*The Topaz plugin half off sale is here with @topazlabs


Starting today through the end of the month, Topaz is offering everything for 50% off.  The entire collection (normally $500) is available for $250 HERE, and as an extra added bonus, for those of us who already own some or many Topaz plugins, we can still take advantage of the sale by logging into our account via the Topaz Labs website (here) and gaining the 50% off on additional plugins by using the code “BLACKFRIDAY2015” at checkout.  The Complete Collection is already at a 50% discount from the full price for all plugins individually ($1,010), so really, if starting from scratch, this is really a 75% discount from purchasing the plugins one by one, which is kind of nuts.  

I’ve never shied away from praise for the various Topaz plugins I use regularly, and feel that there are a handful of irreplaceable plugins in my workflow.  The complete collection includes 17 plugins from DeNoise, ReMask, Adjust and Clarity to the brand new Texture Effects.

Come on in for more details and to see the full list of plugins… 

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*Pana-Leica 15mm f/1.7 ASPH Lens on Sale!

leica 15mm on sale!

This little gem is on sale for $70 off right now.  I’m not normally a sale pumper unless it is for stuff I use, I like and I would recommend.  If you’ve been on the fence, or waiting for this lens to drop a little, here’s a great opportunity to save a good amount of money on a great little lens.

Find the Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 Aspherical lens on sale at Adorama HERE and B&H HERE.

If you’d like to see my review on the Leica 15mm, you can read that HERE.

Or, if you’d also like to read the head to head (to head) between the Leica 15, and the two Lumix Pancakes (14mm and 20mm) I did a comparison article HERE.

It is a great mate to any of the micro 4/3 cameras, especially the GM bodies, and is compact and lightweight enough to go largely unnoticed in the bag.  I’ve been shooting the 15mm on the new GX8 with its 20mp sensor providing great results for me.


*The Panasonic GX8 done grow’d up! A first look comparison w/ @LumixUSA

Panasonic Lumix GX7 vs GX8 Comparison

Panasonic has done well to progress the hybrid market bringing industry leading video features to remarkably affordable price points over the years.  The GH line has always pushed into new territory with budget oriented motion shooters compared to all else available on the market.  Along with cutting edge video features, they’ve also done well to provide competent still shooting devices incorporated into these wonderful, little mirrorless cameras.  The GF and GX lines have historically incorporated a more still shooter driven skill set in a smaller, rangefinder style body while adding admirable video features as well.

There’s been no hiding my love for the GX7 over the past few years.  In my mind, it has been the best balance of quality, size, feature and price yet available in the mirrorless landscape, playing to all of the benefits of a smaller format, mirrorless construction and very high end lens availability through the system partnership with Olympus, and third party collaboration and support from companies like Leica, Sigma, Voigtländer and many others.

With the GX8, Panasonic has brought us a newer, more beefed up version with the m4/3 system’s first 20mp sensor, dual IS feature and various 4K video and still modes in a camera that, while a bit bigger, can still fit into a large pocket with the right lens.  A great machine, but is it truly a step forward in all ways?  Having been shooting this camera extensively for the last month and a half, I feel comfortable giving my opinions and comparisons between the GX8 and it’s predecessor.  C’mon in…

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*From the hip. A retouch tutorial, using @alienskin Exposure, October 2015 with Billyburg.

final (1)

Hi all!  Welcome to a new, recurring feature on the blog here.  I’m partnering with Alien Skin software to work through the processing of images using their Exposure software.  Alien Skin Exposure is one of the most complete software processing solutions that I use, and I just love it.  With each new release, the functionality and depth become greater and more streamlined.  Exposure X is in its final beta, and should be ready to go very soon.  You can download a free trial of Exposure HERE if you’d like, and follow along with one of your own images as we explore what Exposure has to offer, together.  (if you’re looking for a discount code, you can get 10% off any Alien Skin software using the code “tysonrobichaud” so have at it).

Using images submitted by readers, I will retouch, process and in general, just have fun playing around with them as I might one of my own images, sharing my process step by step along the way.  I’ll be using Exposure X today (which may look a little different compared to the screenshots below, when finalized) to process a submitted image from my friend, Billyburg (see more from him on flickr here).  

Without further ado…

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*Moving onward and upward! A new recurring retouching project for the blog w/ @alienskin software.

IMG_7323As many of you have figured out, we stopped our monthly flicker photo blog challenge, much to my dismay.  Flickr’s desire to dumb itself down, into little more than a mobile app proved to be the death rattle for our monthly project which was going really well, bringing in hundreds of submissions for our monthly contests.  C’est la vie.

Well, with these lemons, I’d like to make lemonade because lemonade is awesome, especially if you only use half the recommended sugar and watch your unsuspecting friends, and young children drink it.  

I’ve been in conversation with my friends at Alien Skin Software, and have had the great fortune to be both a contributor to their blog, and a beta tester for many of their programs over the years, the newest of which is the yet to be released, Exposure update.  As a long time fan of Exposure, I’m excited to see the final version.  With this new project, I’d like to gauge interest in having a retouching tutorial, where by I process and retouch submitted images using Exposure, which may then be shared with many, many thousands of viewers here and through the Alien Skin blog.  Come on in for more details, and my hope for this collaboration…

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*Brand new, TRP Vector strap available, and giveaway winners!


TRP Vector Straps available now

The brand new, hand built Vector straps are now available via the TRP Camera Straps Page HERE for $27 delivered ($33 outside of the US).  They’re light weight, low profile and comfortable wrist straps for any camera.  Utilizing very high end materials, I’ve chosen to build these with both comfort and function in mind.  They’re great when wanting to keep weight and bulk down, comfort up all while maintaining a casual, modern look.

The Vector Straps are now available along with the Garda and Cascade Straps.  Come on in to see who won free straps from our social media giveaway…

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*Shooting Portland’s newest, whiskey-centric bar, the Bit House Saloon for the @ELKcollective


There is always an emotional transition when one longstanding bar transforms into another.  The Eastbank Tavern was a stalwart on the industrial east side in Portland, at least for as long as I can remember.  One of those bars along Grand that you’d pop into after heading back across the river from a show downtown for a nightcap.  The smell of smoke and fried food, lingering in the air engrained into the DNA of the establishment, like a good, working class bar should.  Times though, they are a changing.  The neighborhood is now looking to appeal not just to the growing group of more astute imbibers, but to the younger, newer Portland crowd.  A population that values aesthetic over quirk perhaps, and sees the quality of their surroundings as important as the quality of their drinks.  A trend happening not only in that MLK/Grand corridor, but all over the city.  Evolve or get left behind as it were.  While there are many venues I’ve visited in town, I feel too many of them aim for a wine bar feel for those with a champagne budget, too easily classified as gentrificated snobbery which is totally out of place to many who have watched Portland transform over the last twenty years or so.

The beauty of this new iteration is that is still holds much of the Eastbank’s character, but has helped move this saloon into the new age of more discerning quaffers.  This newer, hipper, fancier version of Portland that has followed in the wake of the boom over the last decade has asked these venues to offer up a bit more ambiance.  What I love about the Bit House Saloon, is that it has taken the rough, grimy portland, and like many of its longstanding residents, gone from damp carpet, PBR and flannel, to wood, whiskey and leather, and well, $1 High Life Ponies for those of us looking for a back, or no frills option.  I’d always seen Portland as a working class town even if Fred and Carrie have shown us that retirement can be achieved early as long as we’re willing to not do much of anything, and it’s good to see that there can exist a bridge between this new era of craft cocktails and earlier, perhaps simpler times.  Change doesn’t have to happen entirely overnight…

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