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Project 365: Day 56 - All Work, No Play

Working on the weekend.

How to Setup and in Action Video of Glidecam XR-2000

We posted an unboxing video of the Glidecam XR-2000 not too long ago and now we have two new videos for you. The first video will show you how to setup the Glidecam XR-2000 Series. Unfortunately, it doesn't tell you how to balance and configure it.

For a video on how to set up the Glidecam, check out the video on Philip Bloom's website and check out these videos from NAB 2011 - Video 1 of 3, Video 2 of 3, Video 3 of 3.

The second video shows you the Glidecam XR-2000 in action after it's been set up and balanced. NOTE: I am not a "professional" and have not mastered it yet but with a little more practice, I would have no problem using it.

We'll have a full review of the Glidecam XR-2000 shortly. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to be notified when the review has been posted.

Project 365: Day 53 - Perfect Weather

Sunny and mid-50's in February.

Deal: Save up to $350 on Canon Camera & Lenses Bundles at B&H Photo

If you're looking to buy a new Canon camera and lens, B&H Photo is having a deal. You can save up to $350 on Canon Camera & Lenses Bundles.

This offer expires Saturday, March 3rd!

Soul by Tapti Tapan Fashion Show Teaser

So we were one of the photographers for Soul by Tapti Tapan that took place during New York's Fashion Show Week. It was held on February 16, 2012 at La Vie Lounge in NYC. It was a great experience and a great opportunity to network with other photographers and improve my skills and learn new ones at the same time.

Below are some teaser images of some of the beautiful models that were there. For a full set of images, visit our Facebook album page (be sure to LIKE our page as well). NOTE: Facebook downgraded the images so they aren't as crisp as the images below.

What do you think? How did I do?

Project 365: Day 51 - Fingers are Crossed

I got my fingers crossed.

Project 365: Day 50 - Fashion Show

Editing pictures from a fashion shoot. Feels like it never ends.

Project 365: Day 47 - Lucky Star

A lighting fixture at a Fashion Show I attended as a photographer.

How to Tell a Difference Between a Genuine and Counterfeit Nikon Lens Filter

So I purchased a brand new Nikon 77mm NC filter for my Nikon 24-70mm f2.8G to protect the lens from dings, scratches and elements (I know there are people who dislike filters because it degrades the image quality but its nothing Lightroom can't fix considering I'll be post processing the image anyways. The filter I purchased was from eBay and the seller was located in Hong Kong. My gut instinct told me that it was more than likely a fake but the seller had a reputation and the price was affordable. So I took the chance.

Having received the filter, it looked very well made and legit. I did some searching online to see if anyone had compared an authentic filter to a counterfeit. There wasn't much information but from what I've read and the minimal information available, it had all the information of a real filter. I decided to go out and purchase a Nikon 77mm NC filter from an authorized Nikon retailer just to compare for myself since there was no definite answers or comparison pictures available on the web. When you purchase from an authorized Nikon retailer such as B&H Photo and Adorama, you know its legit. Amazon is legit as well but you have to make sure its "Sold by" and not from a third party seller that says "Sold by...and Fulfilled by Amazon.".

The fake filter and packaging is almost identical that it can pass as real to an average buyer. The only way someone would know is if they had the real product next to them to compare. But this tutorial will help tell you whether or not what you own/purchased is the real thing since there is nothing on the web...until now. This would probably apply to ALL Nikon filters.

Take a minute and look at the picture below. Can you tell which is real and which is the fake? Rollover the image to find out the answer...

Did you get it right? I'll explain how to tell the which is real and which is fake below.

*NOTE: I know there's no real way of comparing filters unless you have an authentic one next to you to do a side by side comparison. Hopefully this tutorial will pin point some areas that you can definitely recognize as a potential counterfeit. Granted, filters is just a piece of glass but please purchase your OEM battery grips, batteries and battery chargers from authorized dealers. Counterfeit items can cause damage to your camera. Why risk saving a few bucks when you can be losing more? If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.

Project 365: Day 46 - Crying Elvis?

A crying Elvis? What or whoever it is, this is what I see on my iMac at work.

Project 365: Day 45 - Valentine's Day

Mysterious at work love bug knows how to entertain.

This Week in Photography History

Quote Of The Week
“Photography is the easiest thing in the world if one is willing to accept pictures that are flaccid, limp, bland, banal, indiscriminately informative, and pointless. But if one insists in a photograph that is both complex and vigorous it is almost impossible.” – John Szarkowski (1925-2007, photographer and curator)

This Week In Photography History
21-1Clyde Tombaugh discovered the dwarf planet Pluto on February 18, 1930 through examining photographs of the section of sky beyond Neptune.

Photographs were taken over a period of time using an astrograph, essentially a telescope for celestial photography, thirteen inch long with three elements set for f5.3. By using a machine that rapidly switched between photos, he identified the one moving object as a new planet.

brought to you by B&H Photo.

Project 365: Day 43 - God of Wealth

Cai Shen Dao – God of Wealth.

Review: Photography and Cinema Camera Pistol Hand Grip

Review: Photography and Cinema Camera Pistol Hand Grip

Overview : The new Photography and Cinema Pistol Grip is the only camera handle grip available with a wide platform. The large plastic molded handle makes working with small cameras more ergonomic and stable when shooting video.

A rubber platform prevents slippage when the camera is mounted to the stage using the standard 1/4x20 threaded stud.

The included threaded D-Ring allows the PNC Handle to be attached to a carabiner which in turn can be hooked onto keyrings, keychains, belt loops, etc.

A small metal insert below the handle allows you to attach a PNC friction arm for carrying an extra accessory such as an LED light, Microphone, or Portable audio recorder.

Using two grips and a friction arm will create a nice hand held stabilizer for your small video cameras.

Features :
  • Rubberized grip
  • Supports cameras such as point-and-shoot, camcorders, micro 4/3 and DSLR
  • Supports accessories such as LED, microphones and audio recorders

Project 365: Day 41 - It's a UFO

Or just an LED lamp.

Deal: Nikon CoolPix Instant Rebates - Perfect for Valetines Day Gift

Over at B&H Photo, there are a bunch of Nikon CoolPix Cameras available with Instant Savings! These would make great Valentines Day gifts for your loved ones or if you were looking for a new digital for yourself, these would make a great purchase.

Offer expires February 25, 2012.

Review: Carry Speed Slim CS-Slim Camera Sling Strap

Review: Carry Speed Slim CS-Slim Camera Sling Strap

Overview : Carry Speed Slim Strap. This strap is designed for the photographer who wants to position the camera on the side of his hip instead of the center of his chest but does not want a bulky strap running across his shoulder, yet wants the strap to be comfortable.

So, Carry Speed has removed the flash card pocket and changed the shoulder portion of the strap material to neoprene. Additionally, there is a long slit in the center of the neoprene allowing the width of the strap to compress when on the shoulder of the photographer lessening the bulk of the strap. Thus, a much more flexible and comfortable strap is created.

The Carry Speed Slim Strap is attached to the camera via the Speed Mount. This mount screws into the camera's or lens' pre-existing tripod socket. However, this mount reveals an alternate tripod socket allowing for easy attachment to and removal from a tripod without having to remove the strap from the camera or lens.

The strap is designed to fit across the shoulder relieving neck strain and allowing the camera to comfortably rest next to the hip. Strap length is adjustable for most body sizes and an adjustable stop is included to assure that the camera will be where the photographer wants it, whether in the resting or taking position.

Features :
  • Designed for smaller system
  • Original Ball Head Hanging Design
  • Detachable Shoulder Pad
  • 3 button quick release buckle
  • FREE Uni-Strap / Hand Strap included
Package Includes:
  • CS-Slim Strap x 1 (Include the connector)
  • Ball Head Locknut x 1

Project 365: Day 40 - Path to Trouble

B&H Photo. Haha.

Press Release: Kodak Focuses Consumer Business On More Profitable Growth Opportunities

Back on January 19, 2012, Eastman Kodak announcedthat it and its U.S. subsidiaries filed voluntary petitions for chapter 11 business reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

The business reorganization is intended to bolster liquidity in the U.S. and abroad, monetize non-strategic intellectual property, fairly resolve legacy liabilities, and enable the Company to focus on its most valuable business lines. The Company has made pioneering investments in digital and materials deposition technologies in recent years, generating approximately 75% of its revenue from digital businesses in 2011.

But today, they have announced that they plan to phase out digital devices such as digital camera, pocket video and picture frames within the first half of 2012. Instead, they will focus on its brand licensing program.

It's sad to see photography pioneer go this route. Read below for an official press release.
ROCHESTER, N.Y., February 09 -- Eastman Kodak Company (the “Company”) (OTB: EKDKQ.PK) announced today that, as a result of its ongoing strategic review process and commitment to drive sustainable profitability through its most valuable business lines, it plans to phase out its dedicated capture devices business – comprising digital cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames – in the first half of 2012. Kodak will instead expand its current brand licensing program, and seek licensees in these categories. Following this decision, Kodak’s Consumer Business will include online and retail-based photo printing, as well as desktop inkjet printing.

Kodak has contacted its retail partners, and is working closely with them to ensure an orderly transition. Kodak will continue to honor all related product warranties, and provide technical support and service for its cameras, pocket video cameras and digital picture frames.

“For some time, Kodak’s strategy has been to improve margins in the capture device business by narrowing our participation in terms of product portfolio, geographies and retail outlets. Today’s announcement is the logical extension of that process, given our analysis of the industry trends,” said Pradeep Jotwani, President, Consumer Businesses, and Kodak Chief Marketing Officer.

Upon completion of the phase out, Kodak expects to achieve annual operating savings of more than $100 million. Kodak expects to incur a charge related to separation benefits of approximately $30 million resulting from the exit of the business.

In addition to its Consumer Businesses segment, Kodak has a Commercial Businesses segment that includes the Digital and Functional Printing, Enterprise Services and Solutions, and Graphics, Entertainment and Commercial Films units. Kodak’s digital businesses now comprise approximately three-fourths of total revenues.

Kodak continues to have a strong position in the personal imaging market. While photos are increasingly taken on multi-function mobile devices, Kodak technology makes it easy for consumers to produce a broad range of photo products, anywhere, anytime – from prints to photobooks, photo greeting cards and personalized calendars. These items can be made on Kodak products, with Kodak quality at retail, at home, and ordered for delivery to home.

Kodak’s continuing consumer products and services will include:
  • Retail-based photo kiosks and digital dry lab systems, a market in which Kodak is the clear worldwide leader. Kodak pioneered the retail-based kiosk market, and the company now has more than 100,000 kiosks and order stations for dry lab systems around the world, with some 30,000 of those units connected to the most popular photo-sharing sites.
  • Consumer inkjet printers, where Kodak has outpaced overall market growth for several years. Kodak consumer inkjet printers provide consumers with high-quality output and the lowest total ink replacement cost. Consumers can send documents and photos to Kodak printers from anywhere, using any web-connected device.
  • Kodak apps for Facebook, which make it easy for consumers to obtain photo products using photos from their Facebook albums.
  • Kodak Gallery (, a leading online digital photo products service. Kodak Gallery enables consumers to share their photos, and offers product and creation tools that enable people to do more with their photos.
  • The Kodak camera accessories and batteries businesses. These products are universally compatible with all camera brands, and extend into other consumer product segments such as charging units for smartphones.
  • The traditional film capture and photographic paper business, which continues to provide high-quality and innovative products and solutions to consumers, photographers, retailers, photofinishers and professional labs.
Source: Eastman Kodak

Project 365: Day 39 - Only in New York

David Beckham is the biggest "dick" in the city...literally.

Review: Stroboframe Quick Flip 350 Rotating Camera Flash Bracket

Review: Stroboframe Quick Flip 350 Rotating Camera Flash Bracket

Overview : Quick Flip models offer high value, compact size, light weight and fast handling. No wonder they're the best-selling brackets on the market! Although lower in price than our top-of-the-line brackets, they share the same quality materials and construction.

Features :
  • Compact, ergonomic, portable hand held design
  • All aluminum construction
  • Lightweight for easy carrying
  • Fast and functional
  • Cushion and foam grip, comfortable for both shooting and carrying
  • Rotates cameras from horizontal to vertical position
  • Keep flash centered over lens
  • Accepts all flash units (adapter may be required)
  • Perfect for shooting at press conference, wedding etc.

MCH-25 Multi Camera Carrier Harness is Opteka's Answer to Cotton Carrier

We have all heard of Cotton Carrier Camera Harness. If you haven't, its a vest that allows you to hold multiple cameras. The Cotton Carrier Camera Harness (left) will run you about $189. Opteka’s MCH-25 Multi Camera Carrier Harness (right) similar in design but the price is under $30 bucks. I don't know of any hobbyist or professionals who use this setup (except for sport or wildlife photographers). But at $30, this may appeal to more photographers.
The Opteka MCH-25 Multi-Camera Carrier Holster System designed to safely carry 1 or 2 SLR cameras. The unique harness design comfortably carries most camera/lens combinations while eliminating neck and shoulder strain associated with regular camera carrying devices.
  • For 1 or 2 DSLR camera setups
  • One holster is removable for a single camera setup
  • Harness design for maximum weight distribution
  • Eliminates shoulder and neck pain
  • Camera holster system slides and locks into place
  • Each camera has a backup safety harness for added security while shooting
  • Holstered cameras remove rapidly
  • Supports setups up to 5KG (11 lbs)
  • Includes carrying pouch

Project 365: Day 38 - Sunset

There's something about the colors of a sunset that catches my eyes.

Press Release: Nikon D800 and D800E 36MP full-frame DSLRs announce

We posted leaked images of the D800/D800E yesterday and today, Nikon has announced the D800 and D800E. The pixel count of the long-awaited replacement for the D700 means it also trumps the D3X as the highest-resolution camera in Nikon's lineup. Why is there two versions? The D800 is 'stock' where as the D800E is a more expensive model that will be free from the effects of an anti-aliasing filter. Aimed at studio and landscape professionals the D800E should theoretically begin to rival medium format digital equipment in terms of resolution.

D800 will retail for $2999.95 and D800E will retail for $3299.95. They will be available late March 2012 and mid April 2012, respectively.

As always, you can purchase your D800/D800E from the following sites:

D800E - B&H Photo | Adorama | Amazon

Project 365: Day 37 - Home Cooking

Yummy Lobsters!

Nikon D800/D800E Official Pictures Leaked

Images of Nikon D800/D800E has been leaked. You can read all the Nikon D800/D800E details on this Brazilian website. Nikon is set to officially debut its 36.3 megapixel D800 tomorrow (February 7, 2012). So, what's on the spec list? Well, it looks like the rumors that were circulating were true, as this high-end DSLR will have a CMOS sensor capable of 7360 x 4912 resolution and the ability to toggle ISO from 100-6,400. The D800/D800E is equipped with the ability for full 1080p30 HD video capture, recording content in either H.264 or MPEG-4 formats. Naturally, there's a 3.2-inch LCD screen onboard. Price seems to be around the $3,000 USD mark.

We have the official images for you below.

Tamron SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Full Frame Lens with Image Stabilization Announced

Tamron announced a full frame 24-70mm f/2.8 lens with built-in ultrasonic motor and image stabilization. Price and availability were not revealed.
Tamron develops full-size, high-speed standard zoom with built-in image stabilization – SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A007)

February 6th, 2012, Saitama, Japan - Tamron Co., Ltd., a leading manufacturer of optical equipment, announced the development of the SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD (Model A007), a full-size high-speed standard zoom lens equipped with VC ( Vibration Compensation) image stabilization and USD ( Ultrasonic Silent Drive), with resolution at the top of its class.

The price and availability of the SP 24-70mm will be announced at a later date.

Product Features
  1. A full-size, high-speed standard zoom with built-in VC ( Vibration Compensation). Even when shooting in low-light conditions with a slow shutter speed to render sharpness, Tamron’s acclaimed VC allows for stable handheld camera work, to more fully enjoy the benefits of this high-speed zoom lens.
  2. Uses special high-grade glass in the three LD elements, three glass molded aspherical lenses, one hybrid aspherical lens and two XR (Extra Refractive Index) glasses, delivering top-of-the-class quality images suited to this high-grade lens. Using a rounded diaphragm, the lens achieves gorgeous blur effects. This rounded diaphragm retains a nearly circular shape even when taken two stops down from its fully open state.
  3. Features Tamron proprietary USD ( Ultrasonic Silent Drive) to power a speedy AF drive together with a continuous manual mechanism.
  4. This high-speed standard zoom lens has a wide-end focal length of 24mm that expands the photographic area.
  5. The lens adopts the new technology including the latest optical design, VC ( Vibration Compensation) image stabilization and USD ( Ultrasonic Silent Drive), all in a lighter and more compact package.
  6. Moisture-resistant construction helps prevent water from penetrating the lens.
Model: A007
Focal length: 24-70mm
Maximum aperture: F/2.8
Angle of view (diagonal): 84°04’ -34°21’ (for full frame 35mm format cameras)
60°20’ -22°33’ (for APS-C format cameras)
Lens construction: 17 elements in 12 groups
Minimum focus distance: 0.38m (15.0 in)
Maximum magnification ratio: 1:5 (at f=70mm: MFD 0.38m)
Filter size: φ82mm
Length: 108.5mm*
Entire Length: 116.9mm*
Diameter: φ88.2mm
Weight: 825g*
No. of diaphragm blades: 9 (rounded diaphragm)
Minimum aperture: F/22
Standard accessories: Flower-shaped lens hood
Compatible mounts: Canon, Nikon, Sony

* Length, entire length and weight values given are for the Nikon mount.
* Entire length is the distance between the tip of the lens and the tip of the protrusion.
* The Sony mount does not include VC, because the body of Sony digital SLR cameras includes image stabilization functionality. The product name for Sony cameras is “SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di USD” without the VC designation.

VC ( Vibration Compensation)
VC ( Vibration Compensation) is Tamron’s proprietary image stabilization system. Tamron’s VC is a three-coil system, whereby three driving coils activate the shake-compensating VC lens group electromagnetically via three steel balls. The VC lens elements are held in place only by contact with the steel balls, achieving smooth movement with little friction. This provides a stable viewfinder image with excellent tracking performance. And as the VC lens may be moved in parallel using only the motorized control, the mechanical structure has been simplified, enabling the creation of a more compact lens.

New VC system (moving coil method)
Tamron’s original VC image stabilization mechanism utilized a moving magnet system whereby a heavy magnet was positioned near the moving VC lens element. In the new VC unit the positions of the magnet and the coil are reversed, because of this the VC optical lens element is attached to the coil. The new VC mechanism employs a moving coil mechanism with a lightweight coil, and the lighter coil reduces the load on the drive system. Thus, the lighter, more compact new VC unit contributes to the lens’s overall light weight and compact size.

Because the 24-70 mm F/2.8 Di VC USD is a high-speed zoom lens with maximum aperture of F/2.8, its VC system must drive a lens that is larger and heavier than other zooms. Therefore, the shape, size and layout of the drive coils are all designed to obtain sufficient thrust. The result is a full-size, high-speed zoom that provides the same high level of compensation effect.

About the ultrasonic motor
In the ultrasonic motor, a piezoelectric element arranged in a ring formation generates ultrasonic vibrations in a metallic ring stator, and the vibration energy is used to rotate a metallic ring rotor that is attached to the stator. The rotation energy is in turn transferred from the metallic ring rotor to operate the focus lens.

Deal: Canon Lens & Speedlite Instant Rebates at B&H Photo

You are among the first readers to find out about this new offer and instant savings from
Canon-Double Instant Savings from B&H Photo.

This Week in Photography History

Quote Of The Week
“Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing, and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004, photographer)

This Week In Photography History
19-10Birth of Sebastião Salgado, a Brazilian social documentary photographer, on February 8, 1944. An economist originally, he moved to photography in 1973 and mostly focused his camera on workers in poor conditions and nature untouched by modernity. He lived with the native tribe he captured in this photo as part of his effort to call attention to restoration of Brazilian rainforest and nature.

brought to you by B&H Photo.

Project 365: Day 34 - Fortune. Blessing. Longevity.

We purchased these limited edition Android vinyl toys from Dead Zebra. They sold out within minutes! These will be a great piece to display in our home.

"Special edition set featuring designs based on the 3 traditional figures of the Chinese New Year! Enjoy a year full of Fortune (祿), Blessing (福) and Longevity (壽)! Each figure comes in its own window box."

How to Customize Identity Plate in Adobe Lightroom

Did you want to customize your Lightroom so that it shows your graphical brand logo or text logo and change the color of the module picker like below?

Rollover image

We are going to go over how to customize the Identity Plate in Adobe Lightroom 3 with both a text based logo, as well as a graphical logo.

Project 365: Day 33 - City Life

New York runs through my blood like traffic on the roads

Deal: Maximal Power Products for 25% off via Prime

Looking for spare batteries for your camera? Amazon has a deal for you as it takes an extra 25% off all Maximal Power products. (Discount is taken during checkout.) Plus, most items qualify for free shipping via Amazon Prime. Products include camera and camcorder batteries, chargers, flashes, cases, and more. One discount per customer; limit of one product per customer. This offer is valid through February 4, 2012, or while supplies last, applies only to purchases of products sold by, and does not apply to products sold by third-party merchants and other sellers through the site.

A best bet is the Maximal Power Canon Compatible NB-6L Battery (pictured), model no. DBCANNB-6L, for $4.80. During checkout, it drops to $3.60. Get free shipping via Amazon Prime. (Non-members can spend $25 or more to get free shipping; otherwise it adds $5.58.) It's compatible with select Canon Powershot / ELPH digital cameras and select camcorders.

Project 365: Day 32 - Relaxing

We just completed our first month of Project 365 and its a bit harder than I thought. It doesn't help that by the time I get off from work, its dark out. I would love to take some daylight shots but hopefully that will be soon.

Project 365 is to help me improve on my photography skills. Has it? To me, it has but there is still plenty to learn. It has also helped me get a better understanding of post processing and the features that Lightroom has to offer. This also helps me learn some new techniques along the way.

As always, we would love to hear what you think about our photographs.

But there's no stopping now. We're on a roll and here is Day 32's...

Relaxation after a long day at work. (Instagram style)

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