New Year, New Actions

It’s a new year which means it’s time to review all those old settings and presets that you have which contain the year 2017. One plugin I use all the time is Digimarc which adds a hidden watermark in my photographs. If a photo of mine is going on the web then it has to have that watermark. It’s just safer. With Digimarc you have to include the year into the watermark so that you can track it. Each image gets its own code and that’s part of it. This means that every year I have to change it. Actions are great time savers and when it comes to blogging it helps to have all those steps prerecorded. Nice thing about Photoshop actions is that they are easy to change.

This is what my action panel looks like in Photoshop CC 2018. There’s a bunch of different ones that make life easier for all the occasions that pop up. This panel is how you activate them. In the top right are three lines which allows you to switch to button mode.

Once you check button mode you can rerecord, delete or alter actions.

If you use actions and you need to alter it, there is a really simple way. Simply delete the steps that require a date and any after it and then rerecord the new steps. Then if you have multiple computers you can always save the actions and transfer them over. Of course if you use the save as command you will have to designate the folder since that varies between comps. It sounds like a pain in the butt but once it’s done, it’s done. Get the chores done early in the year so you can focus on projects throughout the year.

The Streetwalker Rolling Backpack v2 part 2

Before I left to England I wrote a quick post about the thinkTank Streetwalker Rolling Backpack V2.0. As promised here is a quick video showing some of the features of the bag and why I used it on my trip. If you would like to learn more about the bag, especially the dimension of the bag, you can click here

Here’s a list of the gear I had inside the bag on my trip to England.
Nikon D5
70-200 VRII
24-70 AF-S
18-35 f/3.5-4.5
SB-5000 Flash
Zoom H6 Handy Recorder
Lexar XQD Cards
Lexar SD Cards
EN-EL18a Batteries
EN-EL15 Batteries
WR-10 Wireless Remote

The Thinktank StreetWalker Rolling Backpack V2.0

I got a new bag in the office! I’m actually quite excited. This is the Thinktank Streetwalker Rolling Backpack V2.0, part of Thinktank’s Streetwalker series. It’s to be versatile as a roller and a backpack. The shoulder straps fold up into the back and sealed in a zipper compartment. It’s pretty slick. It’s designed to be a smaller bag for travel. Much thinner and not nearly as wide as the Airport Security V3.0, about the same in height when standing up but still very durable. On my next trip to England I plan on taking this bag since I’m going with a much lighter load. There will be more to come for sure with this product.

Camera for the Candid Moments

Every photographer should carry around a portable camera that has the quality of their DSLR’s and the compact-ability of a smartphone. Smartphones have proven be a useful tool for us photographers because it gives us a quick way to take a picture of something we like. They also fit into our pockets which makes them convenient. Now all that is great until you take the image into post and while the file sizes have gotten bigger and quality is getting better, if you wanted to make a big print out of those files, you can’t. So is there a middle ground?

The middle ground is something like the Nikon 1 V3. Yes I know this is not a new release but it makes my point. Now I’ve been a fan of these little cameras since the Coolpix came out many years ago because of the simplicity. There are times when you just need that quick shot and you only have seconds before it’s gone. Or there are times when you want to be discreet and having a DSLR on your shoulder doesn’t work. That’s where these little guys are handy. There are many brands and many options now, I still prefer Nikon but that’s me.

Here’s a perfect example. I was out during the Salmon Fly hatch this past weekend and if you’ve ever experienced that hatch then you know how awesome these giant alien bugs are. Well they have no problem landing on you and my friend Dan wanted to make sure he went away with a shot of one on his face. Sure enough it happened, I grabbed the V3, took the shot and then the bug was gone. That quick, that simple.

Prints Are Memories

Prints aren’t just a great business tool for photographers, they are lasting memories they hang on our walls and get looked at everyday. With that in mind I give away a lot of prints. They are a business tool and one way to be remembered is to have a print on someone else’s wall. Last month at the 75th Doolittle Reunion I met Tom, and Tom was a tail gunner in the B-25G model, similar to this H model, which had a 75mm canon in the nose. Tom spent a lot of time around the B-25’s that day at Wright Patterson, climbing in and out of a few of the planes. After about 30 minutes of talking with him, I offered him some prints, to which no one ever had done before. He was ecstatic. It’s important as photographers to remember the impact your photos can have on others provided you share them. Disregard the cost and remember there is more to photography then just the numbers.

All prints made on the Epson SureColor P400

What’s the Best Paper?

Decisions, Decisions. There are a lot of different papers out there to print on, each one usually has a fancy title that makes it more appealing. But if you look past that and you look at the weight, thickness and coating you will start to see a big difference in quality. There are two things that every person who receives a print does when they first open the box, they look at the print and then they feel the paper. Both of those statements will say a lot about the print. It’s important to choose the right paper with the right photograph in order to convey the right message.

I’ve tried numerous papers over the years and each one is unique. But my general rule of them is to print aviation on glossy paper and landscape and wildlife on matte finish papers. Why? Landscape and Wildlife are more alive, they have a texture to them and that matte brings out that texture better. Gloss papers are more sleek, like an airplane. That’s one reason why metal looks so good with aircraft because it brings out that feeling of the plane. Right now I’m using all Epson Signature Papers, with the exception of Epson Metallic Photo Paper Luster. Recently I switched to Epson Hot Press Bright which is an amazing matte paper! Now if you don’t know what to use, buy a box of 8.5×11 and try it out. Printing is one of those things that you have to just try yourself, videos and blogs don’t do prints justice.

SB-5000 Firmware Update

In case you missed out on Nikon’s site or my Dad’s, there is an update for the SB-5000 Flash. Here is the link and below you can see what was updated.

• Fixed the following issues:

– Zoom (angle of illumination) did not function as expected at low temperatures.
– When AF ONLY (AF assist illumination activated, flash function canceled) was selected for Custum (Custom menu) > AF (AF-assist illumination/canceling flash function), pressing the shutter-release button halfway after restarting the standby timer or after turning on the camera would not activate the AF-assist illuminator.

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