The Case for Field Monitors

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I’m a convert.

Not to any particular religion, but instead to the idea that a field monitor is the most important piece of equipment you can have on a video shoot after the camera, a lens and some kind of support.

This represents a sea change in my worldview. As a still photographer for decades, until recently I thought the bane of my video production existence was audio. But a Zoom H4n, a shotgun, a couple of lavs and a wireless system later, I’ve changed my mind.

And that’s because while I took for granted my ability to obtain tack-sharp focus every time, I’ve learned the hard way once again that assumptions are the mother of all screw-ups.

Turns out it was easier to focus in the good old days of film, manual lenses, split image rangefinders, and coarse microprisms on ground glass than it is today through on-board electronic viewfinders (EVFs) and LCDs.

There’s a reason why third party EVF’s and monitors are so popular.

I recently had the opportunity to review a 7.7” diagonal field monitor, and it was a revelation (no religious undercurrent intended).

Why?

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Complete Workflow Of A Beauty Portrait Editing Process Using Capture One Pro

capture1As someone who, admittedly, still hasn’t entirely accepted the Creative Cloud (and as someone who prefers their editing programs to be desktop based), I confess that I’ve been moonlighting with the Capture One Pro software as a potential replacement for when/if I’m ever ready to branch away from Adobe. I also admit that I’ve been a little lazy when it comes to taking the time to learn and establish a workflow using the Photoshop alternative. Needless to say, I was pleased as punch to see Michael Woloszynowicz from FStoppers do a full walk through video of his post production process using only Capture One Pro 8.

Even if you’re not interested in the Capture One software, the video still provides you with an excellent tutorial on non-destructive fashion and beauty editing, so be sure to jot down some notes!

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Adobe Rolls Out Creative Cloud 2014.2 Updates at AdobeMAX; Photoshop Gets New “Layer Inspector” Workspace

As expected, mobile and touch capabilities were the star of the show at Adobe’s Keynote this morning. The majority of the presentation revolved around product demos of their mobile apps, some of which are new as of today. Photoshop Mix, a mobile app that caters to non-destructive photo editing on the go, looks surprisingly strong for composite photography, and is now available on iPhone (iOS7 or greater).  All of the mobile apps are deeply integrated into their desktop versions thanks to Adobe’s Creative Profile, which makes all your projects accessible throughout all your Adobe programs, mobile or desktop.

Adobe Mix now available on iPhone.

Adobe Mix now available on iPhone.

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$7 DIY Diffusion Hack And Bonus Color Grading Tutorial All In Less Than 10 Minutes

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Film Riot is awesome. Where else can you go to learn how to make the world’s easiest DIY diffusion and get a free bonus lesson in color grading? We have them to thank for putting out this video clip that shows us how to save money by using a cheap shower curtain to diffuse lights for perfect lighting. And if that weren’t enough, they also let us join them for a walk through of their color grading workflow.
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Speed Up Your Workflow With This Free Lightroom Plugin That Displays A Grid Of The Focus Points Used By Your Camera

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The aptly named Show Focus Points, is a small, but extremely handy Lightroom plugin that allows you to quickly display the focus points your camera used to take each of your photographs. A feature that could vastly improve editing time, especially when working with a focus stack.  As Gannon from over at PetaPixel points out, having an option to display focus points seems so obvious, it’s a wonder Lightroom hasn’t built the feature into it’s module in the first place.  [Read more...]

A Free Photoshop Panel For Hassle Free Facebook Perfection

Many of us photographers are using Facebook on a daily basis. It is quite a brilliant tool both for sharing photos and doing some marketing. It is free(ish) and extremely widespread .

Sadly, facebook still has a major issue - especially for the ones who using it to showcase their work –  Image quality.

Facebook applies some heavy compression to uploaded pictures. Maybe it’s because over 90% of these images are cell phones snapshots of cats, babies and cars (or sometimes all combined).  I guess facebook does not really have a choice when it comes to managing such a big amount of “cute” images. They have to compress them. Sadly, they also do it with our pieces of art.

You can find a few tips to improve the quality online, some better than others. The topic “Facebook messing up images” is incredibly omnipresent.

A few days ago I discovered a new tool for managing the quality of facebook uploads and wanted to share it.

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From Shoot To Blog, What Is The Best Way To Get Your Images Looking Great (Also On Your Blog)?

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First thing….

Having a good workflow from camera to web is key. It should be noted that this workflow not a wedding workflow or a image heavy workflow and is one of the more expensive setups. I guess you could call this a premium workflow or a high end workflow. It is designed for photographers who are all about quality over quantity. If you are putting out 8-10 high end images per shoot, have paying clients, you have busy sets and pressure deadlines, this might be the set up for you.

Capture One (Capture) > Capture One (Develop) > Photoshop > Lightroom > SmugMug > WordPress

The interesting here is that each step is using the best program or tool.

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Everything You Wanted To Know About Codecs And Why They Matter

If you’ve done any video work in your life, there is more than a slight chance that you were staring at Adobe Premiere (or Avid, Or Final Cut) export screen and drooling a bit while you were trying to understand what the heck all those dials on the screen mean.

David Kong just release what I would as the best primer to codecs I have ever seen.

David covers everything from what codecs are (compression and decompression); what is the difference between a codec and a container; what are the pros and cons of using each codec and touches a bit about his workflow.

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