Welcome Presslite Vertex

Please join me in welcoming PRESSlite as a sponsor for DIYP. PRESSlite are the makers of the VerteX flash mod.

Not only this mod will make everyone around you come asking questions, it will also double your lighting options when using one flash. (I know it sounds weird, but after you watch the 3D demo it becomes clear). Review coming soon…

Till the end of September it will go on a special sale for 34 USD, after getting 30% discount if you are fast and have another commercial bouncer.

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15 Great Portrait Tips By You – Portrait Professional 8 Giveaway Part two

Below you will find 15 great portrait tips on group shots, taking kids pictures and post processing.

Tips were submitted by you as part of the Portrait Professional 8 Giveaway project. As part of this project DIYP readers submitted over 200 portraits and 15 tips.

My favorite is by Heather Katsoulis and deals with getting natural portraits of kids. Heather, along with CRT and Matt wins a copy of Portrait Professional 8 studio edition. [Read more...]

Portrait Professional 8 Giveaway Winners – Part One

It is amazing to see the wide spectrum of interpretations to the work portrait. My last DIYP group project was to ask DIYP readers to choose someone of significance in their life and to photograph his or hers portrait.

It was a great ride and we had more then 200 portrait taken and shared (note to self – next time tag for black and white Vs. Color). The submissions are great and I had great time going over the various portraits. I thank everyone that took part in this exiting project.

The two winners of the portrait submission will receive the studio version of Portrait Professional 8, valued at $119.95.

Just before I share the two winning images and the two runners up, I would like to share some behind the scenes of crating and judging this contest.

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Gotta Love The Lomo

Lomo Action SamplerI really like the Lomo Action Sampler. I shoot digital today, but there is a warm spot in my heart kept for the Action sampler. I’ve been wanting to write an Action Sampler post for a long time now, and the 50$ camera project initiated by Brian Auer from Epic Edits, just gave me enough of a kick to go and make this post. (Brian was also so kind and asked me to be one of the judges along with the excellent Jim Talkinton).
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Portable Power – Explorer XT Product Review

Explorer XT Potable Power Product ReviewI try to do almost all my outdoor shooting with Nikon Speedlites. This should be quite obvious to anyone who reads this blog. However, strobes can not always provide all the light you need. (Unless you can stack a gazillion of them together). Some cases where a strobe will not cut it are shooting against a harsh sun, lighting huge deserted interiors, having to use large diffusers outdoors, and more.

Those are just the types of scenes where I use a studio flash… Hey there! waitaminute!! You said shooting outdoors. Are you pulling my leg with the studio flash thing?

Well no, this weekend I got to try Innovatronix’s Explorer XT – an External Battery pack for Studio Flashes. Ron Uriel and I tried to squeeze this baby out. Read on for the full review.

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Composing an Action Sequence Shot

Sequence ShotThey say a picture is worth a thousand words and a movie is worth a thousand pictures. But sometimes you want something in between, something that is as still as an image, yet conveys action like a film. This is an action sequence shot.

Sometimes the best way to achieve an effect is to do it in post. So this post will not involve any gear hacking (although I can think of some elaborate ways to make this with no post at all), but some good old post processing method.

An action sequence shot as a still image that is made from several frames. In the following tutorial Kaan Kiran demonstrates one method of making such action shot.

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Lighting Ori’s One Year Old Birthday

Ori's Birthday Lighting SetupMy son, Ori turned one today. Man, time flies. Just yesterday he was kicking back in his crib. Meditating on how the color in his room slowly fades.

Two and a half days later. BOOM, He is one. Walking (as in from three days ago), dadaing, and has a strong opinion and stand towards anything in this world – starting from the location of the kitchen chairs (always on the move) through the best place for a ball of cereal (the floor), ending with his own spot in the world (in my hands).

So yesterday we had a small family gathering to celebrate. Of course daddy was on the camera to document the event.
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A DIY Optimus Maximus keyboard For GIMP, Photoshop or Lightroom

DIY Keyboard For Image Editing Software If you have not heard about the Optimus Maximus keyboard, let me fill you in.

The idea is simple: Use OLED technology to place a tiny monitor on each key; Make each such small monitor completely configurable, and updatable in runtime; have each button display any image depending on what you are currently doing with your computer.

The easiest example to grasp is that pressing the shift key will turn all “engravings” on the keyboard to CAPS. But a more interesting application would be a keyboard that displays the icons from your favorite image editing software. No more having to memorize what Ctrl + Shift + Alt + S does (it save for the web). Each key will display an image of its action. Isn’t it nice?

Well, you are about top learn how to make an Optimus Maximus keyboard yourself.

Uwe  Mayer (flickr, site) and Markus Dollinger (if you read German) show us how to make a keyboard that well, kinda does the same. Actually, this DIY keyboard is more like the awesome keyboard you get from RPG keys, but you can make one on your own and it will only cost about 30-40$. (See demos here). I just could not pass on the Optimus introduction.

You can use this keyboard to expedite your Lightroom workflow, your Gimp experience or your Photoshop speed-keying.

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Speed Links for 8-28-2008

speedlinksAfter getting back from one great Agile 2008
conference I had some time to get back to my grinding, head in the keyboard work kick back, relax and read some of the great content out there on the web.

I also remind you that there is about a week left to the grand finale’ of the Portrait Professional 8 Giveaway. There are some really great entries both on the black and white category and on the color category. There are also some great tips on taking portraits, and I’m looking forward to getting more of those tips submissions.

And speaking of great project’s Brian’s still running the 50$ camera project – a great way to experience film and get some cool prizes.

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Yes, You Can Say It – The D90 is Out

Now that the rumors have ended and the Nikon D90 is officially out.I bet you’d like to know how it feels. and you may also be interested in how it shoots.

Chase Jarvis just released his videoed review of the Nikon D90. No – it is not available yet – unless your name starts with a Ch and ends with a ase. Read the full review over at Chase’s Blog.

The D90 has some very cool features:

  • Movies (there are called D-movies,  I guess the D is for "DOPE!, how come we did not do it before)
  • Rocking 3 Inch LCD with Live preview (yes Live preview on a top level DSLR)
  • GPS tagging
  • The usual 12.3 megapixels, 4.5 FPS, Low Noise, great interface and ergonomics that you see from Nikon

Estimated at 1,200 USD I am suspecting that it will not be the price that will hold off buyers, but availability.

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