As some of you know, I moonlight as a working man. My work entails the manufacturing and distribution of sail boat components. One of the products I work with is yachting rope. Through various projects over my time with rope, I’ve learned certain splicing and tapering techniques. I’ve been building my own wrist straps for a while now and have fielded quite a few inquiries from readers who’ve seen them adorn my cameras here on the blog, so I decided to see if I couldn’t support the blog itself by selling these guys. C’mon in to see more about what goes into the hand building of these things and find out how to buy one for yourself or a loved one
Topaz continues to improve they’re line of valuable plugins with the new release of Simplify 4. Currently on sale through the end of this month for $19.99 (50% off!) when using the code “febsimplify” during checkout, Simplify 4 provides a quick, easy and very controllable plugin for a variety of painting and line drawing effects. You can see it on Topazlabs.com HERE, or come on in to see a screen shot and read my ramblings on why I think this is a pretty amazing plugin for $20.
I wanted to thank you all for the continued support and conversation. While I will not be retiring off of my blog anytime soon, I have loved building it and watching it grow over the years. I try to keep any and all commercialization to a bare minimum here as I know how often we’re all bombarded with offers and urges to purchase certain things. I have chosen to keep this blog as a personal passion project and have slowly and hopefully inoffensively added affiliate links where applicable.
That said, I have been working on a new project (which many of you have probably already figured out) and before I release it to the world to try and make enough money to keep justifying the time spent on the blog, I want to reward three of you with a freebie. I will be announcing my new hand built camera wrist straps soon and before that, I wanted to give away a wrist strap to three of my readers.
So, here’s the part where you can sign up for the drawing. You get your name entered in once for each sign up as follows:
I’ll try to keep this short and mostly thoughtful. I field quite a few emails which vary from gear (okay mostly gear) to blogging, to business and legal inquiries regarding photography. I may not be the best resource for many of these inquiries, but I can offer my opinion on various matters. I’ve done quite a bit with the gear side of things, so I’m gonna try my hand at some new stuff here. With the new year, I’ve shunned traditional resolutions and tried rather to turn entirely inward in my own personal assessment of what makes me happy, or more importantly, what I can control that makes me and those I love comfortable, happy and healthy. Unless you’re some type of magical farmer/hippy/yeti hybrid that is entirely capable of living off the land and bartering your body hair, somehow legally in some utopian parallel shadow universe, we will need income to survive. Clothing, a roof, food, you know, the basic needs. We (I assume my readers) all love photography, so why not try our hand at combining a love and a necessity by making money as a professional photographer?
How small is too small? How about a micro 4/3 camera that is smaller than most any fixed lens compact sporting a 1/1.6″ or 1/1.7″ sensor (not to mention any of the 1″ sensor cams, or even most compact p&s cameras I’ve owned)? Well, I’d heard that the Panasonic Lumix GM1 was small, but I don’t think I was prepared for HOW small this thing actually is. Have a look…
Sometimes I lose track of what is and what isn’t familiar. I can wake up in my own bed, surrounded by all of the elements involved in my habitual routine, and it takes me a moment to figure out where I am. Other times, I can be thousands of miles away from home and feel as if I fit, I belong to the space I occupy. All of us are, to an extent, just fumbling around this rock getting on with our lives, some of us possibly contributing more to the greater human experience than those of us photoblogging or whatever, but I’d like to think that certain places call us, mean more to us, regardless of our personal histories, and for some reason beyond my personal comprehension, just seem to make sense. Like a familiar smell transporting me back to childhood, or meals reminding me of past occasions, Amsterdam has always just felt like home.
No journey is greater than the one you’re on, and it is up to us to turn every day occurrence into the spectacular. It certainly doesn’t hurt when you’re lucky enough to have to travel to amazing places for business for some of these every day occurrences. I, like many I’m sure, struggle sometimes to truly appreciate that which life has blessed me with. There are days that I allow the challenge of being a parent, partner or financial custodian get in the way of the realization that I have two healthy, normally happy children and an amazing wife. There are those that say not to look back, but rather forward. For me, I find an amazing amount of solace in being able to relive and appreciate time that has already been, and photography has played a large part in that. It often allows me to reflect and remember why I should be happy and thankful.
We find ourselves in a new year, the promise of new beginnings being urged upon us. With that in mind, I’d like to reflect on a recent trip I was able to take to Portugal where the weather and humanity are warm and inviting. I am lucky enough to get to experience places like this, and for that, I am truly grateful. . .
What the what? Why did Panasonic replace a seemingly near perfect lens with one that from initial reports didn’t remedy the AF speed which was really the only major gripe about the first version? Well, let’s see…
As requested from the camera body shopping guide post (thanks Tim and Chris), here are my opinions on the best lenses for the various mirrorless systems. Keep in mind that I have not shot extensively with all of these lenses, or at least, many of the lenses for systems that aren’t the micro 4/3 system aside from the tire kicking in stores or when getting the chance to shoot friend’s gear, so my opinion is based on minimal use combined with personal intrigue and web based research. Because I don’t own an X series or Alpha E (NEX, etc) camera body, I have not been able to access many of the lenses on offer for any period of time, but there are a few I have, as well as those that I would certainly look long and hard at if I was invested in these systems. As for the micro 4/3 lenses, I have those down pretty well. C’mon in and I’ll lay out my faves…
As seen above, Alien Skin has released Snap Art 4, featuring an example image from yours truly! I am a big fan of the Alien Skin plugins and with this new release, they’ve continued to refine one of their most unique offerings.
Painting has never been so easy. With their most recent release, Alien Skin has yet again upped the ante on creative digital photography plugins. Snap Art 4 provides many jumping off points and the final result can vary between a single click, or as much time as you’d like to throw at a painted rendition of your digital image. The use of improved masks and even more creative controls, Snap Art 4 builds on what was already a powerful and fun tool. C’mon in to see more examples and info…