Speed Links for 12-27-2008

speedlinksDecember is a personal favorite. With holidays spanning the globe, it is a great time to spend time with family, friends and community.

I am pretty excited about Something Newer the photo contest we are running right now. Connecting with the holidays the theme for the contest is friends. And the prizes are as shiny as those boxes under the tree – two-week rentals of bodies and lenses. If you are taking some days off and looking for something to read, watch or inspire your photography, read on for December’s speedlinks.
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Exploring Small Strobes: Speedlight Accessories

Exploring Small StrobesWelcome to this multi-part series of articles on Exploring Small Strobes by Yanik Chauvin from Yanik’s Photo School.

In part 1 on Exploring Small strobes, I looked at why using flash guns instead of the built-in flash and studio strobes. In part 2, I went through the importance of using your speedlight off camera. In part 3, I covered how to trigger your small strobes off camera. Today, we’ll look at accessories made especially for speedlights.
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Lightroom Tip: Backing Up Huge Lightroom Files

lightroom-logo.jpgWhen searching for a backup solution I was most fascinated with the option of online storage. My major concern was the huge catalog files that Lightroom creates. I even listed the huge catalog files a deadly sin :)

I got a great tip on the comments explaining how to use XMP files to override the huge files issue. Thanks Jigar. (Unfortunately, the comment got deleted as part of my fight with a spam attack. Please post the comment again so I can provide appropriate credit).

My Lightroom workflow is very similar to the workflow Kerry showed on his Lightroom workflow video. That mean my catalog is always changing/evolving/growing. It also means that my backup software will notice that the file has changed and try to back it up after every session. Kinda heavy with a 60 Megs file. This is where XMP comes in to play.
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Something Newer – A Photo Project

Something New - A Photography ProjectGood news: we are The Something New Project to photo submissions.

Keeping the same sharing theme, only from a different angle we are opening up a new way to submit an entry to the Something New Photography Project.

That means that in addition to the original way of submitting an entry – by sharing a New Gear Experience, you may also enter to the contest by sharing an image that relate to the friends theme.

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DIY L-Plate / L-Bracket

DIY L-bracketIn the following article Trevis Thomas (Flickr) shows us how to make an L-bracket – A useful Tripod mod that allows you to mount your camera vertically on the tripod.

I was in the market for a new joystick style-ball head and I thought that the design of the head would be limiting if I wanted to shoot with my camera in portrait orientation. Then I remembered watching a pod cast by Scott Bourne where he showed his camera mounted to a fancy L-Bracket. I thought that that would be the perfect solution and went on the hunt for a custom bracket for my Pentax K20D.

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Seven Deadly Backup Sins And Seven Heavenly Ways For Redemption

The End of EverythingAbout a month ago my computer’s Power Supply Unit died on me. While changing that power unit was both cheap and got me banging my head against the computer case technically effortless, it got me thinking that my pictures are not all that secured on my hard drive. Now, I do back up to an external disk, but after hearing some tips from DIYP readers, I realized that I am guilty of seven deadly backup sins. Here is a collection on those sins and matching redemption as suggested by DIYP readers. A lot of the tips were given by more than one reader. 

This is also a great opportunity to mention Brian’s excellent series about Photo backup. [Image by Dude Crush]

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Wix It!

Don’t you just love flashy web galleries? I do.

This is why I am excited to welcome Wix as a new DIYP sponsor.

Wix provide an easy to use web gallery and portfolio solution. The thing that makes Wix special, though, is the fact that they provide a flash based gallery.

But wait, there is more:

  • Custom photographer templates that you easily can edit and personalize.
  • Easy to use drag-and-drop editor, no need to know flash programming. With a wide set of galleries and slideshows, creating a business site or a portfolio is a breeze.
  • Import images from Flickr, your computer or anywhere on the web

Check out the the bottom part of the site to see how other photographers wixed their site.
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Ghetto Flower Setup

Ghetto Flower SetupA few weeks ago I stumbled across Sandra Freeman‘s photography site. I was captured by her stunning life-like flower images. I then asked Sandra to share her photography ideas with DIYP readers.

Gladly for us, she agreed.

I was surprised to learn that Sandra is using nothing but one window as light source, and nothing but black fabric and some foam core board as studio. Then again, Sandra shows us all that there is no need for fancy studio equipment to take great shots – all you need is good brains. Just like the Spraying Flowers tip, it can not get any simpler.

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Six Great Swapping Ideas

Something New - A Photography ProjectWith only ten days left to our Something New – A photography Project, I wanted to share 6 ideas for swapping equipment. Swapping equipment provides a great chance to check both new equipment but more importantly to boot your creativity by trying something new and unfamiliar, forcing you to give attention to what you do. Once you’ve swapped and wrote a review you get to enter our prize winning contest – a camera, lens or combo two weeks rental courtesy of BorrowLenses.com.

1. Swap Yellow and Red – If you are a Canon shooter, this is the time to try one of them Nikon Cameras. If you are Yellow, Try a cool Canon. You’ll get a kick out of zooming out instead of zooming in.

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Six Photography Projects You Can Print Or Fold

1. Printable Flash Gels

Five Photography Projects You Can Print Or FoldAfter Rosco dropped the axe on their sample gel program, us photographers had to find alternatives. The idea is quite simple, using a transparency sheet and a printer, simply print your favorite gels on the sheet. In the project description there is a PDF with CTB, CTO and Window Green gels – your starters strobist kit. Are the colors 100% balanced, I am not sure, however, it is a quick solution till Rosco comes up with their strobist kit. LINK.

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