congratulations!” to Karen Stansel (a.k.a. Mitzs)!  You can catch up with her at her blog, at NAPP, and on Twitter.  This one really did stand out from a packed field of autumn foliage in its simplicity, singularity, and creativity!  Shoot me an email when you read this and I’ll get the folks at PictureCode to send you a Pro license of Noise Ninja!

For the gallery of the rest of the finalists, enjoy the slideshow here!

Thanks to everyone for participating, and to the folks at PictureCode for their sponsorship of the giveaway.  Stay tuned to find out the theme and prize for the November giveaway, as this may be one you weren’t expecting (but should be fun and challenging at the same time)!

In some other news that I was remiss on reporting last week, PhotographyBB also has come out with their latest issue of the popular monthly online Photo Magazine.  You can download your copy for free at the link here.  Thanks to Dave Seeram as well for giving me an opportunity to write for the magazine so regularly…it really has been (and will continue to be) an honor for me to participate with such amazing writers!

Don’t let the short delay keep you from shooting though – so keep on clickin’ and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow!

That’s why they call it a “Beta” (or RTFM)

The latest buzz to hit the photography world has been a trinity of buzz and hype.  First, Canon announced the 1D Mark IV, then, on the heels of that, Adobe announced the release of Lightroom 3 in Beta form.  To round things out, Lensbaby came out with a couple new optical shift lenses to appeal to the creatively inclined.  I mentioned the 1D Mark IV last week, and today I was going to give a rundown of what the buzz is all about with Lightroom.  We all know about the new features including exporting video (musical slideshows), and I was going to show you screenshots and share a few here on the blog.  But, rather than join the fray in a rush to point out the “cool” factor, an interesting experience illustrated exactly why you must tread carefully with betas.

See, it installed and worked perfectly well with Windows XP, but when I went to load it on my trustworthy Mac running OSX 10.4 (Tiger), got an odd error:

Lightroom 3.0 Beta Error
Lightroom 3.0 Beta Error

As those of us in IT say when we see cryptic errors like this:  “That’s not so good…”

But here, it just serves as a reminder to those of you early adopters out there – keep your existing workflow as you experiment with Lightroom 3, because after all, that’s why they call it a “Beta”!  So, any thoughts on why this would happen?  Feel free to sound off in the comments or with me via email or Twitter.  I’m not too worried about it as I’ve got my LR2 and iPhoto to work with, so am happy just acting as a tester in the Windows world.

Last but not least, I know I promised to have a winner for the October contest announced today, but time just ran away from me with several projects coming to a culmination over the past few days. (Good news for the blog and podcast though as tons of content is about to pour through the siphon here!)  That announcement will come tomorrow…and until then, keep on shooting!

ETA:  Based on the initial comments and my actually taking the time to read the docmentation, it does appear my version of OSX (Tiger, or 10.4) is not supported with Lightroom 3.0 Beta, so until I upgrade the OS, my Beta experience will be restricted to Windows XP.