Saturday, November 12, 2011

AdoramaPix Photo book review

So I got my first AdoramaPix photo book last week and I must say it is very nice.  I've been meaning to get a book through them for a while now and I finally had some time while the weather was being not so pleasant.  I decided to throw together a book for my 2010 52 Photowalks project.  I felt this was a good way to show off some of my favorite works for my first major photography project.  Overall it took me probably about 7 hours to go through all of my photos, pick my favorites and organize them into the book.  I will say that first off the online book creator was very easy to use.  I used one of the templates available on the site then I just had to add in photos and text.  I customized some of the pages to suit my needs which was very easy to do.  I had a tough time figuring out where to put each photo so I tried to group all the pages into mini themes.  I had a spread for my Disney walk, a beach spread, flowers and bugs, etc... I think that really helped to make the book flow nicely.  The quality of this book is phenomenal, a nice hard cover that lays flat when you open the book.  This is very nice since some of my layouts had photos that covered all or part of both pages.  This made the photos that expanded over both pages still look very nice with very little seem to get in the way.  The page quality is also outstanding.  The pages are nice and thick and really show off the photos beautifully.  I've shown this photo book to many people and all of them have commented on how nice the quality of the book is as well as the prints themselves.  The price of these books are not real cheap though.  Don't let this turn you off.  I wouldn't use one of these books for vacation snapshots or just a generic photo book of simple snapshots.  These books are meant for showing off great works of art.  I am already working on ideas for new book ideas for them.  Another thing to note is a lot of times Adorama seems to give credits for books when you spend a fair amount of money in the photography store.  It's great for both you and them, hopefully they keep doing that.  I'm considering for my next photo book doing all of the page templates in gimp and uploading the whole pages to their site.  I hope this will help me to appreciate the patient and skill template designers utilize when making their designs.

I am very glad to have this book, it will be a great sense of pride for years to come and an awesome coffee table book for my guests to peruse when they are over.

If you would like to take a look at my book you can check out the preview here. This preview does not do the printed book justice.  As always I am open to CC, feel free to leave me a comment.

I may post it for sale at some point, I've had a lot of people ask me where to buy it and how much it is.

DM|ZE Check out my flickr or google+

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

My Review of Flashpoint 16 Channel, Radio Remote Control Set, with Transmitter and Receiver, Range of 90'

Originally submitted at Adorama
Flashpoint 16 Channel, Radio Remote Control Set, with Transmitter and Receiver, Range of 90'

Not bad for the price
By DM|ZE from Delaware on 11/21/2010
4out of 5
Pros: Lightweight, Easy to Use, Reliable
Cons: Weak Construction, Bulky
Best Uses: Weddings/Events, Portraits, Family Photos
Describe Yourself: Photo Enthusiast
Was this a gift?: No
Currently I have an Olympus FL-36R that can be activated wirelessly but you have to have line of sight. With this I no longer need line of sight, I've used it for one photo shoot so far plus some testing around (probably 100 shots so far). No misfires, popped every time. I will say the receiver is a bit bulky. I also have a strobe light (Flashpoint 620m), I like how I can use it to pop that as well but it just looks bulky hanging there. Still works though. Compared to a lot of other options this is a much cheaper alternative. I wouldn't mind having some of the more expensive sets but my wallet really likes these.

EDIT: I recently went to use my radio remotes and they wouldn't fire.  After ensuring that the batteries were good and checking the channel settings I realized that the transmitter led wasn't even lighting up.  It doesn't seem to be documented anywhere but there is a small screw under the QC sticker of the transmitter that allows you to open it and replace the battery.  I had thought that it might run on the power from the hotshoe on the camera, but that is not the case.  After running to the convenience store between on my way to another shoot I replace the battery, which was an A23 or 23A (depending on the brand) and it was working again with no problems.  I think when I had placed the transmitter in my bag it may have been where the test button was held down and drained the battery.  The battery was about $5 and I was glad that it fixed the issue. I hope this helps someone.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Back to some photography

I haven't really left photography but I did loose some of my passion for a while.  In March of 2011 I went out and bought a nice new tripod and head (Vanguard Alta Pro 284CT Carbon Fiber Tripod and the Vanguard GH-100 Pistol Grip Head) .  Soon after that I lost my drive to want to go out and photograph things.  I had a lot going on in my life and sadly photography wasn't a priority.  I think in part I was a little burnt out after doing the 52 photowalks of 2010 and the 50/50/50 for 2011.  Then over the summer I was eagerly awaiting the World Wide Photowalk.  I got out and shot some but not as much as I did the year before.  Finally the WWPW came around and I had a ball getting out and shooting, editing, and talking to other like-minded individuals.  I got my groove back if you will. See my WWPW 2011 images here.  I entered this shot Worldwide Photowalk 2011 - Wilmington Riverfront  and ended up winning the local Wilmington, DE walk by default.  I couldn't believe no other shots were entered, but I wasn't going to complain too much.  My image moved on to the finals, it didn't get picked in Scott Kelby's top 10 list and didn't do awesome in the viewer choice awards but it was something. I'm not in photography to get prizes or win awards and that is not why I do the WWPW.  I go to the WWPW because it's a chance to explore an area and meet new people.  I always have a lot of fun doing the walk, and maybe next year I will lead a walk.  I just got my copy of Kelby's book, Light It Shoot It Retouch It in the mail yesterday.  Although I use gimp and not photoshop this book has a lot of info on the whole process and so far is a good read.

I've been heavy into google+ lately, there are a lot of great photographers on there.  One of my favorites is Trey Ratcliff, but there are so many inspiring images and nice people on there.  You can check me out on google+.  I will try to post there more than I blog here.  

Recently I shot a senior portrait and had a ton of fun doing it.  I generally don't enjoy shooting portraits too much.  I think I'm very picky about it and I don't have a lot of experience doing it.  I will post some shots and a write up from it as soon as I get a chance to go through and edit them.  

I'm still running linux, ubuntu, for the time being.  I'm not sure I'm happy with where ubuntu is heading with unity but for now I still use 10.04 LTS.  With that I am running gimp, qtpfsgui (Luminance), hugin, rawtherapee, playing with darktable since it was just released.  I'm also considering buying bibble pro, if anyone has any comments on that please let me know.  I'm going to throw together a little raided server soon to make sure my pictures have a nice safe home in addition to backing up to DVD for short term storage.

I just got my book printed from my 2010 52 Photowalks.  You can view it here, please note the book quality is far superior to the preview on the screen.   I will write up a review for the book from AdoramaPix soon.

Hopefully I will be posting a little more regularly again.  I'm considering doing another 52 photowalks or something similar in 2012.  I like a nice steady project to keep my motivated and keep me trying new techniques and finding new places.  I've been geocaching and bike riding some lately and that has led me to some new areas that I would like to explore photographically.

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DM|ZE Check out my flickr