There are still some interesting things happening in the world of digital photography even as the world economy sees little sign of recovery. The following are this Friday’s Digital Photography Links.

  • Creating a digital legacy – USA Today columnist Kim Komando shows you how to digitize your old memories, create video slide-shows, and burn the video to DVD without depleting your wallet.
  • AMD Fusion Media Browser – It is a cool way of browsing your digital photos and other digital media contents, but it only runs on Microsoft Vista and computers with AMD CPU. A review by PC Magazine can be found here.
  • Obama poster copyright saga continues – Remember the old story? Well, the legal case between Shepard Fairey and Associated Press continues. AP has accused Shepard copyright infringements while Shepard lawyers saying AP isn’t totally clean either.
  • Nokia Photo Browser – Got bunch of snapshots on your Nokia smart phone? In the past, browsing photos on the phone hasn’t been a pleasant experience. Now it is changing. Nokia has released a beta software called Nokia Photo Browser for many of its smart phones. The software offers innovative and exciting ways of browsing photos, with 3D visual effects, image zooming and face detection that automatically cycles through faces in a photo. It is a little sluggish but overall good on my Nokia E71. Check out this review or go straight to Nokia Beta Labs for more information.
  • Photo frame with a built-in scanner – The Skyla Memoir Photo Frame (FS80) was introduced during CES 2009 in January. Now it is becoming officially available by end of April. If you’d rather like to have a digital photo frame with a built-in printer, there is one we found earlier.
  • “Infinite Photograph – As Seen on Earth” – National Geographic Digital Media (NGDM) launched Infinite Photograph, a very interesting online photography mosaic application that will allow users to interact with shared online photographs by clicking on color patterns to create an infinite array of stunning mosaics in a variety of themes.

That is all for this edition of Digital Photography Links. Have a nice weekend!

Posted in Digital photography, Online Resources on April 17th, 2009. No Comments.

Strobist, run by a guy named David Hobby, is the most popular blog for learning how to use off-camera flash. With the explosive growth of the digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera market in the recent years, the popularity of flash lighting has also seen a drastic boost.

This phenomena has caught the attention of main stream media. In April 2008, David and his blog was featured on USA Today in an article titled In a flash, Strobist blog about lighting photos hit it big.

A year later, in a recent article on USA Today, Photographers eager for flash of knowledge, Jefferson Graham illustrated the photographers thirst for knowledge of flash lighting using the example of Joe McNally’s new book, The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes (Voices That Matter), which has quickly climbed to the #1 best seller in the Digital Photography category at Amazon.com. Not only flash manufacturers like Canon and Nikon, but also some small flash accessory makers have benefited from the popularity. The author of the article talked about LumiQuest, PocketWizard, HonlPhoto, and others.

Why is off-camera flash becoming so popular? First of all, it produces beautiful results. Secondly, you don’t have to speed much money to achieve that although I have to admit that you could easily end up spending more than you thought. However the point of this post is not to tell you what to buy but show you where to find the best resources on the Internet to learn the techniques of off-camera flash and flash photography in general. Read More…

Posted in Online Resources on April 9th, 2009. No Comments.

PopPhoto Magazine just ranked the 30 most populous US cities by their photo-friendliness. It is not a ranking of the most photogenic US cities, but photo-friendly cities. The editors based their ranking on 10 factors that matter to photographers such as the average percentage of sunny days a year, the number of museums and galleries that show photography, and the cost of visiting, etc.  They even counted private security firms, since they’ve found that the more rent-a-cops, the harder it can be to take pictures in public. 

The ranking will appear on May 2009 issue of PopPhoto Magazine but it is currently available online. Based on the weighted scores of 10 categories, Denver, CO has been ranked as the most  photo-friendly city while Detroit, MI is at the bottom of the list.

Posted in Online Resources on April 4th, 2009. No Comments.

In the March issue of Tech Tips, Chuck Westfall, Technical Advisor for Canon”s Consumer Imaging Group, answers quite a few interesting questions for Canon users.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II captures video clips (HD or SD) at precisely 30.00 fps, while other A/V devices confirming to North American standard record and playback at 29.97 fps, which will eventually leads to audio out of sync problem if both are used in the same timeline. There is no easy solution from Canon except either transcoding the EOS 5D Mark II footage to 29.97 fps or stretching the 5D Mark II footage on a 29.97fps timeline. However some users have found that  reconforming to 29.97 (no render needed since this is only a change to the meta data) is all it takes to make the audio sync a non-issue in Cinema Tools.

There are questions that can be answered quickly by reading the product manuals but some lazy people choose to ask anyway.

In the comment section, there are users who got upset because their brand new Canon EOS 5D Mark II cameras had to be sent in for service within weeks of purchase due to hot pixels in video mode and “Err 20″. As expected, the real Chuck wouldn’t address directly to those complaints but the FAKE one would.

Nikon Capture NX users may complain about its slowness or strange user interface, but apparently the Canon DPP software cannot even fix tilted horizon… Some has suggested Canon stop making its own software that can produces the best image quality but suffers badly in usability and functionality, but it looks like Canon will not, just like Nikon.

Read: Tech Tips

Posted in Online Resources on March 29th, 2009. 3 Comments.

The Spring is here. Are you thinking about taking some great pictures of flowers? This 20-page eBook, 13 tips for better wildflower photography, will help you with plenty of good tips. Here’s what you’ll learn in this free PDF eBook:

  1. How to identify wildflowers
  2. The secret to getting perfect light
  3. What to do if you can’t wait for perfect light
  4. How to get a proper exposure
  5. How to position your camera
  6. How to get sharper photos
  7. How to get a perfect background
  8. How to battle the wind
  9. How to compose landscapes with wildflowers
  10. How to get butterflies in your photos
  11. Why it’s important to “leave no trace”
  12. How to sharpen your photos in Photoshop
  13. How to darken a background in Photoshop
Posted in Online Resources on March 24th, 2009. No Comments.

Welcome to this edition of Digital Photography Links. Bad news continues on the Wall Street, but what can we do? Not much. We can’t get a piece of the 1.2 trillion dollars the Fed will print either. So stop worrying and enjoy some photography.

Have a good weekend.

Posted in Digital photography, Online Resources on March 20th, 2009. No Comments.

It is Friday again. Time goes by unbelievably fast. Are you regretting another wasted week or happy about a coming escape from the hectic world around you? Whatever, let’s all wish for a better day tomorrow. Here is what I have for this edition of Digital Photography Links.

That’s all for today’s Digital Photography Links. Have a nice Friday and weekend!

Posted in Digital photography, Online Resources on March 6th, 2009. No Comments.

It is Friday again. Like many of you, this means not going to work tomorrow. 

  • The Nikon Down site announced yesterday has quietly changed its name to “D-Town TV“. The Nikon logo and names are gone. I guess Nikon doesn’t like the unauthorized use of its brand identity. 
  • Have you seen any good reviews of the AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G yet? Bjørn Rørslett has his mostly subjective review up on his site confirming what I expected: sharp lens (evident from its MFT chart) with some chromatic aberration (can be seen in sample images).
  • It is probably not very surprising to see the gadget guys tell us that lenses are the real key to stunning photos. Silly, it is the photographer!
  • It is the gadget guys again, they didn’t “spend any time in a lab for testing”, but produced a review Canon 5D Mark II vs. Nikon D700 Review Shoot-Out “on real-world experience”.
  • Olympus E-620 12.3 megapixel DSLR is a very interesting new comer. It has built-in image stabilization, dust reduction, swirl liveview LCD screen, multiple aspect ratio support, face detection, art filters, and preview function that allows users to check the possible results of different photographic effects before even taking the shot. With an attractive prices of $699.99 (body only) and $799.99 (kit with ED 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens), it will be a strong competition against Nikon and Canon entry to mid level offerings.
  • Hongkong based Hi-Den Vision introduces the world first HDMI 1080p digital photo viewer (HD-0310). Remember we discussed the options of viewing photos on HDTV? For a low price of $60, this new gadget with its nice features and specs looks like a perfect choice. I already hit the buy button. If this isn’t a scam, I will tell you how it works out when I get it.

That’s all for today’s digital photography links. I wish you a great Friday and weekend!

Posted in Digital photography, Online Resources on February 27th, 2009. No Comments.
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