Archive for November, 2009

CS | d3x dgl action

17 Nov

used programs: after effects, sony vegas enjoy!
Video Rating: 3 / 5

Now the best of the best


Photography WordPress Themes

16 Nov

As you know I’ve been slowly (very slowly, sometimes) working on a series of reviews of website templates for photographers. This has given me a bit of insight into the advantages and disadvantages of various kinds of solutions.

Along with the team over at Photocrati, as well as a couple teams of web designers, I contributed that insight to help design a new series of WordPress themes for photographers. I think these are now one of the best low-cost solutions on the market (I’m biased, of course). I’m not going to write a full review of the themes, since it’s hard to objectively review a product you’ve helped design. But I do want to talk about what some of the advantages are, and, yes, some of the disadvantages. I’m going to structure this like my other reviews.

Let me start by saying that we’ve converted this site and I’ve converted my own phojournalism site to the new Photocrati WordPress themes. Check them out here:




In my view, these templates are beautiful. They have just the look I like, which is a simple, elegant look that emphasizes the images. The rest of the site just kind of fades into the background. They use primarily whites, grays, and blacks for the background, which for me is less distracting from the images than greens/reds/oranges or other bright colors.

Let’s start with a few screenshots of the themes. Here they are:




They have the look of many flash sites, even though they are not flash. The home page is designed with one large image space that contains a flash-style slide show.  The gallery pages contain rows and columns of thumbnails, which I prefer to “filmstrip” style thumbnails that require you to scroll up/down or side/side to see all the thumbnails in a gallery.

I actually like the gallery look enough that I actually use a gallery as my home page on my new photojournalism site. Below a screen shot of my new homepage. It also shows you want the galleries generally look like (although you can customize those like everything else.

Grade: A



I’ve often noted that there is an almost direct trade off between Ease of Use and Flexibility. Designers of templates can make thing easier by limiting the number of options you have, or they can give you lots of options, which will complicate things.

WordPress has lots of options. You can do almost anything with it. One downside of that is that WordPress themes are very much do it yourself solutions. You need to set up your own domain, your own hosting, and install WordPress. If you are familiar with all that, it’s really not too complicated. You can do it all in a few minutes at sites like <a href=”http://www.BlueHost.Com/track/erickdan” target=”_blank”>Bluehost</a> that offer one-click installation of WordPress.

Once you’ve got your blog and you’ve got to fill it out, and make many of the layout decisions yourself. Again, this is great for flexibility, but less so if you are looking for a plug-and-play-and-don’t-worry-about-it kind of site.

That said, pound for pound, WordPress is known to be one of the easiest web platforms to learn, giving you a tremendous amount of flexibility for a relatively short learning curve. And once you know WordPress, it IS easy.

Grade: B


If these themes have a learning curve for WordPress newcomers, then the payoff is incredible flexibility. There really is very little you CAN’T do with a WordPress site. You can change colors, fonts, layout. Add elements or take them away. Move elements around. Add text where you want it. Integrate with social media. You can even add a full-fledged forum or e-commerce shopping center to your site if you want to.

The WordPress community is huge, and there are thousands of plug-ins that allow you to do just about anything.

Grade: A


WordPress is the world’s most powerful blogging platform. Not much more to say.

Grade: A


I mentioned just a paragraph or two that there are all kinds of E-Commerce plugin-ins that allow you to add full shopping capability to WordPress. So the potential is there.

But for the time being, these these don’t offer what many of us want, which is the ability to sell photos directly from our galleries. The Photocrati team is working on this, but doing it in a way that is simple and elegant is tough work.

So for the time being, unless you are a WordPress guru who can do it yourself with one of the E-Commerce plugins, then you are out of luck until the Photocrati team comes up with an easy method to do it.

Grade: D


Again, it doesn’t really get any better. Right now the Photocrati themes are selling for each – for lifetime rights to the themes any updates. Pay once, low price, and it’s yours for life. Most highly managed template solutions (Photobiz/PhotoShelter/etc) entail ongoing monthly payments ranging from low to very high.

Grade: A


Once again, WordPress is widely known to have about the best SEO capability that it’s possible to have. It has an inherent advantage over managed flash solutions, because it is a powerful blogging engine. And search engines love blog-style content – it fits all the qualities that search algorithms look for and therefore does very well. That’s while small mom-and-pop blogs can compete on the front page of Google with major multinational corporations.

Grade: A


Photocrati offers a 30-day money back guarantee that entails sending one email requesting a refund. Easy enough.

Grade: A


So, as you can see above, the Photocrati themes are strong in almost every aspect. They have two weaknesses: they do not yet offer the ability to sell your images directly from your site, and there is a learning curve for users who are new to WordPress. The second weakness, however, goes hand-in-hand with overwhelming flexibility. The reason there’s a learning curve is that, with WordPress, you are in control, and you can do just about anything.

As of now, pound for pound, I think these are best low-cost solution on the market, and it competes effectively with some highly managed solutions that cost 10-20 times more.


DSLRBLOG – Photography Business Blog

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Nikon CLS Demonstration Video

15 Nov

A quick demonstration using Nikon’s CLS with SB-800’s and a Nikon D200


Lastolite Triflash Sync: Triple Threat

14 Nov

Multi-speedlight brackets are a great way to gang up your small flashes when you need a little extra oomph, as in when trying to overpower the sun for a portrait.

Why not just buy a monobloc, you ask? Well, for one thing, it is easy to gang up small flashes. But it is a little more difficult to hack a monobloc into key, fill and background lights. Different folks, different workflows.

There are a few options for ganging speedlights into a more powerful, single light. And they have all been pretty much the same — until now.

Ahead of the Curve

Unlike most multi-flash brackets, the Lastolite TriFlash Sync includes three hot shoes, as compared to the typical cold-shoe versions.

And that 1/8″ (3.5mm) jack you see out front? That is parallel-wired to all three, effectively giving you the minijack sync option that frees you from the PC Cord Mafia.

Which means you can use an audio patch cord as a sync cable. A mono cord is supplied, but my stereo cords also worked with a PocketWizard to sync three speedlights at once.

You can also even mount the PW on the center hot shoe and have it securely fastened if you just are firing two strobes. Lastolite includes a cold-shoe adapter for that, lest your PW get locked into an endless relay-mode feedback loop from triggering itself.

Built Like a Tank

With three SB-800s connected as shown, the bracket/flash combo feels like one solid unit. The shoes all have both clamping rails and locking pin holes for Nikon and Canon models.

The clamps are really solid, which is important when you consider how much money could potentially be attached to this thing. I’d hang this one out over water without the usual ball bungee wrapped around the shoes for insurance. The tilt mechanism also has locking teeth, and is quite solid.

(Please note that the above photos are of a beta unit, and the final version may have slight differences.)

Radio Not Required

Obviously, you can go with a 1/8″ hard sync cord into the bracket. But if you are, say, filling with an on-axis flash you can trigger a multi-speedlight key light with the built-in slave.

The slave is intelligent, and battery-powered — which can be good or bad, depending on your perspective.

First off, batt-powered slaves are generally more sensitive, which is good. And you can set it to ignore from one to four pre-flashes, if you are into combining manual and TTL.

But that also means that the slave is battery dependent (in this case, a button cell) so if you are going to be using the slave you have to remember to turn the thing off every time.

It’s a non-issue for me as the PW input is convenient and immune from syncing the flashes from other nearby photographers. And if I needed to use a slave I’d probably opt for the version built into my flashes — the SU-4 mode on the SB-800s is as good as it gets.

That way, I also have three slave eyes pointing in different directions. So the best-aimed slave would trigger, and that flash would easily set the other two off. But most flashes do not have built-in slaves, and the Triflash Sync is inspired thinking for a multi-flash bracket.

They are not yet available, but are coming soon. If you are in the UK you’ll get them first (est. in a couple weeks) as they are UK-made and distributed by Lastolite. And they should be trickling out to other countries via the normal Lastolite outlets in fairly short order after that.

Price is expected to be ~9 in the US. And who knows, UK might even get a relative break this time. Or at least, not have to pay the usual ~1.5x price…


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Nikon D3 overview

14 Nov

See my photographs at Detailed review of the Nikon D3 DSLR. This is not necessarily a full on review, but more of an overlook of my favorite features of the camera, my opinions of the D3 and a comparison between it and other cameras like the nikon d300 and nikon d700.
Video Rating: 4 / 5


D3x@n¡r@ t3 k3l0o mux0o

13 Nov

Bu3n0 3st3 v¡d30 3s c0on mux0o k@r¡ñ0o p@r@ t¡ n¡¡ñ@ l3nd@ p0o3s 3sp3ro0 ot3 gust3 p0o3s l0o h¡c3 p3ns@nd0o 3n t¡¡ t3 k3l0o mux0o n0o l0o 0olv¡d3s n0onk@

This is a little Clantage me and my clan made. I did all of the editing and stuff like that.


Justine – Grunge Shoot

13 Nov


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ed | zawadzki

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DVX100B+Redrock M2+Nikkor

13 Nov

This is some test footage of the first time my brother and I hooked up my Redrock M2 and follow-focus rig with some Nikon 35mm lenses I got a good deal on off of ebay. I’d been waiting months for it to arrive so it was a pretty exciting day. The camera used with the adapter was a Panasonic DVX-100, 24P DV camera and the documenting camera was my Sony PC1000. For the purposes of the test and to further differentiate the look of normal camcorder results with those attempting to emulate the look of 35mm photography the Panasonic is also mounted to my Varizoom shoulder stabilizer to help deal with the added weight, since movie cameras are also much heavier. The footage isn’t spectacular in and of itself. At this time getting used to a follow-focus and the differences in exposure and depth-of-field were what we were interested in. With only a quick-and-eager calibration we were very pleased with the results.

This is my third Unboxing video and this time its my first Digital SLR camera, the Nikon D40 and the Nikkor 18-55mm VR lens. It is a very good beginner/amateur DSLR, has tons of features and is very easy to use. The Help menu is a blessing to every beginner!!! Sorry about my poor voice; after a hard day’s work my energy meter was a bit low. I would really appreciate if you could limit your comments to the camera/lens.. Any positive or constructive criticism is also appreciated. Disclaimer: This video is not meant promote any product, and the views expressed are solely my own.
Video Rating: 4 / 5


Nikon D60 10.2 Megapixel Black Gold Edition Digital Camera SLR – Body

11 Nov

The compact Nikon D60 delivers breathtaking picture quality and the versatile handling of a D-SLR, yet is incredibly compact, easy and fun to use. The Nikon D60 Black Gold Edition has a Gold Theme coloring system. The box has a label “Black Gold Edition” on it. The neck trap now has “Gold Edition” label. The camera strap lugs are shiny golden color. The shutter button is now soft gold color. The mode dial has gold icons and the D60 badge is a soft colored gold.
Video Rating: 5 / 5

some pictures using a Nikon D60 and the kit lens


Heart Bypass Surgery (CABG)

11 Nov This 3D medical animation of the heart shows a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedure used to combat coronary artery disease. Beginning with a midline sternal incision, the heart is connected to a perfusion machine which will take over the duties of the heart while the surgery takes place. Two different grafts are used to bypass the blocked coronary arteries the internal thoracic artery from inside the chest wall, and the saphenous vein from the leg. After the procedure, the heart is shocked to restart its beating. A drainage tube is left at the incision site to drain away excess fluid. The animation continues to show two other types of approaches to a coronary artery bypass graft, off-pump bypass surgery and minimally invasive bypass surgery. This is similar to the procedure performed on former president Bill Clinton and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Video Rating: 4 / 5