Social Content & Platypod, Plus More! : Tools For The Kit

How do we share these enriching experiences with a wider audience? In this digital age, social media reigns supreme, with IG reels and TikTok leading the way. Like it or not, it’s a fact.
Personally, I’ve embarked on a journey of increased content creation and discovered some invaluable tools along the way. When it comes to outdoor shoots, I’ve opted for a compact setup – I still shoot Fuji for those captivating stills reels and my trusty iPhone for additional IG reels and Tik Tok adventures.
I have kind of Frankestein-ed this from a variety of items in my general kit.
Depending on needs.

Here is a list:
*Platypod Extreme tripod Base
*Platypod Handle
*LumeCube phone holder
*LumeCube mini LED
*Manfrotto BallHead – (link is to a diff ballhead, than what is in the photos)
*Joby Impulse 2 Remote + (the secret weapon)
*Ankerwork M650 Microphones

The Platypod base and handle provide incredible flexibility in placement, and the LumeCube phone holder, mounted on a Manfrotto Ball head are the basics.

By using a ballhead you can adjust the angle of the phone, to give you the best perspective. The Manfrotto 484 is the right size for me.

The LumeCube phone holder is well built, can be tightened into a specific orientation, plus has 2 cold shoes on either end of the spring loaded mount for additional accessory options/

Now, let’s talk about a game-changer – the Joby Impulse 2 Remote control. It’s an absolute essential for anyone diving into phone-based content creation. It makes controlling your phone remotely a breeze, elevating your content creation experience.

Basically, you can turn the recording on and off on a phone from a distance, and not need to run up to the phone/camera to start, and have to edit that hand going back, then edit the hand turning off the camera function.

The latest Joby remote is such a large improvement from the last iteration, you’ll love it, and will make it part of your permanent content creation kit, no matter what your set-up.

Controlling the phone from the remote makes your session so much easier, and pleasant! It’s always in my bag.

My onscreen presence, or even just my scripted moments, usually take multiple takes. With a trustworthy remote control, like the Joby, sooo much easier to stop and start the recording.
Take 10 can be very real!

To up the ante, you can add a couple of led lights. Here are a couple of LumeCube lights, battery powered. Just screw them into the Platypod Handle top. with a simple 2 ended 1/4-20. You can also adjust the angle of the lights, based on the angle you set your phone.

If you think you may be in a noisy environment, or farther away from your rig, my current phone mics of choice are the AnkerWork sets, as the ease of plugging into the phone is easy. And no wires.

With a phone case, I add a slight extender to make it through the case.
And there you have it!
I have also used the handle on a tripod, and handheld. As you can see, you can extend the handle for a little more height. While creating some content recently, I needed to use a full up tripod/ The base of the handle is compatible with an Arca Swiss mount so it slipped in and secured easily

All together now:

The Platypod Handle is just a super versatile tool, and light enough to keep in the bag, even with the ball head and phone mount.

All of the above great fits nicely in my Peak Design Sling bag, and I can throw in a Fuji 100V or a Fuji X-H2, as well.

Creating IG reels is a straightforward process, and all of your editing tools are right in the app. For more intricate editing, turning to Premiere or a dedicated editing program might be the way to go. Plus, sharing your reel to another app, like Tik Tok requires a 3rd party app to keep watermarks off the vid.

Remember, the journey of creation never ends. Continue to explore new avenues to share your message and your passion. Be sure to hop over to my IG for some sneak peeks of reels promoting my upcoming photography book.

I’ll be unveiling the process soon, so stay tuned for more photographic adventures!

Fall Will Bring A New FujiFilm GFX 100 II – Medium Format Flagship Gets An Update!

The FujiFilm update to their medium format camera has been rumored and is now about to become available.

The GFX 100II will be here this fall!

What do you get different from the last model?
For one thing the learnings of the sensor on the X-H2s, you get an improved 102MP Sensor with faster and better AF. We all need that!
Burst shooting has gone from 5 FPS to 8 FPS

A new film simulation has been added called REALA ACE, giving you 20 Film Simulation modes in total.

Vast improvements in video capabilities : The ability to internally record Apple ProRes 4:2:2, 10-bit video at 4K/60p and 8K/30p is a major first for GFX System cameras.

A big thing added is the ability to use Cam to Cloud file transfer, which was only available as an added grip on the recent H2 and H2s.
You and members of your team, can upload files to the cloud, using, allowing an editor to begin the cut, while the team are in different locations. Just make sure you have good internet,

And yes, with the articulated screen, you can pretzel yourself into a range of angles. 3 direction LCD. Below images with the accessory grip.

More on this at another time as I test the real world capabilities. Pricing for the body and accessories at the end of this post.

Looks great on paper.

“Hardware enhancements include a five-axis, in-body image stabilization (IBIS) that provides up to 8-stops of image stabilization, as well as 1.0x viewfinder magnification, and a high-magnification, high-definition 9.44-million-dot EVF. The camera’s new design also features a large, sub-LCD, tilted top panel, and a fashionably textured grip.”

With all of the press, AF improvements, & video capabilities, they seem to be positioning this as a photojournalist camera as well as a studio standard.
One of the joys of Fuji X series has been the size and weight of a great camera. If this camera in the hand and on the street plays right, we’ll see if the extra weight makes it a standard bearer.

A lot of friends who shoot studio love the current GFX100. Is this the camera you’ve been waiting for?
Please remember that I have not road tested this camera, so notes are from Fuji and a press Zoom call.

And now, the official word:
Continue Reading »

BH Sponsors a Gear Show, and PhotoFairs NYC Brings the Artistry

After a week in NYC with a gear show, Bild Expo, and an art show, Photofair, it became a meld of great effect. Both were happening within feet of each other in the Javits Center.

Bild Expo was created by BHPhoto and since PhotoExpo isn’t around, this may become the new deal. To be able to check out the gear, speak to brands about what you may be wanted to capture, and talks by photographers about their journey, was invaluable.

While perusing the new offerings of the latest gear , it was clear that there was indeed, nothing new under the sun, but improvements on what existed.
Great to see some of the brands that I have seen for years, still upping their game, and seeing familiar faces.

And mere feet away was a collection of over 56 global photo galleries, so you could see what some practitioners of fine art photography were creating.

PhotoFair was exhibiting some of the best artists in the field, with 56 galleries, representing about 120 photographic artists, plus talks by folks like Dawoud Bey, in a very comfortable setting.

Inspiring to say the least. When you see a major showing of fine art photography, it’ll make you examine your own path. Or bring you into the world of collecting.

This all brings me to the question of how to share with a larger audience. For everyone NOT in NYC, still want to share the goods.
One way is to show you some highlights and add some photos of the art. The gear will be shared in coming reviews.

Here is some of the photographic art:

And as a bonus the Armory Art show was also in the same building!

You never know where your inspiration will come from, and even better to see all forms of art.

Keep your eyes open, and always stay curious.

Captivating Moments Unveiled: Bild Expo and Photofair Illuminate NYC’s Javits Center !

In September 2023, the city’s photography enthusiasts and professionals are in for a visual treat like no other. The Javits Center, nestled in the heart of Manhattan, is set to host two of the most anticipated photography events of the year: Bild Expo and Photofair.

Bild Expo: Where Creativity Meets Technology

Bild Expo, an annual photography exhibition and trade show, has become synonymous with cutting-edge technology and artistic innovation. In September 2023, it promises to be bigger and better than ever before. This year’s theme, “The Future of Photography,” is a nod to the dynamic fusion of traditional artistry and modern technology that defines the contemporary photography landscape.

Date: September 6-7 2023
Location: Javits Center, New York City

Key Highlights:

Exhibition Halls: Explore multiple exhibition halls showcasing the latest cameras, lenses, drones, and photography accessories from renowned brands. Get hands-on experience with the latest gear and see how technology is reshaping the photography industry.

Artistic Showcases: Witness the work of groundbreaking photographers, both emerging talents and established icons, in captivating gallery exhibitions. Get inspired by the diversity of visual narratives on display.

Educational Workshops: Learn from experts in a series of informative workshops covering topics ranging from lighting techniques and post-processing to storytelling through photography. Elevate your skills and gain insights into the industry’s latest trends.

Networking Opportunities: Connect with fellow photographers, industry professionals, and potential collaborators. Build valuable relationships and expand your creative network.

Photo Walks: Join guided photo walks in the vicinity of the Javits Center, led by experienced photographers. Capture the city’s iconic landmarks and bustling streets through your lens.

Photofair: A Celebration of Photography’s Rich History

Running right after Bild Expo, Photofair offers a unique journey through the history of photography. This event celebrates  photography, with 120 of the leading masters of the art

Date: September 8-10, 2023
Location: Javits Center, New York City
Key Highlights:

Don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of photography, from its rich history to its cutting-edge future. Whether you’re a professional photographer, an enthusiast, or just curious about the art form, Bild Expo and Photofair at Javits Center in NYC this September 2023 promise to be an unforgettable experience that will ignite your passion for photography.

Prepare to be captivated, inspired, and moved by the incredible visual stories waiting to be discovered. Mark your calendars, pack your camera gear, and get ready to explore the limitless possibilities of photography in the heart of the city that never sleeps.

See you at Bild Expo and Photofair!


# TBT Story Behind The Shot #4

Story behind the shot(s)
Figured a good time to recount this event, as it’s the anniversary of Woodstock.

I was too young to go to Woodstock.
Years later, there was an attempt at a re-creation bringing a ton of the folks that performed there.

Those that were still with us at that point.

Janis was gone, but Big Brother and the Holding company played.
Jimi, too, and his iconic version of the Star-Spangled Banner had to live in our collective memories.

Canned Heat, Chambers Brothers, Wavy Gravy, It’s a Beautiful Day, Country Joe & The Fish, Lee Michaels, and so many more played.

Alan Ginsberg read from Howl to the rapt crowd. Meeting him was for me a major highlight.


Everyone let their freak flags fly and tried to recapture the vibe.
With less mud.
I shot with film.

Fast forward to a few years ago, on the 50th Anniversary, Morrison hotel Gallery invited Michael Lang, who was the main face of Woodstock, and had Henry Diltz, and Bob Gruen attend an opening of photos at the gallery.

Also included here are some shots of Baron Wolman, at a LA Gallery.

Plus, a who’s who of Woodstock photographers: Baron, Jim Marshall, Lisa Law, and Henry who all signed a classic photo from the event.

Sold for $20.

Why didn’t I get more as gifts??

Content Creators: Change Up Your Lighting Game!

We have all seen, and probably used, a ring light.
Basically, this gives you a shadowless light that may be flattering, although EVERYONE has been using this!
If you don’t believe me, have a look at the eye in a screen grab. In what we call a catchlight, you can see the ring light on the eye.
Not saying it’s bad, but maybe it’s time to change up your setup to add a bit more distinction to your content.
Joby has designed a full lighting kit for the smartphone creator with a new attention to detail: a background light.

It’s called the Beamo Deluxe Studio Lighting Kit! 

It’s a mouthful , so I’ll break it down for you.

Yep, most of time, people shoot with one light, and if you are making a vid that highlights a product, a more pro look is lighting the background for separation.
Now, this setup assumes you are shooting in a controlled space when you use the full set-up.
What do you get?

First of all, a main light with cold shoes around the rim to add on a mic, for instance.

It is also mounted on a hinge to allow for angle adjustments. I use features like things for product shots as well.

A stand that is weighted and has height adjustments, from 27″ to 37″.
A Joby phone holder, so you can place your phone vertical or horizontal, depending on your content. And as most Joby gear holders, it is flexible, plus it can attach to the pole of the light holder at your choice of height.

A background light that has a stand to adjust the angle, OR, use the standard ¼-20 screw hole to place it wherever on another stand. The light has choices of a ton of colors to help separate the background.

I do wish white was an option, but not on this unit.



OK, now that you have all of these items sorted, you will need a couple of more things:
Like a lot of us, I plugged both lights into separate phone charger batteries. They give you the cables with enough cable length to get to the power source easily.
With that knowledge, you can decide whether this is best on a set, or location.
My vote is a set (or wherever you shoot inside)
I have not checked on the power drain, but after reviewing these for hours, I was good with a 10,000-mAp battery on each.
To be clear, the lights are not battery powered, but easy to sort out.

On the control side of things, they designed the cable on the main light with a control hub with a good length so you can adjust the intensity, and kelvin (daylight/indoor) temp appropriately. It’s magnetic, so it stays where you want it to. Plus it has a sticky backing so you can keep it more secure on the base.

Just set your height, use a twisty or other cable tie to  secure it to the pole, and set the control module on the base if that’s your easiest access point,

On the background light, the controls are on the unit itself, so you will need to set by looking at you screen for best results.

The basics are this:
Quality of light on the Main Light is great. Intensity range worked well, as did the color balance.
Having 4 cold shoes around the light added a versatility for add ons.
The light stand, with the weighted base, is well made, and creates a solid set-up.
The phone holder is typical solid Joby quality.
Background light has a small stand, so you will have to find a flat surface to set it on. Thank goodness the ¼-20 is there so you can add another way to mount that light.

As mentioned, if you want to mount the background light in a different way, you can add a Joby tripod to customize your placement. Here you can see the stand removed, and mounted on a Joby mini tripod. I do have a bunch of these tripods, and have for years, as they are a great part of the kit.

I would recommend a wireless mic system, like the Ankerwork . What i like about the Anker setup is that it comes with iPhone and Android connectors that plugs right into the phone and place your mic on your person, or connect a lavalier. Of course you can also attach a mic to one of the 4 cold shoes, connect to your phone. I did a review on this earlier this year showing a variety of options to connect mics to a smartphone.

There are some things I wish this had:
White light option on the background light.
An included carry case to store or transport the set. It can be broken down easily, but saving the boxes it came in, may not be the best solution, although that’s what you have.

An overall solid addition to your lighting kit, and at the reasonable kit price, also a great option for your Zoom call lighting needs.
$100? Yep, righteous deal for your lighting options.

BTW, same price on Amazon, and BH, so you might as well get it straight from Joby

Change your light just to keep it fresh!

Maybe The Most Boring, Yet Critical Piece of Kit In Your Photographic Life

Sure, we all look at the latest camera bodies, glass, tripods, lights, bags (oh, the bags!) and more.
When it comes to your final output, what everyone will see, it’s about the tonal quality and color.
All of your post production adjustments are based on what you see on your monitor(s).
A little while back, I reviewed the Datacolor Spyder X colorimeter, and it has served me well.

When I am working on one monitor, that is.

So if that is your case, or if you work only on a laptop, that option is a great call.
I have begun the work on an upcoming book, and using multiple monitors, I needed to have the color match across them all.

Whether it is the post production on an image, or the layout of the book, having consistent colors across them all was critical.

That’s when I knew that the upgraded DatacolorSpyder X2 Ultra was the unit that would serve the project best.

Sure, they look the same, but the guts and software are the upgrade that was required.

What you see in the photos above is the lens that sits on you monitor to read the color/light; the red lens above the datacolor name reads the ambient light, and the other image with the 2 parts shows how the unit is stored, as the 2 pieces clip together, as well as acting as a counterweight so when hanging the colorimeter over the screen it stays in place.

When I first took it out of the box, I was a little non-plussed, since it looked exactly like the SpyderX Pro.
Once I downloaded and installed the software, I understood the difference.
Made for a more professional workflow, this software interface had a different design.

So the Studio match was the main software I was after. Yes, the base model will let you calibrate more that one monitor, but the Studio Match is what I was looking for.

And it works great! Matched my main working monitors super fast.

So: Fast, easy to calibrate, and gives a reminder based on your needs. I go for a once a month reminder to re-calibrate, because, nothing is forever, and yes, monitors do age.

One thing to note is that both calibration devices have a lens on them to read the ambient light where you are working, ( you can see that pointed out above.) as that will affect your calibration.

Another critical feature on the Ultra is softproofing. If you print at home, have you calibrated you printer with the correct ICC color profiles? If you send out your files for printing outside your place, you want to know that the prints you get back, or drop ship to buyers, has the same color quality you crafted in your studio.
You can ingest your profiles and insure that the monitors are matched to those profiles. Make sure the product you are putting out, has the high standards your adhere to.

This additional feature of the Ultra is the proper investment to maintain the high quality of your vision.

I know the above may look like a lot, but the way the Datacolor software simplifies your process, and calibrates in 2 minutes, don’t worry.

You got this!

And it’s as easy as hanging the colorimeter over your monitor in a specified location, and running the program! That simple!

OK, you do have to adjust your monitors, brightness & contrast, as requested, to make the color profile the best.

Plus the Ultra is also perfect for video color correction. I have been in many grading (another word for video calibration) and the light in the room is set so what you see on the monitor is as good as possible, and adjustments you are making have that baseline.

Basically you need a baseline to be that starting point for all of your post production adjustments.
If you are working with the one monitor, or laptop, The less expensive Spyder X pro may be the perfect unit for you.

When you move to more robust and complex projects, and especially of you need consistency between multiple monitors, the Spyder X2 Ultra, with enhanced software, and capabilities is the one to buy.

And here is another take on why you should be calibrating your monitors:

#TBT The Story Behind The Shot #3

My VW bug was chugging its way up Telegraph Ave, like the little engine that could.
And it did!

That afternoon, on Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley, Talking Heads were doing a free concert.
As a new fan, it was not to be missed.

They did the hits, and in a very strange timing, they sang Psycho killer as we all found out that Mayor George Moscone & Supervisor Harvey Milk were murdered by Dan White, a former supervisor in SF.
Because of this tragedy, Diane Feinstein succeeded Moscone as acting Mayor.

The concert was crowded, and afterward and I found myself backstage. Don’t ask me how.
I ended up capturing this portrait of Tina Weymouth, the bassist.

A couple of years ago, there was a screening in NYC of Stop Making Sense, attended by Tina and her husband Chris Frantz, the drummer for Talking Heads.
I had my advance ticket, so I got a 16×20 print of the portrait to give to her on the night.
Decades later, the story came to a right conclusion.

Pivo Max – Your Solo Creator Multi-Use Tool

While at CES 2023, part of the goal is to see what’s coming out new, that could be of use to all of you.
When I saw this Pivo Max, I couldn’t wait to give it a go, and see if it performed as expected.

What you have, basically, is a base that has a bluetooth connection to an app, which allows you to track your movements while shooting. Your camera will move with you.

The thing that brought me to their booth and impressed me the most was the strength of the motor allowing the use of a mirrorless camera.


As a content creator, you know that you need to push out your work in a variety of formats.
The most common being the 9×16 Vertical for social/smartphones, and the 16×9 for platforms like YouTube.
You may have thought that you need to shoot twice, once in each format, or compromise the framing to lean towards one or the other.
The Pivo Max  does indeed have a strong enough motor to allow you to mount both a phone and a mirrorless camera to capture your content at one time.

It worked as expected! When I see products in a trade show, you never know how a production unit will behave. This did not disappoint!

Sure, you may say that anyone can mount both units and get the same.
But the critical difference when using the Pivo Max is the dynamic look when you add motion tracking to the equation.
By connecting via Bluetooth to the app, you can have your cameras track you by face, or body.
Now, if your content includes moving around a gym, in let’s say, a training video, or even a horse riding instructional this set-up will track you easily and make sure your shoot captures your vid.
Of course you can hire someone, to be the camera person.
This setup lets you shoot as a solo creator!
The tracking on this app is so good, it was tough to get a product shot as I moved around to get the right light! It kept following me.
I’m showing a specific set-up getting all content in 2 cameras at once.

The Fuji X-H2 has a flippy screen so I could see the framing on the camera, and then I used the phone in a front facing camera so I could see what was being captured there. Like I said, a one person set-up. We all know that the front and back cameras on a phone have diff resolution, but for social, the quality is good. The Fuji gets the 4K files.

To activate the phone I use the included remote control. The camera was activated on the body, knowing I’d be editing that first part out.

You can just mount your phone, or tablet, horizontal or vertical on the base, or a tablet, and keep it simple. Probably a way most people will use this.

Maybe you just want to live stream, and a less complicated set-up is best.
I would also suggest connecting a good wireless mic system to complete the system.
For this review, I was just shooting video, no audio.

OK, you have a dual capture set-up, a single capture set-up, and there is more.
With a remote control included, you can also control the base via the app, or even without the app!
So, if you want that 180º or 360º shot you can easily do that with the remote. Either direction.
You can also adjust speeds of any of those movements.

I have looked at this category for years, going back to something called a Swivl, which used a large bulky tracker that you wore. Unwieldy at best.

The tech in this may appear simple, and it may be. It just works.
If capturing content, as a solo creator, with the ability to add dynamism to your video with a moving subject, I highly recommend this Pivo Max.

It does all break down pretty small and the phone mount has a ¼-20 standard screw mount as does the base. I just screwed on the camera, and as you see, added a cold shoe adaptor to the phone base to complete my set up. The Max does not come with that, but I’m sure you have one in your kit. If not, a cheap add-on.

I do use a Zhiyun tripod adaptor so the bottom can live on the base, and the top lives on the camera. I didn’t have to remove my fave wrist strap, the SpiderHolster wrist strap, my wrist strap of choice/

This can also be a great tool for real estate sales

With this, an agent can give a virtual tour of a property. I think content creation is where we live, but that is just another use case.

The main base unit is rechargeable, with 10-12 hours of battery life. You can also charge your phone/tablet through the base while you record as well.
the remote uses 2 AAA batteries.

One thing I will say that you should look at your motion and see how how is all tracked.

In a closer , let’s say 6Ft distance, try to do smoother movements as the tracking is so good, it will stop and start moving as you do. No lag, but immediate.

There you have it! from the trade show floor, into a real world situation, the Pivo Max does exactly what it promised. It costs about $250, but I have seen it on sale for as little as $175 USD.


BTW, here is a video for another product on the line, with a motor best suited for a smart, not the full combo. You may want to look at the whole line to see which unit is best for you



# TBT Story Behind the Shot – Tragedy on Red River

(please note, there is a possibly disturbing photo at the end of this post)
I had just seen/photographed St. Vincent perform at Stubbs, and it was an incredible set.

Making my way out, it was on to the next venue to hear some new music.
While walking on the street, the camera’s exposure was set for whatever may be seen on the street.
There was a rope blocking the sidewalk, making us all walk in the street.
All of the sudden we hear a car’s screeching tires, bursting through the flimsy barricade with a police car in hot pursuit.
The camera came up to my eye, with the continuous shooting sequence in action.
The driver plowed through the crowd of these poor young kids, just trying to party and get to the next venue.
The things I saw, are etched in my mind forever, and I’m not sure about posting some of them here.
I know I saw a young woman bleed out, while being attended to by paramedics.
There was a facility close by that had dispatched medical support immediately.
This one shot has stuck in my memory as it reminded me of Kent State.

Continue Reading »

Story Behind The Photo #2 – Maximum Security Prison with a Manson Family Member

Sitting in a friends living room, it was fascinating to hear the writer talk about interviewing a Manson Family member in max security, in a morbid way.
Then she said the photographer she took with her, totally screwed the assignment.
One camera, dressed a bit off, and was scared witless. Missed most of the possible shots.
She needed to find another photographer.
My buddy suggested me.
After looking at some of my photos she agreed.
I asked her when we would be going, and she said it would just be me, as she had already wrote the interview.
I did as much background as I could, and got notes from the writer.
With an official letter from the publication, a plane ticket, and my camera bags filled with his favorite cigarettes, I took off.
Nothing like hearing the actual door of a prison close behind you to know the truth.
While walking the line, my accompanying guard told me how much he respected my work from Nam.
I had never been to Nam. I said thank you.
Meeting with BB, I started to lay out my gear. There were some other inmates in the room, and I asked them all what they were in for.
The last one said I didn’t want to know.
I agreed, and gave him a smoke.
The guy knew his poses and we started to shoot.

During the process I asked him for his side of the story.
His freedom had been challenged, so he had to kill.
My gear was a Nikon F3, FM, and Nikon F that I always carried. Fully manual, and as the expression goes, I could hammer nails with it all day, and it would still be in focus.
And both of the other cameras did go down.
The final set-ups were done with the F. Whew!
Yes, I had a speedlight, changing bag (used when the cameras went down) and tons of film, B&W, and ektachrome.
There was one shot that I wanted to do, and the guard was a bit concerned.
With the lights out, or very dim, I wanted to spray the scene with a fire extinguisher for atmosphere and hit the scene with a flash. Hell, he had an automatic weapon.
So, we did it.


Throughout the shoot we talked a lot.
“When did you get those tattoos?”” In here” “Really, how?” “Broken guitar string and ink from a pen” “damn, that had to hurt!” “You know how long I’ve been in here? THAT hurts”
As a self-taught musician, we discussed his music, styles, etc.
After the shoot. I met with his therapist who told me he was really a good guy.
I sent him contact sheets, and transparencies, as I had promised.
A short while later, I was at home, and I get a collect call from the prison.
He wanted to chat.

Loved the photos, but unfortunately couldn’t get the slides as they were in plastic mounts and could have been made into a weapon.
How did he get my phone number?
The writer said he really like meeting me, and wanted to let me know he liked the photos.
Yes, I did change my number.
This was perhaps the most exhilarating, single photo shoot I had done.
The magazine came out and it was great to see the full page spreads of the photos.

#TBT – Story Behind The Photos #1

One of my favorite assignments was covering concerts at the Greek Theater in Berkeley.

Being a young, low on cash, photographer, Nikons NPS Service was always great about loaning me gear to supplement my owned kit.
The greats were there, and honestly, loved to photograph jazz musicians especially as they were the most chill.

I was hanging backstage, cameras slung on my body, with a bag loaded with extras.
Leaning against a wall, having a smoke, and one of the musicians came up to me.
“Say, are those Export A’s?” said Dizzy Gillespie.
“Yes they are” , I stammered back
“That’s my brand! Can I get one?” “Tell you what, if I can photograph you, I’ll give you a pack!”
He happily agreed, and we started to shoot!
Of course there was the classic puffed cheeks with the upward bell, which all went to just joshing around, playing congas and hanging out.
He ended up giving me a calendar from a Chicago jazz club, and some other things.
Most importantly, we had formed a photog subject bond, and through out the next three days, I was able to photograph him on stage, connect from the wings for more personal shots, And catch moments backstage with some of the other mega stars of the world of jazz.
Because I was hanging with Dizzy , it was assumed I was a “right “ guy, and the access was
invaluable getting moments with these other musicians.
Joni Mitchell was also on the bill, playing with Jaco Pastorius, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams and Don Alias.
The list of talent was incredible, and the archives from that shoot are invaluable.

Remember when I told you that I was not a wealthy guy? Well, I was bulk loading film, and reusing film cassettes to save some dough. There was a roll that had unfortunate scratches, due to debris in the cassette, and through the years I have had those images worked on and ready for printing.
Just a cautionary tale.

Wacom Tablets – The Pro Move

I have been using Wacom tablets for many years, and the latest models are a great move forward.

Thinner, sleek design, lighter weight, better button design. Bluetooth has been available, just have to mention.

When you want to get more precise editing on your photographs, a mouse/track pad just won’t get you there.

OK, I know there are those that aren’t quite sure what the advantages are of a Wacom Tablet, or what the heck they even are.

Let’s get down to it before we get into some of the available options.

On a very basic level, a Wacom tablet is a separate work surface that connects via Bluetooth to your computer, and gives you an area to make precise corrections to an image. They come with a pen/stylus that lets you control things on your screen with a pen stroke, or push.
Primarily best in Photoshop, once you get familiar with the advantages, you will use it instead of a mouse/track pad, for pretty much every way you navigate on your computer. No matter what program you are using. This is also invaluable for illustrations. Drawing on a Wacom Tablet is the way to go!
The customizing of your available actions is all in your control.
I’ll get into some ways to customize in a sec.

When I tried to pass on one of my older Wacom Tablets to a fellow photographer, they had a visceral response, saying they were too hard, and complicated.

Doesn’t have to be!

Like all good tech, these have such a robust feature set, that you can set your levels of need, based on your skill level
Once you connect your Wacom tablet to your computer, you can go in and select from a menu of how you want to use it. Here you can see that it appears in your system preferences:

Personally, for the set-up, I keep it super simple:

Adjust the area on the tablet that is “active”: In other words, a 3in square can replicate the entire screen so you don’t need to drag your pen across the whole area. And if you use 2 monitors. you can select the area(s) that the tablet/pen is active.

Customize the buttons on the pen: Pressure is an easy select, and  Undo or Erase are the 2 most popular and used options, you can choose how they work

Set how the buttons on the tablet itself, will give you repeated actions that match your workflow.
Each button can also be selected to open a series of customized actions.

My advice is keep it simple, especially if you are new to this.
Now, some folks may say, ” I can just use my iPad ”
Want to know why that is not a great idea? The latency from the pen action to the tablet is so far superior on the Wacom, that it will cut down your possible frustration from things not happening in real time.

The Wacom stylus does not use a battery, so need to charge!
The Wacom tablet battery lasts for 15hrs so you will always be connected, unless you need those extra hours and can just plug in.

Yes, some of the current AI enabled masking options currently in Adobe software are great, no question, and you may think that these can help you retouch.                                    Sure thing, for global corrections, or major areas (Subject, Sky, Background)
But when you need to go in and really get specific on your post processing, you need the precision of the pen.
And if you are a portrait photographer, a delicate retouch on facial cleanup requires this set-up.
Try adjusting facial lines with a mouse.
Not happening.
What I use, is a simple, adjusted, smaller work area on the tablet (see above), zoom options, undo and erase, and various pressure sensitivities, left and right click, and double click.
On the Pro, where I prefer the medium size, you can add touch commands as well, so you can still get the track pad experience incorporated into your workflow. And more room on your desk!

The bluetooth gives you some freedom and no wires, although the pad is pretty close to my monitor mostly.
I haven’t gotten into the workflow of using your big screen for a couch centric work station.
Honestly, with a calibrated monitor, the Wacom, and a keyboard, my situation is pretty well set.

Now there are a few options to go with:

The Intuos Pro, Medium, my personal choice. This one sells for about $310. USD

It does come with a pen stand that also house a multitude of stylus tip styles for the heavy user.

Or, as a starter set-up, you’ll be happy with the  Intuos, Small, which is available with and without bluetooth. about a $20 USD difference.

Both come with training and software

So either $60 0r $80

Main differences are 4 customizable keys, not 8. The big deal for me was the touch pad. And the pen stand with extra stylus nibs is a great addition as well.

Whether you know the Wacom brand , or were wondering if you should jump in, now would be a good time!

There is one other part of the Wacom line that I love, but have yet to put in much time on.

It’s the Cintiq line, where you are actually working on a monitor as tablet so you can see all of your work right on the image as you are affecting it.

This one starts at about $650, which is waaaaay less than when I first started seeing these.

If you made it this far, I’ll bet you want more info.

 This video, from BH, gives a good overview

This can be a time saver and a new workflow for you, and once you have set it up, you will be sailing!

I work in ad agencies, and every art director I know, uses, loves, and couldn’t live without their Wacom.

Just saying.

Joby Smartphone “Swing” Slider – Upgrade Your Content

If you are a content creator, you know the gear you should have.
Or do you?
As most of the content on TikTok has, primarily, a static camera, and maybe a ringlight, hopefully some audio that is more than a headset mic, you may want to stand out a little bit more.
When I shoot an interview, for instance, I will use a 2-3 camera set-up, with one of the cams, on a slider.
What that does is add a bit of motion, even slightly, that gives you something to cut to or from, that adds visual interest to your production. In those instances I use the Edelkrone system on large tripods for stability, within the movement, and for the weight of the cameras.
If you are doing a smartphone bit of content, you kit is way smaller, and you may still want the extra visual boost of a moving camera. Chances are you will only use it as a “B” roll, or product insert shot.
Enter the Joby Swing Slider!
I’ve had a chance to work with this a bit and wanted to share a way I use it, although a bit different than the usual side to side.
How about in and out?


Now the goal is to have some elements for the camera to go past in this usage, so you have a true sense of depth. I had a camera, a Rubiks cube as you can see, with a Joby tripod supporting a business card, and added a puzzle ball behind, to complete the depth.

You can do the horizontal slider action, as well, but I wanted to show you another way to do it.

In addition, the slider connects to an app, and the connection is very fast.
You get to choose speed of the move and use the touch screen on the smart phone to set your start and stop points.

Plus you can do time lapses with the app!
I do love a good time lapse, and as I usually connect a camera to a power source, so as not to lose the shot, I have not yet tested this for long time lapses, and have just used the battery life on the unit. Since you don’t use those shots a ton, it ain’t Koyaanisqatsi,

And unless you are doing a ton of shots with the slider, the built in battery works just fine!

The unit also has a level so you can be sure to get your horizon line as you like them.

Have a look at this instructional video, so you can get an idea of its set-up:

Overall, I really like this unit. Also, feel that a heavier base camera stand may yield better results.
As you can guess, I only had the slider, and used other bits to put together the sample. I did use a heavier base camera stand for the video, by Edelkrone.

Yes, easy to do your vertical content, so no worries there!
One other thing to note is that the buttons on the iPhone may get pressed by you phone holder, but I’m sure you have experienced that before.
I mention it because the balance may be affected by how the phone is mounted, primarily in the horizontal format, depending how long you are having the slider travel.

So there you have it! About $140, for the whole kit.

Fuji Announces New Camera, Improved APP, & WA Lens

Big day of news over at Fuji, and we’re here for it!

Let’s start with the latest camera.

Now that everyone is vlogging (aren’t you?) the industry has come to answer your need!

The new Fuji X-S20, added in addition to the X-S10 has arrived with a ton of new features to make your vlogging heart skip a beat!

Thought I was over promising?
How about a Vlogging function on the PSAM dial!

One thing that influencers have always complained about is when they are talking about a product, and then hold it to camera, the time lag to refocus has been an issue.
This new camera is supposed to solve that lag issue.

From a larger battery for longer shooting time ( same as X-T4, X-T5 and H2, H2s),


to improved AF subject detect,

you may want to consider this as a dedicated influencer camera.

The 3.5mm mic and headphone jacks are on opposite sides of the camera, so may make your cable management easier.

the HDMI is the mini version.

the S10 is still in the line-up and at about $300 less, it may still serve your needs. But…..Get future proofed!


My only complaint is the single media card slot. But you can’t get everything!

That wasn’t all that was announced.

How about an improved Fuji app?

What’s that you say? About time? Yep, we agree, although I’m a big fan of the wireless firmware updates currently available.

They have added a history function so you can see just what you uploaded, film simulation. etc.

You still can’t upload a RAW or RAF file so be committed to your jpegs.

One of my main uses is when I do a pixel shift image, or remote control of the camera, and should be as good, or improved

And you did see the new wide angle 8mm lens on the S20 above.

The samples sent looked like there were no distortion issues, although I haven’t had a chance to shoot with it.

And for those of you out there with an X-H2, H2s, or X-T5, you get some updates as well:


OK, there you have it!

Lots to go over.

Is this the camera for you?

I would say, as mentioned, that this could be a dedicated influencer/livestream/creator camera, with a ton of dedicated features for those operations.

Rolling Square – Form and Function Combine For A Brilliant Modular System

You know, whenever I go to trade shows, there is usually a trend in new products that can be spotted.
This year at CES, it was no different as manufacturers saw a need, and rushed to fill it.
Now as we all have been trained in the past 3-4 years to live on zoom calls, and while doing that, you may also need to communicate with your team/client via txt, slack, etc.
What we needed was a way to keep our phones at hand, and maybe needing to charge them while using that all, important second screen.

The most elegant, clean design I saw at CES was the offering from Rolling Square.
Called the Edge Pro system, this modular setup will serve you well, allowing you to attache your phone, and other essentials in a very slim design.
Not only slim, but a very clean design. All designed in Switzerland.                                                                                                       (Below are a combo of a video from the company, and actual photos by me of the product in use.)

take a look at this overview:

All in metal, the Edge Pro system is designed with a series of magnets, embedded within the separate units, and then you adhere these pieces to the back of your laptop, or computer case (which I did), and then add on the proper phone holder, or an adjustable light, or a phone charger. So you are adhering the silicon covered metal disks, and then the mag holders attach where you want them.

The magnets are a strong hold, and, as we are all about the magsafe phones or cases, you’re all good holding your phone. I was using it with an iPhone 14Pro

And they didn’t stop there.
With this system, you can also move it to an iPad, giving you that second screen. you can see that in the video above.

But wait, there’s more!
In the set you also get a round light that adjusts intensity and color balance!
Not the basic rectangular light, but that round beauty light make you look the best, in my humble opinion.

All about the catchlight in the eyes, right?
The light has a 5hr charged life and can adjust color temp, and intensity.
Here is the basic set-up that is an EDC (every day carry)

This is how it looks with just the magnet holders on the laptop case:

And here it is with the holders in place, from the back: (phone mag holder can be rotated & straightened.)

How thin is this? In other words when you put it into your bag, how much will it stick out? Barely at all. And you can always just take the mag connectors off, when traveling. Here it is with connectors folded and ready, and also with out connectors on.


And of course, you also get the magsafe phone charger that fits perfectly in the mag holder.
OR, just add another piece and you have a strong, simple hands free, phone holder.

For best results get 2 core pieces, in my opinion.

Or it works with one as well:

Sure, you will need a hub to connect your light and the charger to, let’s say, a MacBook Air at one time.
I use an EZquest hub for that, with multiple USB-C inputs.

As I mentioned, form and function. The clean design of this system drew me in at CES. And now that I have a sample, it’s better than that.
As we all may be moving to hybrid work and you need to travel your laptop, the connector, or home base as I call it. Folds in so slim, that it is barely noticeable, as you can see above.

I do wish there was a case that held all of the pieces, but I have pockets in all of my backpacks that do the job.

BONUS: As a run and gun photographer, who has to post fast, we all used to velcro a card reader to the top of a laptop.

Now you can use a ProGrade card reader , which has a metal plate in it, and have it held in place with one of the mag connectors.

I don’t want to come off as a complete fanboy, but when something is well designed, I want you all to know about it.

There is another line of products cables that they design, called Incharge-x. You see that in the above photo all folded up for travel?
So why are they good, well designed, and super useful?
Along with a rugged casing on the cable, each end has a sleek, all plug design so you are never without the right cable!
Check this out:

And you can go for the mini, seen above, which is always in my kit, all the way up to a longer version. They have from 1ft to 10ft  long, which stores in a silicon case.

BTW, the mini USB on the lightning output is hidden within the plug.  Genius!

In the case you also get hanger for stashing the cable near your computer. Or where ever you need to use it. Also mag, so the plug area will also just stick.

I write about these items, because they are the often overlooked, but much needed items.

When you show up at a job, or an office you want to look like you have the best usable, best looking kit, no matter what you are doing.
I do, anyway.

The Rolling Square line-up has a sleek design, and smart thinking behind it.

The expression goes, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.

Lynsey Addario Delivers Commencement Address To School Of Visual Arts

Tis the season!

Yes, you will see alot of notable speakers at graduations this season, and for the world of photography, Lynsey Addario delivered one of the finest to the graduating class of the School Of Visual Arts, 2023.
I would suggest reading it in it’s entirety because there are great lessons in there.
It doesn’t matter if you are a graduate, a photo journalist, or someone who can appreciate the life lessons of a worldly correspondent

Here it is in almost it’s entirety:

Usually, when I’m invited to address an audience, it is to speak about my experiences as a war photographer. Which is not surprising since I’ve spent the last twenty-five years covering conflict around the world, and most recently, Ukraine where I returned two weeks ago.
Today, you sit where I once did. You’ve likely spent the last few years thinking about the work you want to create, and the impact you want to make with your art.
Continue Reading »

Panasonic Lumix 5SII : Best for Video, or Stills?

After seeing the Panasonic LUMIX 5SII at CES, finally had a chance to actually put it to a real world review.
Often touted as the best solution to mirrorless video capture, I also wanted to see how it performed as a still camera making it a solid hybrid choice.
Sure, I’ll be laying out some of the specs, which you should go through if deciding on a purchase, and these are the first impressions:
Below is the full framee Lumix 5SII and the Lumix 5SIIx. More on the differences later.

First of all, this camera has a great ergonomics and very solid build, so felt just right in the hands, from the get-go.

The deep grip on the right hand side, gave a sense of security in holding the camera at the ready. The placement of the primary dials and controls are in just the right proximity for adjustments.

Glad they do not have the lugs with a hole for connecting a strap, so my SpiderPro wrist strap attached perfectly! I’ve tried so many of these, and I swear by the SpiderPro.
If you are familiar with a PSAM dial for exposures, you will feel right at home.

On a still photography walkabout, AF was primo, and coupled with the IBIS, street photography was a breeze.

Honestly, it locked in on selected faces in a crowded street fair,
The phase detect AF was spot on, and let me relax as the crowd milled about to get the right shot.

With a hybrid phase-detect AF (PDAF), the focus didn’t “breath” and locked on.
The 20-60 lens was tack sharp as well,

As a street photography camera, the Lumix performed spectacularly.
Here is my local pizza joint, with a fast capture. While not a night shot, the light was super low, and the Lumix delivered admirably.

This billboard was street level, but the texture was critical as a test.

This camera line has been lauded for its video capabilities, and this new unit proves that love for this is justified.
There are no recording time limitations at any resolution.
Panasonic achieved this by adding a small cooling fan in the enlarged EVF hump.
That alone may be a reason to purchase.

The lens supplied for the review, the 20-60, had a perfect focal length for video and vlogging, in a 16×9 or a 9×16 format

The camera uses 2 SD media cards, and that was surprise as most brands are switching to a Cfast B option for improved read/write speeds, especially video and for sports.
So Panasonic and Sony are the holdouts committed to the SD format, although on the new Sony, you have a choice of SD or CFast A.
To that point S5IIx does support internal SD card recording up to 600 Mbps in All-Intra (All-I) mode.

The new L2 Engine processes twice as fast as before, I’m told, and the main benefit is that it allows for less rolling shutter distortion.

We all want that.

CMOS has some inherent issues, and this get’s closer to the solution.

Like all of us, I do like to customize a camera button operations, and knowing what I’d like it to do and how I shoot, I dig into the menus, and get it set for a real world review.
The menus were easy to get into and adjust, and only a couple of times did I refer back to the manual to adjust.

It may seem like a small thing, but I have tested some other high end mirrorless cameras where the menu choices are so deep and buried, that it makes it impossible to shoot on the run. At one event, even the company reps didn’t now how deep to go to make, what I thought was a simple adjustment. I only mention this to let you know, that out of the box, the Lumix 5SII menus are very user friendly.

As you can see here, the camera with the 20-60 mm lens is light enough and balanced for an easy vlogging situation. The articulated, or flippy LCD, made vlogging easy. Of course, this camera has built in active IS, so even handheld you are in a better place.

Would need to play more with the color, as vid straight out of camera was a bit off for me, and checking files on a calibrated monitor. I am sure that with a chosen LUT, I would have been in a good place.

To that point, here’s another sweet part: you can load in a LUT ( predetermined color correction) on an SD card, use that to capture vid, and color correct IN CAMERA. Saves a ton of time in post, if you need to get the vid out super fast!
Or just save time in the edit bay!

My only issue was battery life. there may be an auto turn-off that I didn’t discover, but the drain was real.
Anyone shooting on the street, or in a paid setting would have extra batteries on hand, so may not be as much of an issue.

Honestly, was tempted to make a purchase if I wasn’t invested in another system.

I have been shooting with an APS-C line-up, and the full frame files on the Panasonic had me thinking twice.

One thing to note is part of the Panasonic commitment to pro video.

As an example, you know that Netflix has an approved list of cameras that can be used for content they license.

The LUMIX S1H is the first mirrorless cinema camera to join the Netflix Approved camera list.
No, it’s not the one I’m speaking about here, but that approval says a lot about the product line. Twice the price, DC-S1HBODY $3,999.99
but depends on your needs, it could be the game changer you need.
Even as a solid B-camera option.

A few specs:
S5IIx will output full-frame 12-bit 5.9K 30p (16:9) ProRes RAW video, along with cropped 12-bit 4K (actually 4,128 x 2,176) and 3.5K (3,536 x 2,656) video at up to 50p externally to an Atomos Ninja V+ HDR monitor-recorder. Both cameras also offer S&Q and HFR recording, letting you capture at high frame rate.

The LUMIX S5IIX is capable of RAW video output and All-Intra, ProRes*1 recording on SSD. It also features wired*2/wireless IP streaming function and USB tethering.
Other than the fully blacked-out body, the S5IIx has some interesting features not found on the S5II. You can record to the USB-C port, much as you can on the GH6 via a recent firmware update. Formats supported include All-I, ProRes 422 HQ and ProRes 422, all in 10-bit. That includes 5.8K (17:9) at up to 25p (1.6Gbps) and C4K (4,096 x 2,160) at 60p with an APS-C crop (1.9Gbps). That will require some kind of rig to mount a USB SSD, but those already exist and aren’t very expensive. Check out SmallRig for some well made options expensive.

Now that both versions are available, I’d opt for the S5IIx for the extra $200. More vid capabilities, and after all it is all black!

So to answer the question: is it better for stills or video?
The answer: YES!

A Classic Flexible Tool Adds To the Lineup : Joby Podzilla!

I know you have to have one of the most versatile, classic tools in your kit:
A Joby flexible tripod called the Gorillapod!
For many years, this company has given the photo and video community unique tools to capture images from anywhere!
Yes, years ago, I did the first Photoinduced review of the Joby Gorillapod lineup by attaching a heavy video camera onto a railing, and on the other side of the scale, had a point and shoot camera attached to a metal surface utilizing the magnetic feet of a much smaller unit.
These products, and honestly the full line from small to heavy duty, have been a standard in my kit. The solution to so many mounting problems.
Now they have come out with new version of the classic that speaks to a new market, the Podzilla!

It’s not a replacement, but an addition!
In the original, you had to add a tripod head to attach the camera (or light, or microphone)

With this new version, the ball head is built in, with a bubble level.

So with the Podzilla, you get a new visual design with the same quality and support.
You do have some restrictions on how heavy your camera can be, although the weight of cameras has gone down! It does support up to 5.5 lbs.

Who is this flexible tripod for?
The vlogger will now have an all-in-one tripod, the ability to wrap the legs around anything, or work with uneven surfaces to secure a mirrorless camera, or smartphone.

And the traveller who needs a versatile solution to get the unique shots, with a lighter weight.

I do feel that Joby has served my needs for almost 15 years! On a personal side, I have used it for face time calls with family when i need to share things like a birthday cake on a table and a regulation tripod won’t maneuver to the best place

As always, the right tool for the job.

To attach your camara, they have a separate ¼-20 standard tripod mounting plate to put onto your camera.

This way you can set your Podzilla to just the right place, and then add your camera with a fast, secure, snap in.

Or maybe just hand hold the whole deal!

They do have magsafe add-ons if you want to quickly place your phone to begin your content fast.

I would recco the large unit, for the most versatility with a range of cameras. And it’s just over 12″, so it’ll pack easy in your bag.

And of course, as I only mentioned, when you want to put an LED light into a specific place or want a microphone in a proper location for the best recording, these tools are in valuable. Put put that speedlight  where you need it!

Yes, this photo is from a review of Joby products i did in 2009. More down below.

Now, the collection I own of the Joby flexible tripods are all still in use, and at least one is an EDC (everyday carry) in my kit.

There is one other Joby Product that is ALWAYS in my bag:
It’s the BlueTooth record/shutter trigger for your phone. I have an older one , that still does the job.

There is a newer version called the Impulse 2, but I’m using an older, smaller unit that I picked up out of BH.

Here is the current version, that works up to 80 ft, and uses bluetooth 5.0


It is nice small device in reality, battery operated.

If you have ever wanted to do an on-the-spot social post, especially on your phone. This little gem will let you start and start your video hands off, and then no need to add that extra edit.

There have been many Gorillapod imitators. A whole lot. When you have a product that lasts like the Joby Flexible Tripods, as illustrated in this post, you should just follow the rule of buy the best, and buy it once.

As promised here are some of the photos using the Joby Gorillapods from 2009!

When a product line has been around for years, and still delivers, I’m on board!

Magnum Square Print Sale Adds a Twist!

You may have seen this print offering from Magnum come around before, and each time there is a new selection of photographers. Strong showing in this one, as well.

The Square Print sale runs from April 17th til April 22. If you happen to be in London, they will all be on display! However, I have purchased these based on the website, and have always been happy with the purchases.

This time, they have added some photographs from those not 100% fully immersed in stills, and still relevant.

The Joy of Flight. Teignmouth, Devon, 2000. © Roger Deakins

The above is by award winning cinematographer Robert Eakins. He has been reconnecting publicly with his photography roots, and is a true master.

Also check out his recent book.

So, why should you buy one or more of the prints?

Yes, they are square, and about 6″x6″. Signed if the artist is alive, or estate stamped. I own about 3 myself.
Basically, these are gems, that can be placed strategically around your living area, without a huge commitment to wall space.
Honestly, I live in NYC, and wall space is at a premium. Already tiling framed art around the pat.
With these, images, you can arrange them to be revealed as you and your guests move through your space. The price is very affordable, and framing with archival mattes won’t break the bank.

Here is one from Larry Sultan, who we lost in 2009.

Dad on Sofa, 1984 ©Larry Sultan Pictures From Home

One of my current favorite photographers Alejandro Cartagena, did a series of workers, shot from an overpass.

Do you want to go with a classic photographer, like WeeGee?

Here is a photograph of his, not usually seen:

Yes, I did say that they are adding some images that have interest, although not by names widely known in the world of photography.

Like Judd Apatow. Know for his many films, this is a shot of the cast of Anchorman. walking to set.

Hot Anchormen. The Valley, California, 2003.

On its face, not revealing. When you know the subject and the context, the interest value goes up.

As I said, I have a few of the square prints, arranged throughout my home, and do rearrange now and again. Just to get a refreshed view of the images.

I know you may think this is crazy, but I was educated by an art collector years ago about how to hang your art. And sometimes, re-arrangement and freshness is what you need to fully appreciate your collection.

Go have a look at the over 100 photographs, and pick your next piece of art.

Just remember, these images will not be reprinted in this format again.

When you are on the Magnum site, don’t forget to look around the shop for some other amazing artwork





Your Phone is Now Your Camera Monitor: Bigger, Brighter, And Always With You!

Whenever I go to trade shows, I’m on the lookout for tools that may make your life easier.
This iPhone Adaptor by AccSoon called the SEEMO, for your DSLR or Mirrorless camera came right to the top. An HDMI to IOS converter, has so many practical uses, you have to check it out.

OK, I’ll admit, I own and use Ninja V a recording and monitor device for my cameras. It was not cheap, and I had to add an SSD drive to record to, and batteries and cables. It does become a lot to set up, and heavy and bulky in the bag.

Sometimes, I want to simplify. This unit lets you use your smartphone as your much larger monitor, and although it only records in 1080P, max 60 FPS, if you want to, you can now livestream easily with the app, using your high end lenses and controls!

That capability alone will up your game on social media by far, and will lighten your load when you are on location.


Other than the adaptor, and a NP battery, and a couple of cables, your camera and phone are always with you. You will need the same batteries that the Ninja uses, and I’ll bet you have one or more of those.
Continue Reading »

The Photography Show (AIPAD) Is On!

Every year, we all have our favorite photo fairs, right?
After Paris-Photo, this is mine. The Photography Show  

44 Galleries from all over the world come together in NYC, to show, and sell, the work of photographers from Dorothea Lange, to Cig Harvey and a ton of your favorites in between. PLUS, there are free talks by some of the smartest and most talented people in the world of photography. Click the link and check them, and maybe see you there!

Whether you collect photography, want to be collected, or just love photography, this show will hit all the marks (check all the boxes?)

Some of my all time favorite gallerists , like Howard Greenberg, are showing a broad selection of work, with a walk through both floors guaranteed to speak to your aesthetic.

Here is Mr, Greenberg discussing a photo with a collector.

As this was the first day, the impressions are fresh, and overall, I have been exposed to a whole new range of photographers and approaches. Continue Reading »

Tools Of The Trade – Start Your Post Process Right!

Before your shoot….
Be prepared to get the best quality out of your project, with these simple steps below to get quality images.
And save time in your post production.

To start, there are a couple of things to carry if you are doing a shoot where there is time frame and money involved.
Yep, when you are hired for a shoot, generally, there is an expectation of delivery of files asap.
Just the way it is.
Of course, no matter what you are shooting, these tools below with help you create the finest images.

A: Color Chart
B: Exposure Calibration on set
C: Monitor Calibration

So Let’s get into iT!

One thing I have found is a must carry on your shoot is this: Continue Reading »

STM Brings Tools To Add A Second Screen

When you need that second screen..

I’ll say it’s a safe bet that when you are on a Zoom call, your phone is close at hand.

Whether it’s to txt with teammates, look at a message that was called out in a notification, or candy crushing your heart out, you need to have the phone in close proximity.

We all know that to just have the phone on the flat on the desk, or in your hand, looks obvious and could be construed as you’re not paying any attention, as your eyes go downward.
I have been looking for the best solution for years, and at the last CES, I saw some that may have solved it!

From the good folks at STM, they have presented 2 options:

One that sits, tripod like, on your desk, and using a mag safe case or just the mag safe phone, you can set your phone at the right angle for viewing.
Continue Reading »

Ankerwork Delivers With A New Wireless Mic System

The wireless mic category is growing fast as the number of content creators explodes

My main set-up was for years, a Sennheiser transmitter /receiver system and a Tram-50 or Sanken mic, both lavs, to get that personal; sound. Then Rode joined the pack and a ton of people jumped on board, even my local news station in NYC. DJI joined in earlier this year, and so many more have joined.

Ankerworks showed off the M650 wireless mic system at CES, and since working with it a bit, I have a def opinion and will go through the plusses and minuses

First off, from a physical perspective, having everything you need in a compact, charging case is brilliant. Well built, great design, and even with the included bag, it’s an easy carry. as you include the headphones, lav mic, connecting cables.
As you open the case you see the LEDs, letting you know how charged up you are, and these 3 parts will last about 7 hrs.
( BTW, I switched out one of the color caps on a transmitter, so you can see a diff. Very easy to do.)

Here you see the carry bag, with a set of headphones, and a Rode lav mic, kept separate from the charging case by sewn pockets, below: Continue Reading »

Fuji, Adobe & Frame IO Just Gave You Back Some Time In Your Life!

A few months ago, I wrote about the collab of Fuji/Adobe /and Frame.IO using the Fuji H-2s to upload your camera files, still and video, to a FrameIO account for you, and perhaps your partners, so that

A: you could start editing before you physically ingest your files, or

B: your video files could begin to be edited as you were were still shooting.

Basically, a team of shooters from anywhere in the world they have internet access, could join together to place all assets in one folder, making for fast and efficient workflow. All about the cloud!
OR, my personal workflow, while covering a convention, event, music, etc, your files are going right into a folder, so when you return to your home base, or hotel, you can start work, instead of spending time ingesting, before you do a light edit/post.
I can tell you from experience, that coming back to a hotel at 2:00 AM after 12 hours of shooting with a handful of media cards, especially the latest large capacity cards like CFExpress B, makes me lose sleep, and is a time waster.
If my images are already in a folder, even if only proxies on the video side, it’s a huge win, and i can jump into an edit and a light touch of post.

In the fall, I saw the software in beta at NAB and it works! At that time it was only for the Fuji X-H2s, and not the H-2, which was my purchase choice due to many reasons.


Well, now Fuji is going to roll that system software and appropriate wi-fi grip to both cameras in the H series!Huzzah!
I am all in.

And to get some of you on board with this super collaboration, they are going to pick 10 people, supply them with the necessary gear, EVEN if you are not currently a Fuji shooter, to get acquainted wth this gear and workflow!

You really should apply, and honestly, I’m going to buy the special grip for my H-2, because i’m already sold on the system.
Continue Reading »

CES 2023 Part 2 – What You May Actually Be Able to Buy!

If there is one thing I’ve learned from years attending CES is that a lot of the products you see may never make it to market.
Development deals, supply chain for components, and perhaps just the marketplace.
Since we are here at Photoinduced, I like to see what products may help you as a creator to help you make content.
Or sometimes there are tools that enhance your business life and are small things that play big.
ONE NOTE: I have not been able to road test ANY of these products, was just able to handle them. A real world review will be forthcoming once I can actually use the products.

The biggest news in photoland was the new Panasonic GH6 series camera, that brings your hybrid still and video life to a whole new level.

Know forever as one of the best Hybrids out there, new specs bring it back to the top cameras for consideration. 4K in slow motion!
Am I saying you should switch your whole system?
But maybe this is the camera that fits the bill for compact hybrid shooting, especially if one camera is what you want to keep the bag light.
And another camera in the Lumix  line, the S1H this is the first mirrorless camera approved for use on NetFlix Original content.

Then Zacuto showed off their Smartphone rig, The Smart Z Finder, with all kinds of options for add-ons.

Handle, shoulder mount, cold shoe mounts, etc. But the biggest news on this is the design:
With a cut out of the main holder, you can easily adjust your video app, such as Filmic Pro, by just reaching in from the side!

There was another version of this by another company a few years ago, but now that phones have been constantly improving, this could be your next go to rig. Truth be told, after 2 days of press events, using a full on camera, I moved to my iPhone 14 Pro, with a beast grip, and a SmallRig handle and light to capture the event

Speaking of phones, a company called Accsoon, showed off a system allowing you to use your phone as a monitor for your camera, with a simple hook-up, and run by a classic NP type battery.

Perfect for live streaming with hi-end glass
Will I put away my Ninja V? probably not.
But when I want to lighten the load, this looks like perfect solution.

Then I saw a set of new cameras and a printer from a company called Pickit- 3 sizes of the camera, plus a standalone printer. Like the polaroids of old, there are no lens choices, however..

They claim that the cost cost per print is about 30 cents! And the quality of the paper was so good! You can print 4×6, 3×3 or 2×3 prints
OK, while I loved seeing this, I went to the other side of the booth and it was KODAK!!
Yep, company owned by Kodak, just different branding. Interesting call. Looks like they are coming after Fuji, who currently owns the instant print market. Kodak has had a few failed attempts in this category. Let’s see how this one goes!

For the content creators that write scripts, and you should, Neweer displayed the latest teleprompter in their line. A nice big 17” screen, remote control that will let you adjust the speed of the scroll and enlarge the copy if you need, a carrying case, and rest of the mounting hardware.
You do need to add your own tablet, but you knew that.

For instance, the blackout covering for the unit, is zippered, so it’s an easy set-up and wrap out.
Comes with a case and remote control You do need to control the speed and for those glasses wearers, you can enlarge the copy as it scrolls. This should be available now, and with a 15% discount.

Another trend is the wireless mic category.
AnkerWork, a division of Anker, whose products I really love, is introducing a new dual mic set-up that comes with a variety of color caps ( they are round) to customize depending on the wearers wardrobe.

Available in March, expect six hours of battery life and about 1.5 charges from the case.  It can go from a dead battery to fully charged in 90 minutes.

I know you’ve seen that on newscasts where depending on the clothing, the mic may be color coordinated.
It all comes in a case with the ability to recharge them, and holds the receiver as well

And there was one product that wasn’t new but massively upgrade with, yes, AI! The BirdBuddy
This bird feeder has a camera that is motion controlled ,so when your feathered friend come to nosh, they are captured on the camera, and then the species is identified by AI, and sends the info and visual and info to your phone.
How cool is that?
And one of the new features coming is a solar panel on the roof, so you shouldn’t have to worry about charging it up!

I know, all of the bird photographers will not have to give up their super long lenses, but for the rest of us, this is awesome!

A couple of other trends in products are computer docks.
Yep, whoda thunk it?
As we have been moving to USB C cables, we need more ports.
As you have probably figured out by now, the more USB-C ports you have , the more power you need to utilize them

Thunderbolt Go dock 

With all of the ports you need, and without the huge powerblock, we all have at the office, you’ll want to take this with you on assignment.

And this beauty which has saved me more times than I can say, always in the bag: Simply called the Travel Dock

As you can see, it also has an SD reader.

Another option, just in for review from EZQuest
8 ports with ability to not only add peripherals, but connect to an external monitor to increase the space.

Trust me we will be seeing a lot more of these, and soon, there will be a CFExpress reader on board as well. Progress!

Next up, have you ever been on a zoom call, and keep your phone handy to either side communicate, check emails, or dare I say, complete your Candy Crush levels?

Well, there was a preponderance of mag safe phone holders that attach to your laptops and can be used as a sidebar, or even on top of your laptop to use as an alt camera as well.
With smartphones now shooting 4K , it would be an upgrade for sure.

and this slick setup from Rolling Square. A full system, including the charging pad

Rolling Square has a definite sleek design, and the only questions I have, on all of these, is if the magnet holds the phone well enough. and on the one right above, how bright can the light be?

And the orgami kings, Moft, who make my favorite traveling laptop stand, enter this into the category:

And when you are on the road, you need a nice compact travel charger to take care of your goods so when you wake up, all is charged 100% and you are ready

STM showed off a sweet affordable folding travel charger that comes in a case!.
As a person who wears a smart watch with a bracelet band, I need to hang it onto to a charging dongle .
This thing has it all! And it does come with a travel case

There was an updated photo editing software, Luminar Neo, which showed off some image correction live, and it was very impressive and can be a LR plug or PS pluginWhew! there were many more products, just don’t want to bore you.

Very impressive! Have a wheel through with the link, and see if it’s what you need. Or want. Or want to try!

And that’s what i have right now!  There were many more products, just don’t want to bore you. Once actual products are in hand, I’ll do real world reviews.

BTW, one of the big pieces of new for travelers was Delta announcing free wifi for all members!

So the days there were 8 AM till about 10 PM everyday, but we were treated well. Free lunch!!

Here is the line:

Truth be told, meeting fellow content creators was a nice respite from walking the floors. Met some very nice people from all over the world.





CES 2023 Part 1: Sustainability & AI

Where to begin….
After over 15 years doing CES, I have seen the changes, in how it’s presented, and how I’ve interacted with.
A growth on both sides.
I started a new media outlet in 2005, and it continues to this day. That’s, where you are reading this now.
At first CES was combined with PMA which was a photo centric convention, and more specific to my site, Photoinduced, covering the photo and video market.
As PMA went away, I was always looking for the brand and products that would be of interest and enhance the lives of content creators, although I primarily called them photographers and videographers at the time.

After doing it virtually last year due to the pandemic, it was great to be back in person.

Because the human contacts I make, and the conversation held that were not impeded by a sterile online presentation are what CES is all about for me.
Not only going to the scheduled keynotes and press events but walking the floor.
It’s about discovery.
It never fails to be a positive thing to actually see a product, talk to the inventors or marketers about the how and the why.

I’ll go into the history of attendance later, but for CES 2023 here are my impressions:
There have been 2 major concepts being promoted.
Sustainability and AI.
AI is kind of the “Alexa enabled” from a few years ago. In other words, every product wants to get that stamp on the product to show they are future focused, and the products they are bringing to market will continually learn how the consumer will use them and learn from that repeated use.
That, for me, is the long and short of it.
Some people consider AI is all about MidJourney and ChatGPT which are very cool and part of it, but products that learn from usage will make your daily life easier.

Sustainability was the concept that the major brands hung their hats on to show the public that they are responsible global citizens, and are working toward zero emission, recycling plastics, and using designs that will impact the environment less.
It does have to start with those big players, and they have to be recognized for making this a front and center presentation feature.

Continue Reading »

New Year, New Media Cards – Time To Upgrade!

You got the new camera body, and now all of your media card collections may not be completely usable.

If you are shooting large files and/or video, you definitely need to change it up, and upgrade. Speed is the name of the game.

Kinda why you changed to the new cameras, correct?

Before you consider your options, remember that we have gone from CF cards, in the beginning of digital to SD UHS-I cards, to UHS-II cards, and all of the capacity and speeds that those cards could be manufactured with.
Now, after trying a few other formats for high speed (like the failed XQD format), high capacity media card, the imaging industry seems to have come to the conclusion that CFExpress cards are what we need.

Have to agree.
To take advantage of the newer video capabilities and 40MP plus stills files, you need a media card that can handle it.
Here is a size comparison:

Continue Reading »

My Perfect Traveling Podcasting Set-up

Sure, I have a rig at home that serves me well, and during the pandemic became my weekly go to.
Now that I’m on the road more, I needed a more portable set-up and here is where I landed.
And why.

The Mainstay is the Zoom PodTrak P4

With the capability of 4 mics, a jingle pad, ability to do remote interview via phone, sweet pre-amps AND battery powered, it is the jam.
Most of the time I will use 2 mics
If in someone’s office, I use the Shure SM58s and 2 Manfrotto PIXI tripods, along with 3.5 mm headphones. The high quality, and yes affordability of the mics, make it the go-to.
The tripods, and I’ve tried a bunch, are the perfect size and height. I do add the mic holders. Want some more details on the Manfrotto PIXI? Here you go!

Now the Zoom PodTrak P4 has one drawback as it doesn’t have a ¼-20 tripod socket
So, I use a phone holder with a tripod hole, and add another Manfrotto Pixi tripod to give me good eyeline and access to the mixer

Want some more details on the Manfrotto PIXI? Here you go!

The earphones are the inexpensive kind I buy in minor bulk, so interviewees can keep them.

In my office, I use Sony 7056, but on the move, prefer a less intrusive set.

Continue Reading »

Fuji Introduced New Camera Bodies This Year: How I Chose the One to Purchase!

It was a great problem to have this year: Updated cameras, and a few great choices in the X-T5 and the H2/H2s

Before I let you know what I bought, and why, let’s rewind to why I went with Fuji to begin with:

After a lifetime of being a Nikon photographer, starting with a Nikkormat, I have used Nikon on assignments and when it was film, it was a F3, FM, and always a back-up totally mechanical classic F in the bag (as insurance, cashed that policy only once, and worth it!)

Then I went into the digital realm all the way up to Nikon D810.

There was a point that having 2-3 camera bodies, the holy trinity of lenses (14-24, 24-70, 70-200, all f/2.8 plus a 20mm), speedlight, batteries for all, etc., etc. my backpack was getting heavy!
Sure, the ThinkTank Airport Roller was/is a great carrier, but many events I would photograph made a roller a non-option. Some places even went so far as to ban roller bags!
Time to lighten the load.

I researched mirrorless, and tried the Sony NEX. Added a Leica lens, and it was fine. But not as practical as I wanted. And the available lens range at that time wasn’t robust.
A documentary photographer I respect recommended the Fuji line -up.
Started with the X-T1, and I was all in. The ergonomic design and the analog feel to the Shutter Speed/ISO/and f/stop spoke volumes to me as I didn’t have to dig into digital menus to set my camera.

Plus, Fuji was the first company I saw that would do firmware updates to the bodies and lenses on a fairly regular basis, eliminating the need to upgrade the camera, and simply update the firmware. Other camera companies did start to follow suit later. Smart move.
Plus, I got back into shooting primes, which was a great discipline to re-discover.The Fuji glass is high quality and love em.

Fast forward to my going with Fuji all the way up to the X-T4.

Yes, I earlier picked up the H1 as the IBIS in the body was a great upgrade. Although the analog controls were eliminated.

So, when the H2/H2s bodies were announced, myself, like all fuji shooters, were asking “Where is the X-T5, and will it have some of the same features?”

Some points-

Yes, and no on the features. Yes, to the 40MP sensor as in the H2, (updated as well)
No, different video capabilities. No battery grip possible on the X-T5. That alone started me thinking about the audience for the X-T series.
Tilt screen on X-T5, Fully Articulated on H series
Good news is that the battery for the last X-T4 is the same for either of these
H2 series, def a little heavier, with a deeper grip as well.

Another main difference are the media cards. Remember when we went from CF to SD? the SD UHS-I, and UHS-II?
Well now that you are asking a camera to shoot large files, Stills and Video, you need a card that can keep up with it, and that is a CF Express card.

I know: who wants to start investing into new media cards? You have to evolve.
I was shooting the US Open in Aug/Sept and the speed I needed to fire off the camera to nail the shot was def hampered by the speed of my cards.

OK, this is where I started to peel off from the X series for the next purchase.

The H2 has much more versatile options for stills and video, as in what kind of files you can save, like RAW and ProRes.
You can record to and external unit, like an Atomos V, with 12-bit files
If you are shooting for long takes or continuous, like an interview, you can get a fan that screws into the H2 body.
One hot tip is if you move the LCD screen away from that back of the camera body, you are removing n big heat source
Full size HDMI port as well.
You can pixel shift on the H2 with an ability to create a file 4 times the sensor pixel size.

And one the biggest point for me, was future proofing. There is a grip available for either the H2 or H2s, that will be incorporating a new feature called Cam-to-Cloud
Currently on the timeline as on the H2s first.
What is it?
Basically, with the grip added, the higher end wi-fi will be able to transfer one camera or multiple cameras images to a folder in the cloud as they are shot. This grip is called the FT-XH File Transmitter Grip

Even if you run out of battery, or turn the camera off, the upload will continue once you get power and turn the camera on again
Imagine you are shooting an event, get back to your studio or hotel, and have to ingest all of your media cars to even begin to edit.
With this system, you can start your edit immediately.
Or perhaps you have 5 photogs covering the same event. If they all have this system, all of their images/video are uploaded to a folder and whomever is doing the edit can begin while photogs are packing up. Actually, way before that.

A system developed between Adobe and Frame IO, I have seen it in action, and it works.
They are still tweaking it, and not supposed to launch till Spring 2023 and only for the H2s to begin with, although the same higher end wi-fi grip will also fit the H2.

Now the Fuji system taught me the best ways to assign functions to buttons on the camera based on how I shoot, and where my fingers sit.

And didn’t love a couple of button placements on the H2, so assigned those a different function based on my use.

Onto the image quality: The X-T5 and the H2 have the same sensor so not a big diff.

The mechanical shutter on the H2 can shoot up to 1000 raw files in continuous mode as opposed to about 20 in the X-T5
This is a huge diff for me, and also where the CFExpress B card comes in. If you want the speed, you need media cards that can handle it.

This year, I shout the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with the H2, Last year it was the X-T4
Def saw the difference, especially when I wanted to crop.

Straight RAW files out of the cameras had more depth than the X-T4, and made a difference.

So, you can guess which camera I went by now.

The Fujifilm H2. May add the H2s, and the grip.

Very happy with the purchase, and if you are looking for your year-end gear purchase
I highly recommend this camera.

BTW, there are some lenses out, and I’m working a bit with the 30mm Macro, as we all need a macro, right?

In case you are wondering, I do still have the D810, and all of the NIKKOR lenses, which I sometimes add to the mix with a Fringer adaptor. But rare.


A couple of closing notes: There are a few top level camera systems available to you.

I went with Fuji based on my needs and the way I shoot. To shift systems is a huge expense, and I considered it all carefully. Very carefully.

I imagine you will as well.


Holiday Gift Guide #4 – Audio!

Ok, let’s talk about audio.
You know that it’s 50% of your content, unless it’s bad. Then it’s 80%

Yes, this list hasn’t changed a lot from last year, except for one big addition:

As I’ve gone more mobile, my podcast choices for audio have changed, primarily on the portable mixer. Yes, the Sound Devices MixPre 3II is amazing, but the Zoom PodTrak P4 has so many great needed features, that I’m going to a single post on my fave mobile set-up with choices.

And when you want to go more mobile, and connect directly into your camera ,  or to a portable mixer the Rode Wireless Go II. With a receiver and 2 wireless mics, you can quickly hook up your subjects for an interview situation. In NYC, I’ve seen the local news station using these as they cover the local beat.

Another solid choice is the Deity Duo,

looking like many mini mics on the market, but this one has another trick up it’s sleeve: you can either have it just forward facing, OR have it pick up from behind as well, so you can capture the interviewers questions as well.


And if you can sit down with your subject, get a couple of the classic Shure SM58

Add in 2 Manfrotto PIXI tripods, best solution I’ve found and your set. When you buy the Shure mics, you’ll get the mic holder you need. What i like about this tripod is the height it sets the mic at. Perfect!

Let’s go more pro, if you want to get some of the best:
Sennheiser receiver/ transmitter system has been in my kit for years,

For lav mic I prefer the Tram tr50

or the Sanken COS 11-D

It’s funny, as i think the Tram is more popular on the west coast, and the Sanken on the east coast.
If you live in a major metropolitan city, like AL, Chicago or NYC, I would suggest going into a local vendor to actually hear the mics to make your best choices

If you are going into podcasting world in a studio or stationary place, a perfect mic is the
Shure SM7B

Couple it with the best headphones Sony MD 7506, around $90
Yep, that good for the best price. Nice and flat so you can mix as you like. Get one for each of your guests

what do you plug into for your podcast?
If you are going to be stationary, I’m partial to the Rodecaster Pro.

Yes, there is a newer version, but the original still does everything i need and more. Plus they do firmware updates, so a great unit at a reduced price.

which mixes, records, and exports to my fave podcasting platform, Anchor. Once you export to this , it will send your podcast to all the majors.

If you are on the move, and really only have need for no more than 3 mics, the MixPre 3II is a great choice, with a small form factor and high end pre-amps,

plus support with upgrades to the firmware when needed. While I love this mixer, I use jingle pads (added sound buttons) on all podcasts, so it does require editing and mixing after a recording. Super high quality, however.

Pack all of that into an Orca bag , that you can get from 16×9 suppliers. Your size needs will vary, so choose the bag based on the gear you’ll transport and use.

More guides coming!!

Holiday Gift Guide #3 – Phone Stuff!

The phone as a camera has taken over any need for a point and shoot camera. The camera brands have known this for years. The improvements keep on coming, and you just have to make sure you are charged up ALL THE TIME!

As we all start to become one with wireless charging, the options are pretty darn massive!

I will say that MagSafe has been a game changer, where a magnet in a phone and/or a phone case will connect your phone to the charger in just the right place to charge.
I have run through a few charging mats or circles that you have to be quite specific in where the phone is placed, so you don’t end up with a dead phone, thinking you had charged it enough.
At least with MagSafe, the phone locks onto the proper place, so charging can begin in earnest.

Here are some tested chargers, that you may want to add to the gifting list.

Twelve South The HiRise 3

Built in watch charger with the ability to use a bracelet type of band, Charger area for the phone that magsafe, and a useable angle.
The feet are grippy, and I will admit, when I first started to us it, it was way too slippery.

Till I took off the clear plastic and the feet were able to grip the surface. And they are non stick!
Even on wood there are no marks. Of course, like most, you charge your airpods on the base as well

Then we have the Mophie.

More angle choices for the phone, the watch charger is not included, but if you have a watch, IOS or Android you must have a charger cable, somewhere, right?

Weighted base so you can be secure in moving the phone around to get the optimum angle.

Looks great in black.

One thing that irks me a little is that both of the above chargers need an additional item to work, or to work fully: The HiRise needs a USB adaptor to plug in to the wall.
The Zagg needs a watch charging cable. Now I had an extra charger block for the HiRise, and had a watch charger from previous chargers.
I like them both for different reasons, but wish they put everything you need in the box.

And since you will probably be entertaining more this holiday season, your guests may need a charge.
The best looking, and functional one I have seen is made by Zens.

With a clear surface so you can see all of the charging elements, it matches form and function.

2 phones can go in it, and there are tiny LED lights in the back, so you know it’s charging!
It can take a watch charger, but if this is primarily for guests, they probably won’t need to charge their watch

For Travel,  it’s the mophie 3-in-1 for the win.

Quality product with a lot of power, especially for the phones (yep, the like a more powerful charger)

When I’m on the road, I don’t want to take a chance of waking up in the hotel room and having a dead phone. Or watch.

Plus, it looks deluxe, and works the same.

On cases, I’d recco a simple case from Speck. After trying a few, the speck has a great selection and have no issues on wireless charging.

Many times, there are sellers with knock-off cases right outside Apple store. Great prices but, if you’re going to buy, I’d try it out by going back into the Apple store to make sure it charges.

And a surprise for me this year, is this product from Zagg: Gear4 Ring Snap 360

For the folks who are, or were, hooked on pop sockets, and since the pop socket interferes with wireless charging, this item is perfect:

Magnetic, so it connects securely to your phone through a case, and the inner ring allow you to use it as a kick stand, horizontal or vertical, with enough stiffness to support the phone.

And the best part is that you can remove it simply from the phone for charging. Best phone accessory stocking stuffer!

There you have it! Sure, many choices out there and more coming next year!

Stay tuned for the next Holiday Gift Guide!



2022 Holiday Gift Guide #2 – Photobooks FTW!

It’s always a tough category to recommend as there are so many ways to go.
As we go headlong into the holiday season, nothing says “I know You”, like a well-chosen photo book as a gift.
That’s the good thing: there are quality photobooks for whomever you are gifting, worthy of your time, and the recipients tastes.
Maybe you want to relax over the holidays checking out some of the new publications.

Let’s look at some you should consider:

First up is a beautifully produced book by master photographer Lynn Goldsmith, titled “Music in the 80’s
Ms. Goldsmith captured the world of Rock and Roll in the 80’s. Not that she didn’t capture other decades, she is still quite prolific, and this is just her current collection of brilliant images.
Included here, not only as a document of the music that was, but also as a perfect gift for the music lover.
I could say coffee table book, but only to reference the high quality of the publication.

In addition, she collaborated with her friend Patti Smith to create a limited edition collection of photos, signed by both Lynn Goldsmith and Patti Smith For the special friend. Lynn Goldsmith. Patti Smith. Before Easter After
Prints are available!

Next up we have a brilliant reprint of Segregation Story by Gordon Parks
In the 50’s the only African American photographer on the Life magazine  staff, captured the essence of segregation in the south .

The iconic shot of the young girl and mother outside of a dress store, speaks volumes, but there is considerably more depth with the pages.

“Department Store, Mobile, Alabama,” 1956. Photograph by Gordon Parks. Courtesy of and copyright The Gordon Parks Foundation.Courtesy of and copyright The Gordon Parks Foundation

One of the great things about this book is that it’s a reprint of a much sought-after book, published by one of the best photo book printers, Steidl

Usually selling for upward so $800 for a 1st edition, this reprint also had a great publisher.
Stiedl again!
And by adding about 20 images not included in the original, this one belongs in your library.

With a similar layout, size, and even binder titling, the interior layout doe s tells a mostly different trajectory than the original but its splitting hairs.
As to the quality, you can feel the ink on the page, (don’t eat with your hands before checking that out) and the high-grade quality of the publication is everything you expect.

Once again, published in conjunction with the Gordon Parks Foundation, so rest assured this volume is a true American beauty, retelling the reality of the segregation story of the South, that sadly, is rearing its ugly head again.

In a more introspective space, is a current book by Donna Ferrato –
With a unique ultra-personal viewpoint, Donna Ferrato tells her tale in an almost diary like format in her current book, Holy

“Her new book, Holy, published in 2020 by powerHouse Books, is a call to action. It proclaims the sacredness of women’s rights and their power to be masters of their own destiny.”

With black and white images, mounted with the text, you are brought into a more engaging relationship with her photographs, and of course her subjects
As tempted as I was to do an initial cursory flip through this book, as is the usual first blush approach, the written exposures drew me in, again and again.

Sitting down with the full volume, beautifully produced by Powerhouse books, was more than a viewing: it was an emotional experience.

The photographs she shares, are usually accompanied by handwritten text sharing her feelings of the moment, or as an observer of the scenario.
Known for her photojournalistic approach to domestic violence, she reveals hidden worlds that may shock you, not just for the raw insight, but the sheer intimacy of her work.

As with some that have gone before, who also were part of the situation, as well as documenting it, like Nan Goldin or Larry Clark, her vision is singular.
The well written text brings out the bloom of the stories, but never feel as an add-on, but as a deeper dive into the situation.

Here is an artist’s statement
“Welcome to the sanctuary for people who wish to help wipe out violence against women and children. This is collection of stories told to me throughout many years come from people who’ve been through it.
My photography has been used like work horses consistently bringing breaking news through global media outlets.
They’ve created an awareness of a social disease since the stone age. It’s a problem. These shared stories, video interviews and photographs are proof.”



Next up is a reprint of a classic Susan Meiselas book: Strippers.

In her study of the backrooms, backroads, and generally, life as you may have only heard about this classic book gets a 2-volume reprint with a second accompanying volume giving a more behind the scenes look at the shoots.
The original came with CD with audio interviews with the subjects, trying to further expand your intimate knowledge of the woman who danced.

Same format, slip cased.

And one of my new favorite books, Dining Alone, by Nancy Sherl

The title says it all, but if you have ever been single adult, the photographs’ you see will def resonate.
On many levels we either are or see people eating alone. What are their stories, or why are they rating by themselves

It’s not about someone feeling sad for them or thinking that the glorious notion of breaking bread with someone has been breached, but a beautiful construct of the simple act of solitary dining.
Beautiful produced, this is also available with an original signed print.

And of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my north star, the book that showed me what I wanted to do, the Family of Man

I will never forget fining this dog-eared paperback copy of this in our family bookshelves and knowing than I wanted to be a photographer
Illustrating the human condition, from birth to death, of the global community, showing the similarities between us all.

It may be the least expensive book on this list, but perhaps the one that should be in everyone’s library.


This was a banner year for photobooks, and way to many to list out, and this list should be a good range for gift giving!

With reprints of classics like Segregation Story, and Strippes, plus perennial faves like Family of Man, this list is at least a start!



Holiday Gift Guide 2022 – #1 : Travel Tech

As we begin the Holiday Guides this year, we’re starting Gear for the Traveling Creator

Yep, we are def full on the road again, prices are a bit higher this year, and you need this tech to get you through it all.
And, as this is a traditional gift giving time, consider these things to give to those on your list!

Plus check out the Cyber Monday deals!. Always gear and tech centric.

If you are flying, we’d like to recco the Sony WH-1000XM4 Headphones

Paired with the AirFly Pro.

Forget fumbling with wires. Just pop the AirFly into the headphone jack, and you are free to move around!
Plus they make one for 2 users as the same time.
Do not recco airpods or other earbuds on a plane, because , sure enough, you will drop one, and scrambling around on plane floors looking, is well, just disgusting.

As you pack for your trip, one thing that is always in my bag is the Peak Design Tech Pouch:

I keep a bunch of cables, multi USB docs, SSD Drives, a mini Bluetooth speaker, chargers, and more.
And if you want to treat yourself in the hotel, bring a Roku Streaming Stick. with remote, to plug into the hotel TV. Bring your Roku account with you on the road!

It becomes a solid pack filled with what I need on a trip.
One other item I travel with are these Hydration packets. Easy to pack and do the trick. Whether it’s late nights, entertaining, or being entertained, these are always on hand.

No one likes to get to their seat on the plane only to realize there is no overhead storage left
And you don’t want your equipment flying the belly of the plane.

I use an SKB case with a ThinkTank designed gear backpack designed for the case.

You can either take out the backpack and out it under your seat, and let the hard case get checked, or if you are brave check the whole thing. Super solid case

For my carry-on as I have to have main gear with me, so no baggage delays on the other end
I have 2 go-tos

One is the Peak Design Everyday Messenger bag. Room for 2 bodies, 3 lenses, batts,etc, and a Laptop with charger

Shoulder bag with a handle. And the headphones.
Also can be slipped over a handle of your luggage.

My other choice is a bit Stealth: It’s an Oakley Icon 2.0 Backpack. 2 side pockets I slide lenses into, a Laptop pocket with an alt side zip for access.
A top pocket for sunglasses, gum, (be kind to travel neighbors) batts, media cards,biz cards. I still do use them as the photos in the are a keeper.

In the front zipped pocket, I can put another lens, and usually a smaller cam, like a Fuji 100v.
In the main bag area go the camera bodies, and sometimes a speedlight. And the headphones.
Been partial to the Profoto A1x these days.
I always carry a Playtypod in either bag as it’s one the best portable camera tripod/bases around. and add a tripod head for the most versatility

Simple, solid, and always a help.
And of course
Batteries for everything.

Are these carry on bags light? Nope, but you will have your gear with you when you get off the plane.

The gear I pack are my personal choices based on what I will be shooting. Interviews, portraits, event, etc.. It all changes what get’s packed.

When you get where you’re going you’ll want to keep everything charged of course.
Currently I’m using the Anker 747 block to charge any USB-C gear, plus an extra USB -A port.

Lost of power, as you can use one port to charge a laptop. Super fast

Then in the room my fave option for charging my phone, watch, and airpods, is the Mophie 3-in-1 travel charger with Mag-Safe

I’ve tried other travel options, but on the road, the last thing I want to wake up to is a dead, or near dead, phone.

A little more expensive but peace of mind is worth every penny.
BTW, magsafe helps keep the phone on the charger!

One other thing that always goes with me, are some Baggu bags. They fold up to nothing, and whether you are getting some dinner or snacks, or even picking up some tech samples to check out, these are the bags to get.

Hold a lot, are very strong, and super lightweight.

One product I wrote about earlier this year could be a sleep aid. The Morphee

Not drugs, but an analog style digital device that packs alot of tech into its beautiful wood body that has a plethora of audio options to lull you to sleep.
What I like about it is, it works great, is a separation of gear at night, tactile
No kidding.

Should you pack a water bottle? Yes.
Should it be a S’well? Maybe. They do have some weight, but will keep your drinks hot or cold. Like the coffee you grab from the hotel before going out.


Last but not least, are tracking devices for your bags. There are 2 current industry leaders: Apple AirTag and Tile.
I’ve used both, and it does give me a sense of security. They are in my carry-on, checked bag, and of course, my gear bag.


That are some of the basics I find are great to pack, and great to gift!

Favorite Software Upgrade In The Past Year!

Sure, there have been some great deals on photo software this holiday shopping season.
The DAM (digital Asset management) software I depend on, though, is Adobe CC Lightroom Classic.

For many reasons.

Not only can I locate files going back almost 20 years on my many HDs,RAID Arrays, etc., currently over 350K images, but I can do an edit with post-production adjustments in the same program.
My workflow is to cull photos using Photo Mechanic, then import the selected images into LR, and add keywords for searches.

I always under expose slightly to maintain highlights, depending on the situation.
It used to be my Wacom tablet skills would be put to the test, trying to isolate areas before going in to touch up some areas.
Adobe has solved this with a smart mask upgrade to Lightroom! And they did it twice this year.
Let’s look at an original file, extreme as it is, to see how it started, and how it ended up, before I take you through the process:

First of all you get some very sophisticated controls:

Then you pick the starting mask tool, and dig in. Start with the subject, and you can see the overlay if you want:

Next up is the background. As you can see in this image, the main subject got the overlay, and the surrounding people and scenarios became included in the background mask ( I did open up the sky to se how it would look, before going back to a richer sky):

And just wanted to give a light hit to sky, before going back to all and adjust various masks:

I do go back and check each mask to make sure there is a balance, and any adjustments make visual sense.
What I used to do with a Wacom and a pen, now happens with smart mask.

Now what I have shown you with an image of mine, just scratches the surface.

You can also pick which people are the going to be the subject of your masking efforts. LR will identify the subjects:

And the you can go in and pick out what features you may want to adjust. Teeth in this case, as you can see by the red overlay:

You can , of course, go in  and fine tune any part of the mask you are not satisfied with. Eyebrows??

With a  brush, radiant tool, color range, luminance range, and more.

What Adobe has done is give you the smart masking and adjustments tools and have sped up the process, and have made it incredibly accurate.

Truth be told, I check out masks on almost all of my final images. Whether I hit it hard, just a light tap, or leave the image as it is, this tool has made my editing life soooo much easier.

And it was free with Creative Cloud subscription, or any configuration you may use to get your lightroom app.

It also works with the IOS version!


I would highly recommend you explore this feature, and if you don’t use Lightroom, try a free try and take it for a spin.

I know how adopting a new DAM is a very big call. Just a suggestion to explore your options if you are ready to make a switch.

Some Cyber Monday deals  right here.





The Product I Didn’t Think I’d Review

Tis the season to go to a lot of tech events, where I try to suss out products that may be useful to you in your creator life.
So it was a huge surprise, when at the last tech event, I saw something off my beaten track.

Now I was also out there and on-line this weekend with you all getting media cards, ssd drives, and a new camera body(more on that to come).
And this was something that is also on sale this weekend. Not camera or video based, but…..

As a parent, or relative, you always think about the amount of time a child spend in front of a screen.
Inevitable, but, you still want to entertain them.
I ran across this product call Tonies, that is unique, expandable, and best part: no screens
Ok, OK, what the heck is it?

Check this vid:

Basically, it is a box, with a speaker. What else?
You can place a character from their collection on top of the box, and it will read a story.
And they have a ton of choices~
The child just has to tilt either side to move forward or repeat the story and adjust the volume.
You can also custom record a story.
Maybe when you have a date night with your spouse, you have read a story to your child, and it plays through the box.
OR it’s a relative, and you want to share the special connection of reading to them
Super easy to set up

By the way, parents can set limits on volumes via the app.
It does also have a headphone jack.

Oh, it has a rechargeable battery that will last about 7 hours fully charged
It’s lightweight, heavily padded, so easy for a child to carry

I was so impressed by this product, and the concept of no screens entertainment, I had to share.

One thing you should note that there is an age warning as the figures may not be right for a toddler.
They do have an age requirement of 3+ because of that, unless under adult supervision.

So this one is for the kids, Like I said, tis the season.

Back to gear in the next post, including a review of 2 cameras, and why I picked only one!

3 Sets of Gear for Podcasting – Choose Your Own Adventure!

So, you want to make a podcast?

It’s a great way of creating a voice for yourself and discuss topics that may be of interest to others.
I’m on episode 53 of my own, and it becomes a weekly discipline.
But that not what you want to hear about.

The question may be:
What is the best gear to get?

In this post I’ll go over:
*Rodecaster Pro
*Aten MicLive
*Zoom Podtrak P4

I find there are 3 main mixers I’d recommend:
The price ranges are from about $200 – $430
All 3 were used with a Shure SM7B mic as a main microphone.
with some alts I’ll discuss further down the post.
Size comparison photos at the end of the post.

My current go-to when recording at home is:
Rodecaster Pro.

There may be a newer version, but I’m still using the original and the good folks at Rode keep updating the firmware.
Some of the positives:

Great pre-amps
4 mics can be used
Bluetooth Phone connection or Direct line in.
Sound effects pad with up to 16 or more sounds, or custom sound (I went custom)
Well built
Companion software on the computer makes it super easy to transfer episodes to upload to podcast hosts
A huge positive is the on-board micro-SD media card slot, so you can record and have a removeable hard copy.
You CAN power from a battery like a big one you would use to charge a laptop.
Basically, it does take some real estate, yet can be transported.
I do have a case that holds the rodecaster pro, 2 Rode Mic Boom arms, 2 Shure SM7b ‘s, headphones, cables, etc.
It’s a big case, but if needed, a great set-up.

Then, there is a new one I took for a test drive :
The Aten MicLive mixer

with 2 XLR combo inputs, so you can plug a 1/4″ jack instrument (like a guitar) right in, You should know your goals for interviews to determine if the 2 inputs is enough.

You can also do an interview by phone with an input designed for that..
A key feature is that it uses the industry’s first AI-optimized audio mixer – enhances microphone audio quality with enhanced acoustic models. It truly delivers great sound.

High end pre-amps for some sweet sound.
A time saving feature once you get to edit, is auto ducking, which lowers background music anytime one speaks. Yes, you can use 2 xlr combo inputs and add music (or a phone) through a 3.5mm input as well. So have your music going throughout if you like, and while doing the interview it will automatically duck (lower the volume) the music when someone is talking.
The footprint is way smaller than the Rodecaster, and being rewarded with great sound is the key.

It only powers on when connected to a laptop or tablet using an app to record/edit/mix
MicLIVE 6-CH works with dedicated ATEN software, OnAir Audio, which supports Windows and Mac OS. You can also use Garageband or your audio software of choice.

They did spend a lot of real estate on voice altering knobs and software. Not sure why, but would rarely use those features.
A big diff is no removeable media, although you can store up to 8 audio samples on the jingle pad.
This is best used in limited space, and when you are at the very least, connected to a laptop.

The best portable, standalone podcast mixer is the Zoom PodTrak4

Here are the highlights:

Up to 4 XLR mics, direct connect to a phone
4 possible sound effects (or jingle) pads
Can run on a battery (usb-c connection or AA)

Removeable SD card slot
Solid pre-amps
I do wish that the sound effects pad effects could be stored internally, but they can only be stored on the SD card, so a little tricky
The size is very manageable
The build is a little plasticky but seems to hold up.
The big news is that is is a self sufficient unit, as it doesn’t need a laptop or tablet to work.

If you are doing a single VO record, I’d recco the Shure SM7B, with a Rode flex arm, and Sony 7506 headphones for any of these scenarios when in a stationary place.

If you are going portable, you may want to go to 2 Shure Sm58s, 2 Manfrotto PIXI mini tripods

(This same setup is great with the Aten, as well.)

Small footprint, easy to pack and carry.
For headphones I use wired earbuds, your choice, and always carry a bunch of inexpensive wire earbuds for the guests

Now with the Zoom PodTrak4, you do need to add some adapters to go to 3.5 plug mics. Especially those needing phantom power.

These are not XLR combo inputs on -board, so that will add some dough to your purchase for the converters. about $25 per, made by Rode.

You can pick you lavalier mic of choice, and I go either Sanken , Tram 50 , or sometimes the Rode lavalier

And yes, you can use a Rode Go wireless system, or Sennheiser G series transmitter /receiver system with the above wired lavs, if you already have that system in your gear bag.

So that is a roundup of my choices for your podcasting systems:

If you are going to based at a stationary locations and will have up to 4 mics going, and def get the Rodecaster pro.
For a smaller footprint, with one-on-one 2 mic interview situation, or carrying a laptop/tablet
Go for the Aten MicLive

My fave for portable is the Zoom PodTRak4. No computer needed, battery powered, small footprint, removable SD Media capable, and 4 sound effects pads.
Up to 4 XLR mics.
BH has run packages that have the mixer, one set of headphones and a 3 month sub for podcast hosting for about $180. Keep your eyes peeled as they may run that again

For size comparisons between the 3, with a deck of cards for size relationship:

In the hand:

and you saw this one:

A Perfect Way To Share Family Memories – Epson FastFoto

Yes, I posted this a while back, and the product still is incredibly viable, even as tech marches forward! Time to pick one of these up and share with your immediate family, and all of the connected households.

I love to scan old photos.
Seriously, being able to scan negatives and slide from my archives is one of my favorite evening pastimes. Set it up, scan and store. It almost becomes a treasure hunt, especially with the negatives.
One thing I was not scanning much were all of the 4×6 photos in my storage boxes. You know, we all have them. The personal records of our lives.
The neg sleeves from the commercial labs, like Fromex, had a short cut to the strips, and was, honestly a bit of a pain to deal with.
There are services where you pack all of your precious family photos into a box, and send them overseas to be scanned. Scared the heck out of me, so never did it.
The I saw a demo of the Epson FastFoto 640 (its now the 680W)

When I first saw the Epson FastFoto last year, I had a feeling that this was a breakthrough product. Being able to bulk scan my family snaps, with speed, AND scan front and back for the older ones (people used to put notes on the back) was a win. And sitting on a small bit of a desktop? Worked for me!
Until I get to try these things out myself, I can’t truly comment.
After having one to test for a bit. I’m convinced.

Pure winner.
There is one possible downside that I’ll broach later.

OK, first of all, you stack the photos, and pick your resolution,

and then decide where they should go after you scan. Add the image info for that batch. After you scan one batch, you can continue to add more batches with the same info/set-up if you like. These images can all be saved to the same folder, or destination. I have different folders for birthdays, holidays, etc.,

They can be sent into a named folder, or even on-line.

Then, hit a button on the front of the unit, and your snaps get scanned, in a bulk rate fashion. and no negatives left the sleeves!
Digitized, tagged, and ready to share.
You can also use it for documents, and make searchable PDF’s.

I did it with 4×6 prints, 5×7, and even long panoramics. On the pano’s, once I brought them into lightroom, I just did a mass rotation to get them in the proper orientation. For odd size photos, they include a folder to keep them held correctly to scan. Can you throw a random stack of odd sized prints in at one time? Not advised.
The color was great, it can do auto enhancement, saving an original so you can tweak, the resolution is superb, and the ease of operation was as advertised.

And you can save in of format options for easy sharing (300 dpi), archiving (600 dpi TIFF) and enlarging (1200 dpi (4)); handles multiple sizes in one batch!

I’ll call it portable, as it’s small enough, although not battery powered. (11.8 x 8.7 x 8.1 in)
Well built, great software included, and very easy to use.
So what’s the downside?
The price.
When I first saw the unit at a press event, I thought perhaps it was a suggested price. Nope.
It’s a hefty $650. Now it has dropped to $530!
It serves a huge purpose, and it does exactly what it said it would, and does a great job of it.
I suggest this:
Share it with your family. Yep, that’s right. Buy one, and share the cost with family members. Have each family get the scanner for a bit, and scan in their collection of family images. If you amortize the cost with your family members, you can create a massive digital history of your family photos, to share online or in hard files.
The family that scans together, stays together.
As far as shipping it to out-of-town relatives, the box I got the review unit sent in, was the box it came in. No outer packaging, so that’ll work.
The software is very easy to download and use.
When my mom turned 80 we all shared photos of her from across the familial network, and created a book of her life. Wish I had this then.
With companies like giving you details on your families birth lineage, here is a perfect tool to document your families visual history.
Win #TBT every week!

Fuji X-T5 Launches + a SWEET 30mm Macro!

When the Fuji X-H2, and X-H2s were announced, those of us who have been shooting with the X-T series, were asking:
Where the HECK is the X-T5??
Well, your question has been answered, and you won’t have to wait too long to buy.
This November, the X-T5 will be available at a price of about $1700!

Had a chance to put IRL hands on this pup, and no surprise, it felt as comfortable as I hoped
So much of a known feel from the X-T4, with some great improvements.

Taking a page from the H2, you will now get that 40mp you’ve been wanting. AND 6.k video!
Better IBIS, 2 SD card slots, same battery as the X-T4.

So no new battery buys,

and you won’t need to buy the expensive CFExpress cards.
Very slight body change, so feels even a little it better in the hands due to the front grip
Improved battery life,

and a faster AF due to a new processor.Plus finally subject detection, AF!
X-T5 equips AF Algorithm developed with ”Deep learning
technology”. Some brand call a similar system AI.
Camera can recognize not only “Human face/eye” but also
“Animal”, “Bird”, “Auto mobile”, “Bike”, “Airplane”, and “Train”

On the video side of the equation, they did lower the BPS from 400 to 360, BUT it can do ProRes and BlackMagic RAW

Recording time is about 90 min @ 6.k/30P

A hot tip I garnered while at the event, was pulling away the LCD from the back, when recording a lot, as it helps with the heat dissipation.

Heck, I’m also going to do that when I shoot anything with pre-shot.
Got caught with overheating when I was shooting at the US OPEN this year.

What doesn’t it have?
A grip that takes batteries.

Notice there are no contacts for a vertical grip, with batteries

A fully articulated LCD, only a 3 way.

Hopefully not a deal killer.
If you were looking for a legacy camera that upgrades your current photography situation, your eagle has landed!

One other great product they shared was the 30mm 2.8 Macro, lens:

Tiny lightweight, and the specs are crazy. 1×1 macro, weighs 195g
Even if you have the 60mm, 80mm, this lens is a prefect lens to put in your bag
IS this your new “nifty fifty (ok, 46mm)
Looks like it will be mine soon!
MSRP of $599.

here it is on a H series body

So there you have it for now.
I have been looking at the full line of new Fuji camas and I have decided which one will be coming home to me.
That is for another post.

Damon Webster

A Marriage Made in The Cloud – Fuji & Adobe Take Wireless Tethering to Whole New Level!

We always hoped we get there.
And now it looks like it’s almost in our hands:

Fujifilm announces collaboration with Adobe to Offer the World’s First Camera-to-Cloud Native Integration for Digital Still Cameras

The ability to shoot and wirelessly transmit RAW stills files and ProRes video, and to be able to edit within moments for the small crew content creators is groundbreaking.
Oh, not the idea of a wireless transmission: it’s getting it in the cloud that is the big news!

Tethering in a studio usually works best when hard wired. This is about remote shooting and uploading to the cloud.

This changes everything, as a more stable, reliable, system. Having a partnership with Adobe definitely brings it to the right place.
The remote capabilities are massive. Especially in the documentary category, or news gathering.
Putting this tech in the reach of the many, in an affordable package, democratizes the collaboration possibilities.

What does it take? The new Fujifilm H-2S and the special grip with an enhanced wifi antennae, plus an update to the firmware.
And if you have worked in the video space, you will know about Frame.IO, which is where your files will upload to.

During Covid days, all of my post production for commercials and sometimes shoots, was remote, and a lot still is. For commercials we would use Slingshot to get the dailies to the editor fast.

This isn’t that, but a manageable system that opens up the door to not only location uploads, but being able to work with people in various location, uploading to the same file on Frame.IO. Content creators can easily work together as long as there is wifi.

In a press event we got a preview of this technology, and this week at NAB, I’ll be able to see it in action.

During the presentation to our group, the question came up about “what if you lose battery power, or you shut your camera down during the transfer?” No fear, as the transfer continues once the camera is on again.
Continue Reading »

Fuji Drops A 40MP, APS-C Camera – The X-H2: Is This The Right One For You?

Fuji just announced its new X-H2, a 40.2MP camera, with a brand new
New X-Trans™ CMOS 5 HR sensor and the high-speed X-Processor 5.

And why are there now a X-H2, And a X-H2s? 2 versions of the same camera with diff specs. I’ll give you some of the specs here, and at the end let you know which one I’ll go for.

The H-2 will sell for $2000, and the H-2s sells for $2500.

With a $500 difference, between the 2, the simple answer is that the H2s has more robust video capabilities, and the H2 has the higher MP count. They share many of the same accessories- vertical battery grip, cooling fan, and some other items.

The specs are eerily similar, and you really do have to make a conscious direction on which to buy, depending on your usage,
Of course, it may make sense to buy one of each, so you are prepared for all situations.

Here is a breakdown:

The new sensor gets you to a low ISO 125, and a max shutter speed of 1/180,000 (are your shooting in a snowstorm?)
AND they’ve added an interesting built in focusing meter.

It shows up on your screen as a green gauge and shows you your in focus range. This all reads great, but until I see it in person, the jury is out on that feature

Speaking of auto focus, X-Processor 5 features subject-detection AF based on deep learning technology that automatically detects and tracks a broad and diverse range of subjects, including animals, birds, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes, and trains. Like some of the other brands in the category

X-H2 is the first X Series camera featuring the Pixel Shift Multi-Shot function
. Using the camera’s in-body image stabilization (IBIS) mechanism to shift the image sensor with immense precision, 20 reference images are automatically created and later assembled in post-production using the dedicated “Pixel Shift Combiner” software. The result is a 160 Megapixel image, constructed from the total information available from each RGB pixel found on the X-H2’s new X Trans 5 CMOS HR sensor.

Yes, you read that right 160 MP, using a proprietary software.

OK, as mentioned above, it also has the capability of 8K movies that can be recorded internally at 30P in 4:2:2 10-bit color. X-H2 has a heat-dissipating design — same as the X-H2S — to enable recording of 8K/30P video for up to 30 minutes. There is an available cooling fan, for shooting longer sessions.
This is the world’s first APS-C camera to enable 8K/30P Apple ProRes internal recording.

Honestly, I use an Atomos Ninja V for video on my Fujis, but this camera allows you to shoot 8K/30P on board video for up to 30 minutes

Be mindful of the heat dissipation, it’s a very real thing. Thats’ why they offer a cooling fan!

You will have to get a fistful of new media cards, as CFExpress B may not be in your arsenal.
So here is my journey with the H series of Fuji cameras.
I began with the X- series and loved the analog feel, and controls at my fingertips
When the H-1 came out with built in IBIS, I jumped on it. Different layout, but I tweaked the wheels to do the functions I commonly used
Then came the X-T4, with great IBIS, solid video options (was able to shoot FLog at 400 MBS for a movie), and back with the analog knobs

With the new H series, there are so many improvements, as it usually goes with any next gen.
However, for my purposes, my take is go with the H-2: high MP; better newer sensor and processor; all the video specs I need (as I said, for more serious video I use an Atomos Ninja V); plus the headphone jack is now back to a 3.5mm standard (was never a fan of the USB-C. requiring an adaptor; and yes, it’s $500 cheaper.

Now $500 in the life of a camera is really not a big deal, but it is the still image specs that tipped the balance.

In the future, can I get all of those specs in an X-T5? I still do love the analog adjustments.



Fuji Instax Mini Link II – Perfect Companion to Your Smartphone

The instant print game is pretty much owned by Fuji with the Instax line of printers.
That is not an opinion, it a fact.
As an Instax enthusiast forever, I love the instant gratification of the print in hand, and while I enjoy all the phone filters I can use to digitally share photos, there is something about a physical thing in your hand.

Have a look at this vid for a great walk through at this new addition:

This printer has been designed to work primarily with your smartphone, and of course, it’s so much more than just a simple printer.

First of all, once you download the app, and it is super easy to connect to your phone, and start to explore the options.

You can infinitely adjust the photo with color filters, and on this shot, I also added a heart, which is in the app.

You can also write on the photo with a selection of virtual brushes, or add different frames, as you can see here. You can see by the NEW labels , they are always updating!

Also you can collage the images, and one of the most fun is the match test.

Admittedly, when I saw this feature, I wasn’t quite sure how it worked or when you may use it.

You can take a photo of 2 people, or get 2 photos of people from your phone and get started.
There is a test that asks you to answer questions, another that just analyzes the images, and determines a % of compatibility
I was sitting with some family, and the mother and daughter couldn’t wait to try it!
They did the questions, was a tone of fun, and the Mini Instax printed out a souvenir for them with the analyses.
The evidence in the hand was worth everything~

Another interesting app feature is the QR code for video. This is from my rooftop, and you can scan the QR code, but you will need to have the app on your phone to see and hear the vid.


Now, you have to shoot the video on the phone, within the app, but imagine singing happy birthday on a smartphone vid, printing a still frame, and having a QR code on the print, and the birthday person can scan the code, and hear everyone singing.
Yes, you can forward a video, but I’m telling you, to have the hard print in hand is such a great physical gift.
Heck, last I looked birthday cards are still available and sent all the time.

The app needs a little tweaking to make it easier fro the recipient to see. You can see it in within the app.

So cool.

And of course there is more!

You can add spray paint, bubbles, an icon or an image onto a photo.
The printer itself also has an accelerometer in it to adjust the zoom feature on the screen by just moving the printer.
Cool tech, just didn’t find it useful. Oh well.

For me, having a printer in my bag to immediately give away a gift, and share a moment, is key.

I will say that as this printer is made for fun with a group.

So many great options to make a creation on the spot and share.
Truth be told, on my coffee table I have a bunch of instax photos , and because they are the physical print it causes me to pick them up now and again, and remember the time.

I could be scrolling though my phone at the thousand of images on there, but having a select set of hard copy photos mean a whole lot to me.

For the cons, the only thing I would say is, like all printers, is the cost per print. At about .70 per print, it can add up.
And I would suggest playing with the unit to gauge how you like images to look when printed.
Personally, I go a hair darker and a little more contrast. Now I’m all set.

The link I have for you is indeed from amazon, and for about $110 USD you get the printer, 20 shots,  and a case. Not bad!

As I said, built for fun and interaction, this compact printer should be at your next gathering!

NB: I do still like the Fuji Wide Printer, that allows me to add a QR code on the image to send people to a specific website, like my photo website.
Another tool in the bag, perfect for a giveaway.

Yeah, I’m on board with Fuji Instax!

On The Road Again, Time To Get The Tech Sorted

Sure, the recent airline snafus, and gas prices have been putting a massive damper on the whole travel process.
But we’re getting out there, and maybe, just maybe, some solid tech can make it a better experience. And in this post, there will be a surprise bit of kit at the end, that you may want to use at home as well!
Yes, I know many of you have already been on the road.
I’ve seen you at many trade events, and art fairs, so we’ve all seen the shift closer to full normal!
Let’s get at it!

A good set of noise cancelling headphones! In-ear headphones/airpods really don’t cut with your seat neighbors. There is always sound spill, and you should be be kind to those around you.
My fave choice for these is the over ear Sony WH-1000XM4, which of course has now JUST introduced a latest version!On-ear, and has a great mic built in, solid battery life, excellent sound quality.

And when on the plane, you have to have this:
Twelve South AirFly Pro which is the way to connect your favorite headset to the plane entertainment system via Bluetooth! No more wires!

Just plug it into the headphone jack on the seat, turn it on, and you are good to go. I’d pair these before boarding, just to confirm connections. I still recco over-ear headphones, but this illustration shows you the options. Basically any blue tooth audio device can be connected to this, and not just on the plane.

And make sure it’s charged!

Not quite tech, but vey important: Hydration! you have to be hydrated, when traveling. Forget the carbonated drinks on the plane, btw.
Make sure you bring along a Swell bottle! Lot’s of imitators, but I trust the original.
I like the Swell for the hot or cold capability in case you want a coffee at some point.

Sure, you have to go through security with it empty, but there are plenty of water filling stations in the terminal. Or buy a bottle and transfer to this.
For the specific hydration I do like an Electorlit Zero (zero sugar, zero calories) before the flight.

Or after a long day of meetings. Or after a long night of “entertainment”
The product that I recco is the Hydration with ACV . Easy to pack packets, and just add to your Swell bottle of water. Pack a bunch! Sugar free, and ACV!

In the room, you’ll need to charge all of your goodies, like your watch, airpods, and phone. To be honest I always uses a Mophie Juice pack as the extra battery for my phone, and charge that in the part of the dock i would charge airpods. (yes, I have an iPhone 12!)
I bring one triple threat wireless charger made by Mophie. A little more expensive that some of the others, but I can depend on it. That security on the road is important to me. Your choice. My watch has a bracelet band, and does not lie flat so this is a great choice. BTW, I have seen his on sale, on their site for 40% off!

The one thing I always pack a tech pouch by Peak Design, and it holds cables, small SSDs a multi-USB charger for batteries, and whatever else. I do shoot on the road and need to be fully charged when leaving the hotel.

And this great new slim line dock for your laptop: the VisionTek VT400. Super slim, has the outlets you need, and has the USB -C cable tucked into it’s side. It has an HDMI port, which if you have ever been in a hotel meeting room were you had to plug in your laptop to present, this doc has it!
It fits perfectly in your tech pouch, or in your jacket pocket.

Now, I’ve also reviewed the OWC version of this which is a a square block, although adds a SD card reader. al depends on your preference and needs

Here is a new item i discovered:

You’ve been in meetings, writing a brief for the next day, and you really don’t need/want a cocktail to get you to have a great restful night of sleep.
This is the Morphee, (sounds like Mophie, right? from France. A beautiful, sleep aid that has a cool, analog look and feel, and have sooooo many choices on how to lull you into sleep.

Choose your language, the mode, the time, and you will be taken to a new relaxing space and be able to fall asleep no matter how much stress your day gifted you with.
Yes, there are apps, but this one is so much more, plus gets you away from your phone.
This thing looks analog, works digitally, and is honestly a super product.
I’ll be honest, when I first saw this I was skeptical, but now love it!

Now hit the road, enjoy the travel, and may you have safe, uneventful trips!

Fuji Takes Care of The Video Community With New X-HS2

Don’t worry! there are so many great improvements on this camera that your stills will also be thankful!
Honestly, it’s blending of the still and motion requirements you need today, into a solid new body.

Let’s dive in:

So we’ve (me!) have been waiting for this for years! I love the X-H1 and it’s always with me on a gig.
What’s new? I’ll tell you – (and official press release is below)

For a change, I’m just gonna list the highlights for me:
*Now we get a vastly improved processor : X-Processor 5 X-TransTM CMOS 5 HS imaging sensor, a stacked, back-side illuminated imaging sensor with a signal reading speed up to four times faster than Fujifilm’s previous X-TransTM CMOS 41.
*7 stops of IBIS
*4k @ 120 FPS and 6.2 k capable all due to that new processor ( I know, I placed the 4K first. Still works for most projects I do, but 120 FPS and 4K is huge!)
*3.5mm mic/headphone jacks ! Yay, no longer looking for the USB C adaptor

*More specific focus tracking, subject dependant

*AND you can use the same batteries as your X-T4 if you are in that deal.

*Fully Articulated LCD Screen

OK, a slightly deeper dive:

The main deal is the video capabilities: record 6.2K  vid AND a long record time.
Need to go longer?
We know what kind of heat that’ll cause on a camera. So they are offering a fan as an accessory. Here it is attached to the body. Supposed to cost about $200.

Yep, you heard right. And here is another view with the fan on, from the bottom

This camera is so multi use, stills & video, that vid specific add ons have been designed.
I will say that I used my X-T4 for vid shot in Flog for use in a feature film,
This does up the ante quite a bit.
Speaking of Flog, this new unit will record in Flog2: X-H2S is the first X Series digital camera to contain F-Log2, which provides a dynamic range of up to 14+ stops, allowing for more creative possibilities both in production and post-production workflows

I know a lot of folks will be upset about the PSAM knob up top. I know. Don’t worry about it. Keep it on M and you’ll be fine. And make sure you get your custom settings worked out. Unlike the X-T4 that had the Movie mode switch a quick click, you just rotate that top knob (yes, it’s a film camera icon) on top, and your in.

Feel the need for speed? The X-H2S will give you AF /AE at 40 FPS., and you can shoot up to 1000 frames at a clip in that mode. high-speed burst shooting mode set to 30 frames per second (JPEG) or 20 frames per second (RAW

Another major improvement is the focus tracking. Joining some of the other manufacturers, it now claims to be able to track more subjects and has also been expanded from the human face and eyes to now include animals, birds, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes and trains. X-H2S keeps targeted subjects consistently in focus, allowing users to concentrate on framing and critical image-making opportunities. One we have one in our hands, we’ll check this out.

OK, here is a one of the major diffs to really take advantage of all this new power:
There is an SD slot and a CFExpress slot. So you’ll need to invest in some new cards. If you shoot 4k vid or more, you’ll need it. It’s science.


Here are the overall specs:

And all of this will cost you $2500, MSRP

But wait…there’s more!!
Another version of the XH2 will be introduced, and rumored to have 40MP, and will cost less??
My hot take on that is that it will more designed for the still shooter and maybe not have all the video bells and whistles.

We’ll see. I can’t wait to hear the news, and will of course share it here!

And now, the official word:

 FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the launch of its next flagship X Series mirrorless digital camera, FUJIFILM X-H2S (X-H2S). The most advanced X Series mirrorless camera yet, X-H2S includes advanced features for both still photography and video. It is also the first APS-C digital camera of its kind to feature Fujifilm’s 26.16MP X-TransTM CMOS 5 HS imaging sensor, a stacked, back-side illuminated imaging sensor with a signal reading speed up to four times faster than Fujifilm’s previous X-TransTM CMOS 41. 

X-Trans™ CMOS 5, combined with the newly minted X-Processor 5 (which doubles the camera’s processing power compared to X-Processor 4), greatly enhances overall image fidelity at lower ISOs and reduces noise at higher ISOs. Subject-detection AF, which maximizes the tracking speed and accuracy of moving subjects is now made possible through the incorporation of an AI processor. 

For video, X-Processor 5 enables the recording of 10-bit 4:2:2 video in resolutions up to 6.2K/30P and frame rates as fast as 4K/120P and FHD/240p. Support for professional codecs, like Apple ProRes HQ/ Pro Res 422/ Pro Res LT, provide incredible flexibility within post-production workflows, while also minimizing power consumption, thereby extending the camera’s maximum video recording time up to 240 minutes. 

“The universal reaction to X-H2S has been, ‘This is exactly what I’ve been waiting for!’ The overwhelmingly enthusiastic response reinforces my belief that X-H2S will be the versatile, hybrid digital camera that can meet the diverse needs of photographers and motion production professionals,” said Victor Ha, vice president, Electronic Imaging and Optical Devices Divisions, FUJIFILM North America Corporation. “It’s fun to see so much enthusiasm for this camera, especially since the features it has aren’t normally found at a price point of only $2499.95.” 

With these sensor and processor updates, X-H2S achieves substantial performance improvement over other digital camera models on the market, including: 

Major boost to burst mode capability: X-H2S can apply AF / AE tracking in blackout-free continuous shooting conditions of up to 40 frames per second*2, and can create over 1,000 frames continuously with the high-speed burst shooting mode set to 30 frames per second (JPEG) or 20 frames per second (RAW)*3 

1 In comparison with the X-TransTM CMOS4, carried in the current camera model 

2 Applies to high-speed continuous shooting conditions without viewfinder black-out (i.e., with photographer still able to view the subject). AF / AE tracking in these conditions is only available when using the electronic shutter. 

3 Performance based on a cold start, when using the electronic shutter. 

Dramatically evolved autofocus (AF) performance: X-H2S’s high number of AF calculations performed per second improves overall AF accuracy and facilitates subject-detection AF. Developed with Deep Learning technology, subject-detection AF implements an advanced prediction algorithm to enhance the performance of Zone AF, by refining the camera’s ability to track moving subjects in low-contrast environments. Subject detection and tracking has also been expanded from the human face and eyes to now include animals, birds, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, airplanes and trains. X-H2S keeps targeted subjects consistently in focus, allowing users to concentrate on framing and critical image-making opportunities. 

Exceptional video performance: X-H2S digital camera supports internal recording of 4:2:2, 10-bit Apple ProRes HQ/ ProRes 422/ ProRes LT and ProRes 422 Proxy at resolutions of up to 6.2K/30P and 4:2:2, 10-bit h.265 video in frame rates as fast as 4K/120P and FHD/ 240p. The sensor’s readout speed of 1/180 seconds when recording video further assists in minimizing rolling shutter effects on moving subjects, or when the camera itself is moving. A heat-dissipating design brings the 4K/60P continuous video recording time to approximately 240 minutes, while the optional FAN-001 cooling fan accessory assists with maintaining similar levels of performance in high-temperature conditions. 

Significant flexibility for external recording: X-H2S is the first X Series digital camera to contain F-Log2, which provides a dynamic range of up to 14+ stops, allowing for more creative possibilities both in production and post-production workflows. 

Additional Product Features: 

Best subject tracking in X Series history 

● X-H2S controls phase-detection pixels independently from image display when in burst mode. This triples the number of calculations in phase detection from the acclaimed FUJIFILM X-T4 and enables high-speed focusing even during high-speed continuous shooting. 

● X-H2S’s electronic viewfinder uses a high-resolution, 5.76-million-dot panel with a magnification of 0.8x. With a frame rate of approximately 120fps, the smooth viewfinder offers stellar visibility as a result of strong suppression of parallax and distortion (which commonly occurs when an eye position becomes displaced while using the viewfinder), thereby enabling accurate subject tracking. 

Thoughtful design to enhance users’ content creation experience 

● The camera features an all-new five-axis, in-body image stabilization mechanism, which offers up to 7.0-stops of image stabilization4. Users can comfortably choose to operate the camera handheld in active environments (e.g., sports) or in low-light conditions (e.g., nightscape). 

4 When mounted with the FUJINON XF35mmF1.4 R lens 

● X-H2S incorporates the popular design features of Fujifilm’s previous X-H1 model, such as a large grip that works well with large lenses, an LCD display on the top panel for users to check settings at any time, and a highly-robust body that withstands heavy professional use. Many additional improvements have also been included in the design and construction of X-H2S: 

● The shutter button’s overall feel has been adjusted to improve its operability when it is half-pressed. This allows users to release the shutter exactly when intended. 

● A standalone video recording button has been added to make the experience of recording video with the 1.62-million-dot, vari-angle LCD monitor a seamless experience. 

● From the fit and finish of the buttons and materials used in the construction of X-H2S to being able to map specific functions to the AF ON button, image-makers will find the experience of using X-H2S intuitive and familiar. Shutter durability has been optimized, withstanding 500,000 actuations during quality and performance testing. 

● The camera features dual memory card slots supporting one CFexpressTM Type B and one SD card5. Users can draw out the full potential of X-H2S’s fast, continuous image-making and video performance with the high-speed data processing performance of CFexpressTM Type B memory cards. 

5 See the Fujifilm website for a list of verified compatible cards. 

X-H2S Accessories 

Several new accessories are also being introduced to complement the launch of X-H2S. These optional accessories include: 

Vertical battery grip (VG-XH) 

● Dust- and moisture–resistant and is designed to operate at temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius). It fits two FUJIFILM NP-W235 high-capacity batteries. 

● The grip’s button layout is designed to provide equal operability whether holding the camera vertically or horizontally. 

File transmitter (FT-XH) 

● Features wired LAN connectivity and high-speed wireless communications capability, essential for in-studio tethered content creation or for creating sports/media content. It can also be used as a vertical grip using two FUJIFILM NP-W325 high-capacity batteries. 

● It can be combined with X-H2S to support the following communication specifications: 

● FTP transfer by wired LAN / wireless LAN / USB Smartphone tethering 

● Tethered shooting by wired LAN / wireless LAN 

● Remote recording function by wired LAN / wireless LAN; capable of controlling up to four X-H2S cameras from a browser at the same time 

Cooling fan (FAN-001) 

● Specifically designed for the X-H2S to facilitate extended image creation and video recording in high temperatures. 

● The fan can be fitted to the rear of the camera body without a cable, supplying power, extending continuous video recording time at high temperature, and eliminating concerns of heat-related camera shutdown. 

Cover kit (CVR-XH) 

● Protects various terminals on the camera. Items contained in this kit: 

● 1x Sync terminal cover 

● 1x Hot shoe cover 

● 1x File transmitter / vertical battery grip terminal cover 

● 1x Cooling fan terminal cover 

● 1x Memory card slot cover 

Pricing and Availability: 

FUJIFILM X-2HS mirrorless digital camera is expected to be available in early July 2022 at the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $2,499 USD and $3,200 CAD. 

Pricing and expected availability for X-2HS accessories are as follows: 

VG-XH Vertical Battery Grip: Available early July 2022 at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $399 USD and $515 CAD. 

FT-XH File Transmitter: Available in September 2022 at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $999 USD and $1,280 CAD. 

FAN-001 Cooling Fan: Available early July 2022 at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $199 USD and $260 CAD. 

CVR-XH Cover Kit: Available early July 2022 at a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $19.99 USD and $26 CAD. 



The Photography Show/AIPAD Is Back IN PERSON!!

After a hiatus for in person, AIPAD, also know as The Photography Show is back in NYC for 2022!
I think there will be a lot of events getting that opening line!

This year’s show has brought back so many of the best galleries in the world for a 2 floor showing of some of the best of the photographic arts. Here is a link to all of the exhibitors, and their sites.

From the old school opulence of the Park Ave Armory, to the cavernous open space of the Piers, this space is a more intimate way to view the images up for sale. Plus you are back in the middle of the city for all you need after the visit: food, drink, shopping, transportation.

There is a good mix of the classic, iconic photographs, coupled with some of the new artists in the realm.

With photographs from the very beginning of photography, with this image form a glass negative, circa 1856 at the Hans P. Kraus gallery

to mid-century classics, like this Avedon image of Dovima with the elephants, at Staley-Wise galley

with a decent sprinkling of au current offerings, it is a show that can be covered with an attention to detail, without an overwhelming space to intimidate or cause you to breeze through. Below is a photo by Ansel Adams. Did you know he made portraits?

Yes, it feels like there is a layout that allows for a more detailed look at the work, and as a collector, prompted me to note images to purchase, instead of simply appreciating on the galleries wall. Some good buys to be had, for sure!

On the first floor is a very intense exhibit of Joel Peter-Witkin work, which include not only finished images, but contact sheets as well, showing his process of selection. If you are familiar with his work, you will see a collection of some of his most iconic photographs. Not for the faint of heart, these images will stay with you.

Moving through the galleries, you are greeted with incredible world press images, detailing a world you may only see in the media, elevated to a proper size and import, being singular in the messaging.

As a bit of an old school aficionado, I was pleased to see some of the classic images from the likes of Avedon, Erwitt, Sid Avery, Max Yavno, and Steichen.


More current favorites, like Julie Blackmon, a great storyteller were on display at the Robert Mann booth. Portraiture imagery was liberally sprinkled throughout as well.

Overall, I’d say the show captured vintage classics, portraits, and fashion, for the majority of the show. The newer artists were in shorter supply, although the entire show felt just right for size and content,

One thing that was not here this year, was the massive book section of the show, where if you wanted to purchase a bound version of an artist’s work, new or old, instead of a print purchase, or even as a precursor to a print purchase, you were hard pressed to find a good selection.

Instead, AIPAD/The Photography Show partnered with ICP with a book fest on Saturday, to see a huge range of photobooks. Admission is only $5. or use your receipt for the AIPAD event to get in for free!

There are some book signings on site at The Photography Show this weekend, so you will have an opportunity to get some new treasures. Galleries did have some books on their tables, but few.

Perhaps that was meant to have you concentrate on the prints, maybe it was a bit of a shlep to ship quantities of books.
Or simply that in these past 2 years, not many new books were created.
2 books that I was drawn to was the Power of Photography, a collection of important images in photography, treated with respect in a beautifully printed, and single image, single page format. Created by gallerist, collector, lover of photography, Peter Fetterman, this is one you should pick up for sure.

Another was a very unique collection of Daido polaroid images, produced as actual sized stickers, with a cloth bound photo album allowing you to place the photos as you wish in the album.

On the opening night, Jeffery Rosenheim, curator of photography at the Metropolitan Museum. received The AIPAD Award. It recognizes and celebrates visionaries who have spent their lives at the forefront of the field of photography.

I first met him at the Diane Arbus exhibit at the Met. This guy has a massive passion for photography, that spills over to anyone who meets him! Never a knowledge snob, quite the opposite, as he will engage almost anyone will to talk photography! No, not gear, but the language of the medium.

Overall, this is a show you have to attend. for a rich photographic gathering, with a great variety of work, we have missed this, and you won’t be disappointed.

The Mindful Photographer by David Ulrich – Awake In The World With A Camera

You don’t know everything.

Seriously, if you do not stay curious, and constantly exploring, you will become stagnant.
So much to learn.

David Ulrich is a photographer, and more importantly, a teacher who shares lessons in this book, The Mindful Photographer, that should make you examine your methods, consider the options, and overall think about how you are living a creative life.

Yeah, I know. Sounds heavy.
His voice as a teacher comes through strong, and while reading many of the chapters, It felt like I was back in school.
In a good way.
Sometimes you need a refresher. Sometimes you need a nudge. Sometimes you need a kick in the butt.
This book seems to cover all of those things.

He opens with a very revealing note about one of his mentors, Minor White. Obviously wanting to share an experience, it did set a tone of honestly throughout the book.

What does a photographer do when their vision becomes impaired?
They continue to shoot. And in David’s case, also teach.
Let’s be honest though: Albert Watson, whose most famous photo book is called Cyclops, also has the use of only one eye.
David presents a deep dive into so many questions that a photographer may have:
Spiritual, technical, and the ever present question of “ why do I do this?”

The ability to jump around the book via short chapters was a plus, yet I found myself going through the chapters one after another.
Chapters titled as : “When to put the Camera Down”, and “Art Is A Lie That Tells The Truth (credited to Picasso)” to “Sift, Edit, Refine” give you an idea of what you can expect.
It seemed like a lesson plan that should be inherently followed.
So I did.

Were there revelations? If you have been to a photo school, or portfolio reviews, not really.
Still there were lessons that bear repeating in your photographic life, and it was appreciated.

It is, overall, a well presented, deep dive into the photographers mindset. about $35 at Amazon

A solid read, produced with all the quality you could hope for.

BTW, there is another book, out currently, about photography with the same main title! Haven’t read it so can’t give an opinion

Platypod Extreme – The Mother of em all!

When there is a need, there is a solution.
Like most of us, I’m always looking for a simpler and lightweight solution to securing my camera to get that perfect angle for a shot.
It could be for a closeup of a flower, or just attaching a camera where there is no place for a tripod or monopod.
I have what may be a unique use case, and Platypod has solved it in the past.

The new Platypod Extreme, currently on Kickstarter, solves so many use cases for me, however.

(Yes, there will be many photos, videos, and a link to the Kickstarter below, if you choose to back the project)

This is the situation: I keep a Zhiyun tripod connector on my camera at all times.


It’s quick release, not too bulky, and holds my camera steady when added to a ball head, monopod, or while shooting through NYC, on a Platypod.

Above shot is the full rig set-up by a window, where no tripod will go. The Platypod manages those space perfectly..

Because of this combo, I don’t have to break down my camera, change out connectors, or spin it onto a ¼-20 screw. I do bring the ball head in my bag, ready to set up on the Platypod.

Below shows a Fuji X-T4 on a rooftop table, with a 16mm lens, and a wrist strap on the Manfrotto ball head, Zhiyun quick release, all secure on a Platypod Extreme with legs balanced for the load.


Playtpod connecting base has been one item I usually keep in my bag for these additional reasons:

It’s flat, it attaches most anywhere with the straps, or other added items in their kits.( optional, although the Extreme will come with a carabineer)


I have a previous model, which I like and use, but there were a few places for improvement : the spiked legs, used to adjust for diff terrains, were stored in a pouch, or magnetic holder and added another step in setting up the Platypod. Not a deal breaker, but when moving around the park, keeping them on was not the best for my camera bag.

Sure, the base itself, while having plenty of holes to screw in to secure to a drillable, or screwable surface was a nice to have, although not practical for me.

To start, the Extreme base itself is larger, and I feel better about using a bigger, heavier lens, and the balance just feels more secure, although the base is lighter than previous models.

One of the main new features on the Extreme is that the legs are attached, and fold into the unit!

So now they are always on, and click stop into chosen angles to allowing for uneven surface, like here:

Easy to break down and move to another location for setup.

Back to some of the features: there is a 3/8 permanent screw for your tripod head, which is where the ball head is on here, and if you don’t like that location for the head, there are multiple located holes you can set it in for balance, or the shots sake. Below shows the removable 1/4-20, standard tripod screw.

Also you can add things like lights and a mic to the base, if you don’t want to load your camera up. Plenty of appropriately sized holes to screw in accessories.

Choose your own adventure!

You can use their Velcro strapping system, as the previous max model allowed, to attach to a pole or a tree limb. Yep, that’s an extra. OR you can even use a regular belt!

And use one of the legs, repositioned to one of the other holes in the base, to bring some additional pressure and security for the Platypod. As you can see in this shot, the sharp ends of the spikes are revealed to allow for a more secure placement on a tree, when screwed in.

Another note on the carrying case: There is an inside pocket where I keep the rubber spike tips, and the 3/8-1/4 screw adaptor for the head along with the rubber tips for the spikes, when you need to expose them, as above.

As I mentioned, one other way I use it is on my roof. Luckily, we have some tables, so when capturing the skyline, or shooting some natural light items, like these peeps, I use the Platypod to frame up the shot.

Overall this a utility device that checks a lot of boxes.
Pros: Packs small, plays big; versatile, solid. Lighter, more mounting options than in previous models.

Cons: Black paint seems to wear off near where I attach the ball head, but had no affect on the functionality. BTW, that screw you see here is permanently embedded into the Platypod, so that part is taken care of. This was a review unit I’m showing, so things may change.

Do you already own a previous model? Have a look at the comparison:

Have a look at these videos for more info:

and this one for some accessories breakdown:

Sure, it’s on Kickstarter, so you can get a good deal now, and with this company, I would feel secure on backing it, although I always have to add the disclaimer that until it is a done deal, it is not a guarantee. Kickstarter is not a store.

If you back it, you can save about $30. Early backers can get it for about $120.

Real World Review – OWC for the Traveler

Felt so good to be back on a set: 75 crew, 25+ talent, 8 person Stills crew, plus 14 clients and agency folks. (yes, I produce commercials)
Flew across country, and set up in the hotel conference room for wardrobe fittings (remote), meetings and a pre-production meeting. Part remote/part IRL
First thing up – let’s connect to the big screen!
Conf Room had an HDMI cable to connect, although we all had MacBook Airs.
I had packed my OWC travel dock, and had it in my backpack! The perfect tool with its HDMI input!
Worked like a charm!

OK, above, is a cleaner look at my set-up, once I was visiting family. In the conf room it was more like this:

You’ve all been there, I know.

With all of the files for the project: pre-pro book (204 mg alone) , documents, storyboards, contracts, shooting boards, storylines, talent auditions, etc. my little MacBook Air hard drive was getting filled up, and a little sluggish.

So, I plugged in the OWC SSD into the hub, and created a set of job folders , and offloaded all of the job docs to that. Back to some usable speed. Plus the added RAM that was freed up.

On every job I produce, I’m usually doing some behind the scenes shots, and these days, some video.
Only available to the agency and client as it’s all NDA’d, but I needed a fast card to work with for vid , especially.
The new OWC line,ATLAS S PRO SDXC UHS-II V90 Media Card did the trick.
You probably don’t need a photo of the SD card.

So the hub has all of the ports I needed for work: HDMI for video transmit, SD reader for my captured content, pass through power USB C port, so I save a USB C on my laptop, and 2 USB ports for anything I needed. Like a way to charge my phone! And as you can see below, the USB-C cable fits neatly into the base.  PLUS, the hub is also bus powered so if you don’t have access to power, you can still connect all the peripherals.

Last feature I want to highlight is the ability to disconnect all of your connected items at once, using the included software. Just saves disconnecting each item (SSD, SD card, Phone, etc.)


Overall, this whole system will be with me from now on.
Small footprint, enough ports, SD reader, super fast SD card, and the ability to hook into a video system convinced me.
Sure, you want to know what all of this costs:
The Travel Hub is about $55.
The SSD Envoy depends on the size. I went for the 1TB, so about $220
The Atlas SD card, also depends on the size. The 256 GB was a great worker for the shoot days. About $250

Fujifilm Instax Mini EVO- Get Back to Some Fun!

I have to say, when I get a new product to review, I like to look around and see what some others may have said.
Well, It was edifying.
When someone starts to compare an Instant camera to a high end phone or interchangeable lens cameras, they are missing the point.
As a historical reference, the Polaroid Swinger in the 60’s came out when high end film cameras were readily available.
When the SX-70 was introduced, we had plenty of those same film cameras in use.
This camera is about fun and sharing a moment in a physical form.
And there are added benefits as well, I’ll mention later.

The newly redesigned Instax mini, or next gen, added to the line up is the Mini Evo
It has reached a great place in design and capabilities.

With a sleek look, and a nod to classic film cameras with its black and silver palette, it fits, and feels great, in the hand.
The ability to adjust exposure and color filtration is a major plus in my mind.
You can adjust the lens ring to add 10 effects, with a mirror imaging option being kinda fun, although I keep it kinda simple.
Film look, and chosen exposure are displayed on an LCD screen so you see what you shot before you decide to print.
There is a lever to print, which on classic film cameras would have been the film advance lever. Fun touch.

AND to be able to shoot, save to a micro-sd card (or internal memory) before deciding to print is a money saver.

The magic happens in the printing.

No matter whom I’ve shown this to, to see eyes lighting up, and a smile arise on the faces, once the process begins, is what it’s all about.
It’s not a digital photo to be seen only on a phone.
It’s not an NFT that shows in a crypto wallet.
It’s a physical photo IN YOUR HAND.
It almost sounds crazy to emphasize this, as this was the basic concept of instant cameras from the beginning.

Instant Gratification.

Now people I have given prints to still like to shake it, assuming this will speed the process. That is a very old concept yet still locked into the general mindset.
It doesn’t affect the processing, yet increases the connection to the image.
Could be just a certain generation, but the song Hey Ya!, brought it back a bit more modern

To that point, I’ve heard of many photographers with younger people in the house love these cameras , because it is an instant physical share.

As we gather in person again, physical proof of an event or just a meeting for friends, is truly valuable. Looking up from screens now and again can be healthy. Plus there is a front polished square so you can line up selfies, by yourself or with a group. The ability to shoot and view before printing comes in handy in this case. Make sure you got everyone in there.

OK, Ok, it does have another sweet feature:
You CAN connect, via Bluetooth, the camera to your smartphone and use the camera as a printer for your phone.Shot this at a film festival.

Maybe you have a photo stored you want to giveaway. Or you made a shot on your phone, and you want to do a simple giveaway on the spot. Helps when perhaps someone would rather not share their contact deets.

Some additional points: is does have a cold shoe so you can add an LED light source

If you are a Fuji user, the menu design on the back will be very familiar. And even if you are not, it’s still super simple.

You can also set up remote shooting wth your smartphone. here is a compressed version of what it could be like. Yes, when Evo in horizontal mode, app details are in the right configuration, but of course you can make your phone horizontal! on this shot I did not make the camera adjustmenst so just showing ow it can be set up.

Yes, I’m a fan of the Fuji line of instant products. From the Wide printers, to the Square cameras, and complete the line of instax minis.
This new design hits so many of the marks for me, I throw it in my camera bag now, when going on a walkabout in the city. It’s good to see peoples faces light up when the picture emerges from the camera

Only thing I wish it did was have the ability to add a QR code like the LiPLay does, or the new Wide printer. Honestly though, the image real estate is a bit limited for the to be added.

Let’s just enjoy this camera for what it’s meant for: fun and sharing

ABCs of NFTs

Or what I learned from personal exploration in this new space
You’ve been hearing about NFTs for awhile now, and wondering what it means to you.
I started the research last spring, and have finally come to the step of setting my site, with NFTs for sale!
Wanted to figure it out in the real world before reporting back to you.
Yep, all of the following is based solely on personal experience, and consolidated thoughts after seeing way too many seminars and posts.
Your mileage may vary. Do the research for your needs.

Why do want to make NFTs?
Trackable Digital Rights Management and artist compensation.
As a creator, creating an NFT makes a digital, secure fingerprint of your work. It can be tracked by the purchase, and you can get a commission every time it’s sold/resold.
As an example: If you made a piece of art, and it sold for $1000., you get your % from the one sale
It becomes wildly famous and gets sold, and resold, and ends up being valued at $500000!.


However, you don’t get a piece of that, only the % from the initial sale.

When you sell an NFT, you can lock in a percentage of royalty from the first sale onward.
Much better, right?

Basically, NFTs can be programmed so that each transaction includes royalties, allowing creators to be rewarded fairly for their work online.
The fact that NFTs are created and stored on the blockchain, means they can be traded seamlessly, and securely, and trackable, from wallet to wallet, with royalties paid every time they sell, if that is how you have set it up.

This guide explains how to set royalties on OpenSea,

Of course if you are selling prints, having a gallery with a knowledgable person is the way to go. Selling NFTs puts it back in your control.

How do you get started?

Here is where it gets a bit more complex.
As NFTs are primarily sold in the crypto world, you’ll need to set up a crypto wallet to receive funds from sales.
In this crypto wallet, you have to have some currency, like Ethereum. More below.
Here are a couple of popular wallets to use :Metamask, with a video , is a current fave right now, or Coinbase. Yes, there are others, and you should do your research.

You do have to connect your wallet to actual money source., like a debit card or bank account.
Scary? Maybe, but you can even set up a separate account, with limited funds, if you feel better.
And you will need to use a 12-word security code. It will be generated by the wallet site.You need to write this down, put it somewhere extremely safe. If you lose your code, you would be locked out of your account and all of that crypto you made from the massive sales is lost forever.

Once you have set up your wallet, you can then join an NFT site for sales/purchases.

I went to Opensea to list, or “mint” my photographs. Minting is when you have gone through the process of setting up your art on the site of choice.

There are many to choose from.

One of the high-end sites is called Foundation, but you need to get an invitation. I didn’t get an invitation.
Also, Nifty is a site I follow, if only to see the daily drops of new NFTs.

Gotta see what is out there! And also check to see what is actually selling, and for how much.

OK, in your set-up on the site, you need to validate your crypto wallet on that site.
You may need to put some crypto into your wallet for “gas fees”, which are essentially a service fee for the transactions. Nothing free in this world, but it basically just holds it till there is a transaction, and confirms you are for real.
So…..once you have set up your account, you can add images and name them, to be put in a collection. Each image will be validated separately.
You set the price, and decide whether it’s a firm price, or an auction, where you choose a minimum bid, and length of time for the auction.
You also will set what your royalty will be. It is maxing out at 10% now on Opensea, but I’m sure things will adjust.

One thing to remember about setting your price: as when you may sell something on eBay, and thing it’s worth a certain amount, you away check the completed section to see what things ACTUALLY sold for. Good reality check.

Same with NFTs. see what things Actually sold for. I would suggest  you price accordingly.I’m sure your work is amazing, just be realistic in your pricing.
I’m also exploring editions right now, like a limited or open edition. Sell a few or however many the market would like. Jury is still out, but I’ll report back.

Good time to emphasize that this is a new platform, and growing rapidly, so improvements will be added.
When the item is sold, you will get crypto currency put into your wallet.

After that, all should be good.

Now, once the NFT is purchased, what the heck do you, or the person who bought it, do with it??
At a panel at CES this year, my eyes were opened, and info that I’d explored before came flooding back up.
Instead of a line of code or a URL, you want to display this image, right?
OK, there is one company, called Infinite Objects, that will “print” it into a frame, once it can be proved who owns that NFT. Or print your own video , non NFT video, with them. Check them out!


Yes, it does mean more when it’s a moving graphic, so explore the site and see what may be right for you (or a customer). Another unique item to sell.
Then we have Meural. I know, years ago, they emerged as a video screen that allowed the owner to subscribe to various collections of art, and could display them on the purchased screen, via internet connection.
Meural disappeared and was bought by Netgear (???) and have now reemerged, as another solution to viewing your NFT’s
They seem, at this point, to be connecting with specific partners.

So, there you go. The first actual steps may be tricky but it’s straightforward once you’ve decided where your wallet is, and the selling platform you prefer.

My OpenSea site is CuriousTourist.

to recap:

 Get a crypto wallet

Decide on a site to post your NFTs

“Mint” or post your art for sale

Promote the heck out of it!

I spent a lot of time going through all the info, and I hope this all will help some of you get started.

Updates will be coming, as I find out more. I’m a newbie and a curious tourist.




How To Find those Missing Photos the Easy Way

Happy New Year!
As we careen headlong into 2022, you may be thinking about straightening out your collection of digital photos.
I’m talking about finding the image you knew you had, but can’t pull it up.
It could be your family holiday images, or a music festival you shot.
Like when someone said: Do you have any photos of that rock group that played at SXSW in 2009? Why yes, I do.
Yes, I’v shot SXSW for many years and only in the past recent years, did I tag correctly.
I started the search but nada.
How do you make you life easier and less frustrating?
Yep, all about the tagging or keywording. Preferably performing this function when you ingest/import the files.
OK, I jumped ahead a little bit. There will be a list of simple steps at the end of this post.
First of all you should decide on a digital asset management system, or a DAM. Basically a program that lets you sort your images via tagging, or written naming of the images.
Or batches of images
My program of choice is Adobe Lightroom Classic. the icon you are looking for is this:

I have used this for years, and I can always find my images. Sometimes it’s a huge hunt for the older ones, but I get there.
Here is how it works:
First when you import images from your media, a window will come up, and will ask for this info in one of the columns:

The program reads the media You will be able to see the images on the disk. decide which images to import, then you can add a general tag/keyword upon the import. You can choose where to save them to, but that’s another story.

With a small amount of images, your computer should be able to handle it. For the heavy users, like myself, it’s external drives.
Then, once all imported,  it’s in your main LR workspace. you can tag images into specific groups , like this:

When you want to find the image you need, the program can search though all of the tagged images and come up with the choices, based on keyword, attribute (was it a flagged image as a pick?), camera, lens, and more


The tougher part is when you don’t have an image tagged correctly, or the location changed.
Then you get this image, with the exclamation point.

With the missing image thumbnail selected, click on the exclamation point, and you can then locate the image from your hard drives. LR shows you the path.

you can identify the hard drove to look through, by looking at drives as icons, below, or a simple list.

and here it is on the hard drive:


Another beauty part of LightRoom: once you have truly located the right image file, click on it, and the surrounding related images will then be be found on the preview! Here’s a hot tip- I keep the library data column at the date created section, so when the image is found on the drive, it’s correct.

Yes, I have in my earlier days, had images with duplicate file names. LR will know which is the image though, and will tell you!.

I know this has been a lot, so here are the basic steps:

Basic initial Steps

*Import images from a media card with a general keywording tag
*once imported, deep dive into more specific keywording per image or group of images
*Add another layer of tagging with an color attribute or flag to further define the image(s)

To find lost images:
Do all in Library mode/tab in LR
*click on exclamation point on missing image
*Search path called out by program
*click on file name on the prescribed drive.
*Surrounding related images will populate and save you the time searching for the rest in a series.

Hot tip: set Library info column to the date/time image was shot, so when the details come up in the search, you will have the right image based on file name, and at least you have the time it was made.


I’ll be honest, I have googled when an act or personality did a specific event, and search my library using that date. It works!

If you have any questions, you can contact me at

And now, back to cleaning up my library!!




Holiday Gift Guide Part 7 – Gifts You Don’t Need to Wrap

I hope you got in on all of the black Friday, cyber Monday, and green Monday sales.
There are more sales coming but getting a physical gift under the tree is a bit tough now, unless you pick it up, wrap it and deliver it.
Here are some items that photographers at various levels of expertise will love and you don’t have to wrap a thing!
Making a nice email could be cool, but that’s up to you.
I’m talking about some great software
Let start with the best and the classic- Adobe Creative Cloud. With a suite of some of the best creative tools around, you can’t beat this for that special person on your list (is it you?)
And you can also get specific bundles for a photographer or videographer.
Plus with free tutorials online, this will enhance any content and give an artist plenty of room to grow.

BTW, Lightroom will be a big part of an upcoming post about digital asset management. How to look over 300,000 photos and find the exact one you want!

If the CC is too complex, and it may be, the best package I’ve seen is the Adobe Elements package.

With so many of the great features in the pro model, this combo software gives photographers and videographers a great start in the content creation path content creators path. And it’s not gonna break the bank. about $100

Want to go pro?

This software gives a system to edit with blazing fast speed when you are on a deadline.

The thumbnails of your images load super fast allowing you to edit and export or upload to make that deadline! Or send the selected images to Photoshop to tweak away.

When you have the time to craft an image even more, this set of products from Topaz will give you an edge to enhance a photograph to the best of its possibilities. Sharpen, increase ability to enlarge, de noise. Love it for those low light night shots

And 25% of to 12/31! Or try it for a free trial

Another choice in the enhancement software is On1– a long time player in the field, check out the possibilities. And the units can be added as a plug in to your favorite Adobe product. Similar software to Topaz so download a free trial and see what works best for you

And of course a good solid gift card to a store like BH, Adorama or Fotocare will do just right!

Yes, there are many different software choices out there. The ones above have been tried and true by me, and work like crazy. I depend on them.

And of course if you are not shipping, and are looking for the last minute gifts for the content creators on your list, the BH Flash deals can’t be beat!

Holiday Gift Guide 2021 – Part 6 : The Gifts Your Forgot to Get!

I hope you did most of your heavy lifting shopping, and scored the deal you wanted/needed! I’ll bet there are some more markdowns coming, so keep an eye on your shopping list.
However, after wrapping and shipping, you kno there are some last minute things you should add to the stockings, or wrap up for under the gtree.

Small-ish things that are totally useful and cool. Not a pair of socks useful, but better.

First up is an item that should be in every photogs camera bag:

The LensPen

Yes, your lens WILL get dirt/Dust fingerprints on it, so clean it the right way. I have one in each kit. $10.00

You must be all TikTok binging at his point, or watching the streaming camera reviews, and you need to perch your phone horizontal or vertical. On TikTok, you realize that everyone is on it, right? And this addition fits about all the phone cases out there. Adhesive backing, work like a charm. $20.00

Clickr grip and stand

As Apple has now announced the coming of consumer fixed repairs, or even if you just need the right tools for your computer needs, this set from OWC, is an amazing deal at $20

All you need to service or repair your computer, tablet or other small or household devices. Complete with rugged nylon tool case. 1 Year OWC Limited Warranty.

This Think Tank Photo Pee Wee Pixel Pocket Rocket Memory Card Case  is  a def solid item, everyone needs. They do have different sizes for different media cards

You will be going outside , an if there is a chill in the air, you still need to manipulate your phone, or tablet. Aglove is the best I’ve found and it’s not just usable at the tips. Good all over!

When you are using your phone as a vid camera, there are a few ways to go.

What i like about the Joby Grip Tight POV kit, is the simplicity, and most of all- the Bluetooth remote control that comes with this set up! It connect easily and you can control stills or vid. Content Creator? yep, you can use this! In this photo you can se the remote in a cold shoe on top. Small unit, works like a charm! this whole rig is a bout $18.00

If you are looking for more of a pro model of phone rig, you have to get the Beastgrip Lens Adapter & Rig System


It worked for the Holiday Apple Spot this year!

So there you have it!
The next gift guide will be an easier group to send, as there are electronic ways to send!

And a few more items coming this week, that may not be on the gift guide, although some great useful products you should know about.

Holiday Gift Guide – Part 5: The Books!

Hope you were able to snag all of the great deals on Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, which seems to be extending out this week.

The things that are not part of those door busters are the things that will probably last the longest: books.
It has been an interesting year in the photo book market, and some of the most respected organizations in the space have put together their own book gift guide for 2022
Here are the links:

and Aperture.

Admittedly, I did go to MOMA to see all of the books in person.
Some great ones, although I didn’t leave with any. Will probably be going back as I’ve had my eye on a few.

However, my favorite book this year has been:
Gordon Parks: The New Tide: Early Work 1940–1950

This book is published by one of the finest book publishers in the world, Steidl. High quality, great writing. Regulation size book, and book you’d be proud to give, are add to your own library.

I’m sure you know of the breadth of work of this master photographer, writer, musician, director and social historian. Here is an exploration of the early work, with many images not seen before.

If you are not familiar with his legacy, Gordon Parks (November 30, 1912 – March 7, 2006) was the first African American to be a staff photographer for Life magazine. He is best remembered for his iconic photos of poor Americans during the 1940s (taken for a federal government project), and for his other many photographic essays for Life magazine, and as the director of the 1971 film Shaft. As the first African American to produce and direct major motion pictures—developing films relating the experience of slaves and struggling black Americans, and creating the “blaxploitation” genre.

and check out the Gordon Parks Foundation for more info as well.
A documentary on him has just been released on HBO – Choice of Weapons

Of course, I always feel that the Family Of Man, which has influenced photographer for decades, should be in everyone’s library. A photo book about the human condition form birth to death, told by over 250 photographers from all over the world, with prose interspersed by Carl Sandburg. A classic

Honestly, I usually have a few copies about to give as gifts. As I looked it up on Amazon, it let me know I’ve ordered this book 18 times!!

At a $17 price for the paperback, you can’t go wrong.

Next up is The Photographer’s Playbook: 307 Assignments and Ideas 

This is a great book of thought starters to help you get your creative juices flowing from some of the best practitioners around. About 1 page per “assignment” this will def get you thinking

One note is that many photo books are not large production runs, so as a result they go out of print. Sometimes a fave photo book in a first edition is a special gift for someone one you know will appreciate it.
I actually did that this year, and can’t wait to see the reaction!

A fast listing, and I know there are sooo many more, and you will find the photo books ones that speak to you fro giving, or getting.

Holiday Gift Guide 2021 Part 4 – Audio

Ok, let’s talk about audio.
You know that it’s 50% of your content, unless it’s bad. Then it’s 80%

First recco is this beautiful audio recorder, called Tula

The form factor alone should be enough to convince you to carry with you.

You can set the mic to omni for a conversation or even add a lavalier mic to hone in on one or the other participant.
This small footprint unit comes with a pedigree. The creators of the Soyuz line of mics and mic capsules have made this mic/recorder to top level specifications.

Tula mic/recorder goes for about $230.

When you want to go more mobile, and connect directly into your camera , the Rode Wireless Go II. With a receiver and 2 wireless mics, you can quickly hook up your subjects for an interview situation. In NYC, I’ve seen the local news station using these as they cover the local beat.

Another solid choice is the Deity Duo,

looking like many mini mics on the market, but this one has another trick up it’s sleeve: you can either have it just forward facing, OR have it pick up from behind as well, so you can capture the interviewers questions as well.
About $100 ON SALE TODAY, 11/26 FOR $68 at BH!

Let’s go more pro, if you want to get some of the best
Sennheiser receiver/ transmitter system has been in my kit for years,

For lav mic I prefer the Tram tr50

or the Sanken COS 11-D

It’s funny, as i think the Tram is more popular on the west coast, and the Sanken on the east coast.
If you live in a major metropolitan city, like AL, Chicago or NYC, I would suggest going into a local vendor to actually hear the mics to make your best choices

If you are going into podcasting world, a perfect mic is the
Shure SM7B

Couple it with the best headphones Sony MD 7506, around $90
Yep, that good for the best price. Nice and flat so you can mix as you like.

what do you plug into for your podcast?
If you are going to be stationary, I’m partial to the Rodecaster Pro,

which mixes, records, and exports to my fave podcasting platform, Anchor. Once you export to this , it will send your podcast to all the majors.

If you are on the move, and really only have need for no more than 3 mics, the MixPre 3II is a great choice, with a small form factor and high end pre-amps,

plus support with upgrades to the firmware when needed.

Pack all of that into an Orca bag , that you can get from 16×9 suppliers. Your size needs will vary, so choose the bag based on the gear you’ll transport and use.

More guides coming!!

All Black Friday Content Creator Links in One Place!

Before continuing down listing of the selected items for the gift guide, figured I’d share a list of links to some of the better companies with great Black Friday deals, to give you a head start before things run out!
Many of the items have been called out in the first 3 Holiday Gift Guides!

So tomorrow as you spend 1/2 day at work, or flying to see folks, get a bunch of your gift purchases sorted

Twelve South
Lume Cube

Peak Design
Aperture- a great place for photobooks!
BH Photo

Spider Holster


More detailed list calling out some cool items coming tomorrow!





Holiday Gift Guide-Part 3 : Bags, Straps & Supports

Every photographer I know has multiple bags, for multiple situations.
Or is it truly a Goldilocks and the 3 bears situation? What looks great, may not be best in practice .
And how do you buy one for someone as a gift?

Just got notice that Peak Design is having a 30% off sale!!

After trying out a TON of these for walk-around, the best bag out there is, hands down, the Peak Design Everyday Sling

Another great bag in their line-up that has added space, like for a laptop, with plenty of room for gear, is the Peak Design Everyday Messenger .
That is a great way to have your portable office with you to post as you shoot. Plus it seems to have more of an office look to it, than a gear bag.
About $220 BIG 11 hour limited time sale at BH! ends tonight!!
Like I said, different bags for different uses.
And easy call for anyone on your gift list is this Tech Pouch
This has all the right places to put your goods, and is always part of my travel pack. Put your wires, connectors, chargers, SSD drive, all the tech you need, into one organized pouch.  $60

Onto how you hold your camera. On your shoulder, in your hand, in a bag?
Peak Design strap and updated connectors.(they are on V4, all good, just get better)

Basically you easily attach the low profile anchor mounts to the camera, and securely clip in the strap. Another design feature is this easily adjustable clamp on the strap. Best I’ve seen, and it always locks securely to the chosen strap size.

And as i believe that I should have my camera in my hand at all times on the street, I depend on a wrist strap. Once again, many have been tried, and the best out there, and the only one I depend on, is
SpiderLight Hand Strap,  they have a Back Friday sale right now

So many choices and how to decide. I have way too many, but like the bag choices, the right tool fro the right job, applies here as well.
Here are some great choices:
Peak Design Travel Tripod/carbon brilliant compact design, utilized every bit of space. I would still go for the carbon fiber model as you want to lighten your carry load a much as possible.

Sirui Monopod, with a fluid head is a great choice Also converts to a table top tripod.

$136, and add a fluid head if you are a run-and-gun videographer

Manfrotto also has a Black Friday sale starting now!

Manfrotto/BeFree has all you need in a short package Befree-Advanced. Perfect for the backpack

• High-performance photo/video kit in an ultracompact size
• Sony’s Alpha dedicated plate maximizes camera stability
• 3-Way Fluid Tripod Head, fully foldable handles, 13lbs payload
• Compatible with Arca-swiss and Manfrotto 501PL video plate
• Optimal combination of portability, solid footing, and easy set-up

Manfrotto quick release head, in their newly launched MOVE series of products. All designed for speed of operation. You can either connect the 2 parts and get 360º rotation, or pick a spot and lock it in. Fast movement between tripod, monopod, or gimbal.
You have seen the quick release flat connectors. This is a new take, and has a huge payload capacity at about 45LBs,

Platypod – a needed bit of kit for a fast, easy way to set your cameras, or speedlight.Basically, a solid plate with the right holes and tripod type mounting screws, with well designed slots to allow you to put your camera or speedlight where you need it.

Platypod is available in all kinda packages, depending on your needs.

More gifting ideas on the way!!

Black Friday Deals are in force, and I’ll try to do a separate post for all.

Holiday Gift Guide – Part 2: Instant Fun!

OK, I don’t usually share just one item on the gift guide series, but due to the time frame, here we go:
The Fuji Instax Wide printer, is one of the most fun and useful tools I have seen this season. What I love about this product is the personalized creativity you can add to it. Check out the short tutorial below.


It’s an instant printer that connects easily to your phone, via Bluetooth and a free app,  a great size to hand out, 2.4 x 3.9″ , Fuji has increased the peace with the addition of this very cool item to the Instax line-up!

As you gather with family and friends as we emerge from our pandemic cocoons this year, you may want to hand out an image IRL.

But wait there’s more!

Not only can you print out your faves from your phone, you can add a QR code that can link to a website,  an audio file, locations, custom sketches that you create!

While first working through this printer, I made a print with a QR code to my website.
As a test.
That evening, I ran into an old friend who asked what I was up to. I shared some of my recent and vintage work on my phone, and they let me know what a fan of Springsteen they were. I shoot a lot of rock and roll, so shared some of those mages.
I printed them a vintage image, below, with a QR code link to my website.

Go ahead! try it! Scan the code!

Next up is recording a holiday message to my daughter on a pic of us from wayback.

So multi use, too much fun, too much usefulness, unique, custom handout.
Pick one up and make sure you get a bunch of film! You’ll be using it!

It comes with a stand, wrist strap, and the built in rechargeable battery last for about 100 prints.

About $150 USD! 

Annual Holiday Gift Guide – Part 1 : Road Warrior or Home Office?

Are you back on the road, or still rocking the home office?
Or maybe slowly getting back to the office?

We have some products to call out for the gift guide this year no matter where you are working from!

For the content creators we have add-ons for your laptops when out in the field:

For the first time, we have a card reader dongle that has a slot for CFast cards,CF cards (for you old school folks SD cards, micro-SD cards, and MS cards!
The EZQuest reader is a USB C, so compatible with all your newest gear. One slot for each card format, and it lays flat, depending on your computer.
The big news is, of course, the versatility for the reader.

If you don’t need all of the card reader capabilities, you def need a few extra ports!

This little beauty from OWC,The Travel Dock give you an extra USB-C (or use for pass through power, 2 USB-A, and an HDMI port to hook up an extra monitor. It’s the old packs small, plays big. Perfect travel companion.

And of course you can also hook it up to your current iPad.

Add on an OWC Envoy Pro SSD external drive,
and you’ll get blazing fast speed, Up to 980 MB/s Data Transfer Speed for your mobile editing. And you can use it to record directly from USB type C cameras to this, as an external drive. WiIP67 waterproof rating means it can survive for up to 30 minutes in 3.3′ of water. Loved the included software for back-up.
The include connection cable has USB-C and USB A ends.
Best news is that it doesn’t get overheated!

Prices are coming down , and keep an eye out for Black Friday deals. The 1TB is currently about $230

For the home or rad, this folding laptop stand is the best!

I bring this into every company I go to and it sits in my apt loaded with a laptop otherwise.
Folds flat so easy to transport. about $50

If you are an iPad person, or just prefer that screen for you workflow or entertainment flow,
The good designers’ at Twelve South, have come out with a smart, well made, iPad holder, that can be used on a table top OR clamped onto a ledge, to hang down to you preferred level.
The Hover Bar Duo Comes in at about $80
It even has a digital pen well, when used in the desktop mode.
Heavy base, so you know it won’t tip over with the weight of a full-size iPad.
It’s a simple , and super useful product with a good price.

This is the company that came out with the best thing in flying,
As most of us are using Bluetooth headsets, airlines have not yet caught up to this trend. The AirFly is not just what you want, but what you want to give as a gift!
Forget recording the events on the plane and just sit back , relax and wear your personal head set watching a free movie

It’s the AirFly!


Between $40 and $60 dollars.
A great tool for anyone using BT: Plane, Gym, Car, even your new vinyl turntable.

I don’t travel without it.

Speaking of your Bluetooth earbuds, The best case I have found comes from Catalyst.

Solid construction, well designed, and you can wirelessly charge the airpods, or use a cord to charge, 330ft Waterproof Total Protection Case for AirPods Pro, Secure Locking System, Full-Body Protective Rugged case for AirPods Pro, Shockproof

It comes with a carabiner  but I just put in my bag.
I have tried many of these, and this one has the best features I’ve found.
A gift, stocking stuffer, or for yourself, a def buy at $50

For the home office, make sure you have an upgraded camera like the Logitech Brio.

Built in laptop or tablet cams are terrible and this unit , hard to get during the pandemic is a solid 4k camera with adjustment tools for lens angles. Show as much or as little of your environment.

Of course you’ll have a Lume Cube Led light,  suction cupped to your laptop for added illumination.

Big sale happening right now!

Keep coming back for the rest of the lists!

The Day The Computer Died…

It served me well.
For over 10 years my Mac Pro tower was my daily companion.
Photo editing, video editing, and those oh so long hours looking at social posts I didn’t need in my life.
With 2 screens and the ability to plug in a myriad of external drives, it was an upgradable powerhouse.
And I say was because, well, it was time to be replaced. Didn’t want to but had to.
Programs were no longer able to upgrade from the old Tech.
And the number of crashes were killing me.
What to get?
Apple had just come out with the cheese grater tower, with a $6k starting price. Nope.
So, I was on the hunt for a previous model.
EBAY? CraigsList?

Sure, some of the specced out packages looked good, but who were the sellers? Lots of positive feedback, read well, but this would be a substantial purchase.
I was concerned.
So I went to OWC site, also known as MacSales and started to wander around.
This company is reputable, I trust them, and have done business with before, but never on this large of a purchase.
I made a few calls to sales and the tech dept, gingerly describing what I needed for speed, RAM, etc.. They answered all patiently, made suggestions, but never a hard sell.

I have to say, I was not disappointed with the conversations.

Relieved, actually. This was a lot of dough, and I was looking for some competent advice.
I also wanted to be assured that what I would get, was warrantied, tech supported, AND returnable. Just in case.

After much deliberation, I went with a Mac Pro trash can. You know, the one that is a cylinder, and looks sleek? The one I bought was new/old stock, IE brand new, never opened, except to spec it out for my needs.

Once I got it, the good techs at OWC gave me step by step migration instructions so could get all material transferred over to my new computer, from the old. Easy Peasy!

Then I came into some other issues: Cables to connect things, as this unit is a Thunderbolt 2, and USB computer.
I had way more things to plug in, than outlets on the new unit.
Once again, I consulted with OWC and got a Thunderbolt 3 dock.

I know, I know, 3, not 2?
Well, some of my newer devices were UBC 3 and USB C.
It did require getting some adapters to go from the unit to the computer.

Now, the Mac Pro, while sleek looking, has a spiderweb of cable coming from it, and I wanted a bit more of a cleaner look.
I called them for any possible solutions, and they had a simple one: get a longer cable between the dock and the computer, and hide the dock! Genius!!

With all of my calls, they wanted to make sure totally happy was good with my purchase, and they had a new idea:
A dongle that I could connect both of my monitors to, and only take up ONE outlet!! Yes, 4K compatible.

Had to have. I know more pluggable things are coming, so I’ll take any extra outlets I can!
One thing to note is that you need to add a keyboard and mouse. I just used the one from my older Mac Pro, and life is good. Did treat myself to wireless keyboard when i wanted to use my TV as the monitor.

One of the last things I purchased was a warranty, that included the cost of shipping.
Being an Apple products owner for years, I know this is a good investment, and like I said, I trust OWC.

What’s the upshot of all of this?
If you are going to replace a computer, or buy another, put your trust in OWC to make your purchase.
With great customer service, tech support, warranty avail, and all of the extras you may need to customize your rig, you can’t go wrong.
They help you get what you need. Try that with EBAY.

And yes, I bought the computer with my own money.
This is not a sponsored post.
Hopefully just a helpful one. OWC made it easy

NG: shortly after the new Mac Pro came out last year, they introduced the M1 chip. Felt like I dodged a bullet. And save a ton of dough!

Tik Tok Creators, Time to Light up The World!

As most TikTok creators know, a good ring light gives you that semi-flat, appealing light that makes everyone look great.
Even without filters!

You needed to have access to AC for your light, which meant you stayed close to home.
Lume Cube, the people who brought you the laptop light that EVERYONE uses for Zoom calls, came out with a Battery Powered 18” ring light that you have to check out.Right, battery powered, so you are wires free! They call it cordless, but you know what it means.

It comes in a kit that includes batteries, AC adapter, charger, phone holder, flexible neck to place phone in various configurations, a light stand, and all comes in in carry bag.

(labor dale sale of 15% off!)
Where was I…. oh, yeah, right..There are some very strong pros, and just one minor con.

First of all, it’s lightweight, which will help you schlepping the gear to the outdoor creations. I had been using a much heavier unit, which always stayed inside.

There are easy to use controls to set your light intensity, and color balance,- tungsten/daylight/custom between 3600-5600K  and even check how much battery life you have left!

They claim 70min on full charge, although I haven’t had to drain them all the way down yet.You can adjust the color temp to balance for Daylight or Tungsten (indoor) or anything in-between.

All I ever ask a piece of gear to do is deliver what it says it can, and keep it simple. This scores on all counts.

I was looking for a solution when I would create on my rooftop in NYC. No plug-in power, so I was always fighting bad shadows or squinting.

With this battery powered ring light, problem solved. Of course, my neighbors weren’t too happy about the rooftop light. Have to figure out how to be more stealth!

Take this light ANYWHERE, and create your content, properly lit.

And remember: it does come with anAC adapter, so you CAN plug it into an AC outlet.

Now I did say there was one con: the light stand is less that I would hope for.

It’s a bit hard to lock in place, and felt a little less than sturdy with everything mounted. Keep your camera to lightweight mirrorless, or a phone.

It does make the whole package more lightweight, although I just swapped out a Manfrotto light stand that I swear by all the time, and issue sorted.

So go forth, go into the world and create!

In my TikTok life, I will admit that I have now learned that cats don’t like tin foil on a counter, and get totally freaked out when a cucumber is placed behind them while they are easting.
It’s the little things.

Some notes about the company : from the first time I saw the LumeCube submerged in water at a trade show, to popping one on top of my camera,

to the almost daily usage on my laptop for meetings, this company has continued to produce quality LED  lighting products and accessories that deliver. This Ring Light adds to the lighting solutions I count on.

BTW, I’ve heard that the LumeCube with barn door and snoots, has become a favorite with macro shooters. Makes sense to me!



A Great New Product You May Not Need In A Year

This year, the pandemic did not slow down product development. As a matter of fact, it birthed new product categories, all related to to Covid.
Getting to see, and handle, products that were yet to hit market, was all over zoom.
So all samples to be shipped, and evaluated. Shipping has been an issue all over, but we are coming out of all, as we get back to normal, safely.
Masks became a manufacturing category, as well as, unfortunately, a political statement.

It’s about safety, and respect for others. I hope that you wear one when working as a street photographer, event photographer, and most cases when you are with others, unless all concerned are vaccinated. Look at most newscasts and you can see the reporters all wearing mask.
Consider a face mask a standard part of your kit, at this writing.

One of the standouts for me was AirPop Face masks.
Yep, we are all trying to find the best fitting, safest, and convenient ones possible. Aren’t we?
Heck Will.I.Am just came out with a high tech mask, that looks to sell for about $300.
Maybe not.
AirPop had an intriguing product that goes out at a $70 price point, including 4 replaceable filters that are good for 40 hours per use. So some good value when you long at the full package.
More than the price point, is the design:
First of all, there are adjustable straps for your ears, helping you find the most comfortable tension, while maintaining the safety, and sealing to your face.

The insert is pretty trick as well, with a flap that helps insure great fit depending on the shape of your face.

Admittedly, it took a beat to get the insert fitted in but that gave me the confidence of the tight fit. they call it the Ergo-Flex Seal.
One of the best parts of the design is the fact that it gives you the seal for protection, with a design so your mouth isn’t up against the mask, so you have a better experience for exercise, and honestly, any activity.

When they did the presentation, they were also debuting a coming product which has a sensor, that connects to an app, that tells you the quality of the air. On first glance, it looked like the air valve on some of the early masks we all saw, that had been deemed not sufficient for protection, but instead was a very high tech piece of gear, that gave great protection and an connected app gives you the data.

That one is still to come, and I’ll let you know what the deal is once it’s in use.

To recap:

  • Masks are a standard part of your gear,
  • Airpop has a great fitting and breathable solution
  • Price point makes senes when you take into account 40hrs per filtration insert, comes with 4, and washable outer.


After The Zoom Call, Get Creative! Lume Cube Helps Put It Together

Is anyone’s eybeballs swimming from all of the zoom calls? Or perhaps you you love a more comfortable chair?
I’m totally with you.
After doing all of the connections with your co-horts, maybe it’s time to create something for your audience.
You know who I’m talking about: your friends, your followers, heck, maybe even your family! Upgrade your vlogging life!
Lume Cube has become the standard issue light for your computer and keeping you looking good on all of those meetings.
They have just introduced a system, The Mobile Creator, that encourages you to take off that light, add your phone, and maybe a higher quality microphone and let your creative juices flow.

Is it that TikTok you want to make to grow that audience? or maybe that cooking show you always felt was the right way to share your cool ideas.
When you want to make it easy, and even be able to take it outside, with minimal set-up, this is the the package for you.
Dress it up, or dress it down, you can have all of the items you need in one place. You can go vertical or horizontal, as you can see.

I have personally put things together from bits and pieces, and honestly, it usually looks a bit haphazard.
With this set up, you don’t need to hunt for all pieces. It’s all here

So you can just do the tripod, phone holder, with 2 attachment points so you you can add your own gear. About $60.

OR add a light, the Lume Cube Mini. Or 2! ( with one light, it’s about $120.)

OR go all in and put the mounting hardware, light, and Rode Micro Mini mic, all in one place, as you see above. This will set you back $180.

And you can also make it nice and compact-

Step away from the meeting, forget about going on mute , and create something to share with the world. Here are the tools.

What will you make?


Real World Review – Fuji S-10 FTW In The Street

I’ll admit it.
There is a holy grail search for the best camera for the street photographers. Mirrorless is a winner from my perspective, and yes, size matters.
True, there will forever be discussion, comparisons, preferences.
Potato, Potatoe. ( Fuji, Sony, Canon, Nikon, Leica are all great choices!)

Tried a bunch, and I’m a Fuji photographer: love the files, and camera designs feel right. What’s up with this new one, the S-10?

In the Goldilocks scheme of things, my Fuji ranges are this: one is small, my X-100f, one is heavier, the X-T4, with much more capability.
The things I love about the X-T4 : Ibis, dual card slot, bigger battery, dedicated movie mode, ability to shoot 4k FLOG 400mps in movie mode (shot 2nd unit for a feature with this) and using the full compliment of Fuji Lenses.
And just the ergonomics. Top design is outstanding, and all of my controls are right there.
The X-100 series, is slim, leaf shutter, fixed lens, and a no-brainer for me, as it also fits right in my jacket pocket. Great for that simple walkabout.

So why the S-10??

The S-10 comes in right at the middle!

And on paper the Fuji S-10 covered a lot of bases.
First thing you notice, is the S-10 smaller than the X-T4,

It uses interchangeble lenses, and battery is the same battery I use for the 100F.
The dial design seems to be aimed at the newer user, as shooting modes are displayed on top.the old PSAM range (program, aperture, shutter speed, manual)
There is a dedicated ISO button to change up your ISO in manual, although you can create 3 separate auto ISO ranges, so you can set and forget.

It can take only 1 SD card, and UHS I only, so no back-up in the body.
The LCD is fully articulating, much like the X-T4, so great for vlogging.

IBIS (lens stabilization) is built in so that helps both the newbie, and the pro for a better chance at a sharp image.
The video capabilities are quite strong. mic inputs and headphones with an included dongle.

I can see how that saves space on this body, same as the X-T4. Still wish the X-T4 had a regular headphone jack like the X-T3, but I digress.

There is a built in flash, not super strong but fine for the friend snaps, or a fill light.

You can customize all of the buttons on this body, which I find super useful to match my other Fuji bodies for consistency.
On that point, when I first started to shoot with it, it did take a moment to get into the rhythm of fast changes in the controls.
Not a steep learning curve.
The body build overall is solid, and felt well built in the hands.
When you talk about basic ergonomics, the S-10 works, although if you have large hands, you may want to put it in your hands before purchasing.

What am I missing from the X-T4? not a whole heck of a lot, and at under $1000 vs $1700, the S-10 is a darn good deal.
The highlights:

*The LCD is fully articulated, and can be reversed to close in on body and be protected.
*The excellent Fujifilm algorithms for the classic film types, so you can adjust your jpegs in camera.
*Built in stabilization (IBIS)
*One SD card slot
*smaller battery
*smaller footprint overall than the X-T4

For the full story, here is a link to a comparison chart of the S-10 and the X-T4.

Yes, this a high recco piece of kit. If you are currently in the Fuji system, you have the lenses. If not, get the XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS lens, which is corresponds to a 27-84mm equivalent focal length. I use that lens all the time, and dang happy with it. Great for video as well. Or you can go for the 16-80mm, with an equivalent 24-120mm-equivalent zoom which gets you a longer reach with an f/4 all the way through the focal range.

I may have to add this to the camera bag. I walk around NYC all the time, and ounces count!

Whether you are new to the Fuji system, or looking for an add -on, this camera will not disappoint.

and a little vid from BH

Peak Design Goes Mobile With Some New Tools

My fave walkaround bag is the Peak Design Everyday Sling 10 L. Some of the other bags in the line serve me well as combo office/gear bags (what’s an office?), or a perf weekender backpack.

The design touches on this bag, showed me that workers  know how to make the right kind of camera bag. I will always have a close look at their upcoming products.

Now, when I’m Zooming away on my laptop, I always have my phone next to the computer for slacks, txts, etc. Problem as finding the right compact phone stand.
Tried the Pop-Socket, and while cool, didn’t alway stay where I need it to, especially with any finger movement.

Peak Design came up with a system , that uses interchangeable connectors to stand up/attach/and otherwise put the phone where you need it.
There are good parts and other parts they are working out, but let’s look at the good parts first:
You get a choice of a case that uses magnets to secure the parts. Limited choice right now, but there is a solution. You can get a freestanding magnetic square, attach it to your favorite case and each part pops in like it was made for it. That way, no matter what phone you currently use or change out, you can just add a square and you’re set.
My main use was the phone stand or mobile tripod:

Continue Reading »

Holiday Gift Guide 2020 Wrap Up!

How are you doing out there?
No crowded lines at the stores, winter is coming, and you may have tricked out your home work environment just right.
Screen fatigue is real, and hopefully you get a chance to step away and create some content!
Here is a wrap-up of all of the gift guide suggestion this year. Of course, if there are some things that you may need, no harm in gifting yourself, right?

The Work From Home choices
Items to help in video production
Is this the year for a podcast, or just an upgrade on your audio gear?
Sometimes sitting down with a good book, is what you need. Turn off the screens, put down the phone, and dive in.
Sale days have been extended, and you may find some deals still to be had, although timely shipping could be a consideration.

The global situation has caused some items to be delayed, and as they come in , I’ll pos them here.

There are some last minute items that are great as stocking stuffers, or smaller gifts that still have great purpose.

One item that has gone in my bag is the Catalyst AirPod Pro case. Waterproof up to 330 ft, shockproof, and honestly, just a solid case fro your expensive airpods.

Sure, slipping the white case into your pocket is good, depending how you live your life, But for rugged protection, this case is the deal!

Continue Reading »

No More Dingle Dangle With Your Phone battery!

This item just came in from the folks at Mophie. The Juice Pack Connect!

You know em, you love, and they have been taking care of your mobile battery needs for years.
Now that smartphones can charge wirelessly, many of us have been depending on A: an external battery with a cable, or B: laying your phone onto a charging stand or discs.
While this stops your easy use of the phone, it may not be convenient.
Mophie came out with a system, that includes a wireless battery, a small flat dock for your phone, and have incorporated a phone stand as well. Continue Reading »

Holiday Gift Guide 2020 – Cyber Monday Edition!

As we start the headlong process into the holiday season, Cyber Monday is considered the next big deal day after Black Friday.
We have looked around to see what may be a good choice for your hard earned dollars and came up with these:
Platypod– this is a set of tools that should be in your kit to get those hard to line up shots. Close to the ground , strapped on a tree, balanced on rocks, or whatever else you can think of, versatility is the name of the game. Go basic, or go for this complete set-up with the biggest savings today. (it may say Friday, but i have been assured prices are still good!)

Peak Design has some of the best bags, and straps out there. Now with a great deal! Continue Reading »

Holiday Gift Guide 2020 #4 – Turn The Page!

Just going to take a break from the gear for a sec. And yes, Cyber Monday is here.
Honestly, there have not been crazy deals in abundance this year. With ordering down, products from Asia coming in slower, there is less inventory to begin with, so not as much need to blow it out the prices.
However, there are some solid deals, and for your year end purchases, and gifting ideas, we’re here for you.

Now let’s tuck into some book suggestions for this year:

A brand new addition came from a current exhibit at The Whitney MuseumWorking Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop, Working Together is an exhibition that chronicles the formative years of the Kamoinge Workshop, a collective of Black photographers established in New York City in 1963. “Kamoinge” comes from the language of the Kikuyu people of Kenya, meaning “a group of people acting together,” and reflects the ideal that animated the collective. They told the stories of their lives with a first hand knowledge that had been missing.

Then we have The Life and Work of Sid Grossman

A member of the Photo League, his work leans a bit to the Life magazine way of seeing, and the printing is exquisite in the book. Not new, but a pleasure to look at.

One of the most iconic jazz photographs ever, was the
shot that Art Kane did of all of the luminaries of Jazz, taken on the steps of a brownstone in Harlem.
This book, ART KANE. HARLEM 1958, gives you an insight into the making of that image, and a great read.

Gordon Parks was a master photographer, cinematographer, director. You would do well to have any of his many books, so here is a a possible start: Half Past Autumn: A Retrospective

or perhaps this volume: Gordon Parks: The New Tide: Early Work 1940–1950

I know, the suggestions are leaning more towards the humanity side of photography.
Here’s another!
Sabine Weiss. catalogue d’exposition – I’ve suggested this book before, and she was just awarded a major honor at Arles. You may not of heard of her, but you have to discover her work.
Books are bit harder to come by, but not impossible. A special gift indeed.

Family of Man – As always, this is a book that should be in everyones library. 256 photographers documented the human condition from birth to death, in cultures all over the world. The exhibit was shown in 1955 at MOMA, and to this day, is still the most viewed photo exhibit in history. many photographers have cited this book as the inspiration for their photographic life. I certainly do. And at about $16 for the paperback, it should be in everyone’s library.

The Photographers Playbook – In case you may be getting creatively, stuck this is one of the best collections of project starters for the photographer in your life.

This one is not a photo book, but a book about the artist’s process – The Artist’s Way

It’s the 25th anniversary edition, and many of my creative mentors have used this book, and it’s suggested techniques.

Find your creative voice.

I know there are many choices out there for your gifting choices, and each giftee’s leanings will influence your purchase. These are just one way to go!

These books, are usually not discounted, except on Amazon, so those links are included here.

More Gift Guides coming shortly!


Holiday Gift Guide 2020 # 3 – Have A Listen!

As we go headlong into the holiday season, and you have able to gather your thoughts, perhaps you figured that others may like to hear what’s on your mind.

Yes, we are talking about PODCASTS!!
It’s a perfect outlet for yourself, your insta followers, and your perspective clients.

The following gear selections are reccos based on real life usage. On microphones, the ones listed below are my personal preference, but if you go to a brick and mortar pro audio store, put your ear to a few to select your fave.

The most user friendly, quality unit out there, is hands down the  Rodecaster !

And you have to love a company that constantly upgrades the firmware. Rode does a great job. 4 XLRs, deep dive audio controls, an 8 pad loaded with your fave music bumpers, or sound fx, plus bluetooth, so you can do interviews over your phone wirelessly. Winner!

A pro mixer, with less bells and whistles, you have the MixPre 3II . you can have up to 3 mics on this, and yes, you can also do remote interviews via phone, with the proper cable.
A tiny unit that can be power by LP batteries or even your phone charging battery. Small size, with commercial grade quality. This is the unit you want to take on location. They also do regular firmware upgrades, so another solid company.
Add on Rode mic booms, as a perfect way to set whatever mics you choose at the proper height and distance or you and your guests

Sony 7506

Whether you are in a studio, or on location, these headphones are pro quality, at a sweet price point of about $90.
Best part is that these headphones don’t add color to your audio. You can add what you like in the mix, but you’ll hear good, clean sound with these. And for podcasts, you can afford one for each guest!

Then the podcast mics. A few choices out there, but this is the standard. Just do it.
Shure SM7b

Mogami Cables

And to finish out your rig, Mogami cables are the best. There are others you can use, and will work great, no problem. these just finish out a top notch set-up

For the travel set-up with the MixPre 3II, I have found that the Orca-28 is perfection. Just right, quality construction, and it opens up in all the right places. Show up on set ready to go.Orca bag

If you are moving around with the Rodecaster, and for instance, 2 Shure SM7B’s, after searching, this Pelican case is the deal. No wheels, but not a large price tag either. About $140 Pelican Vault

And if you are doing some location sound, these days, a boom set-up is the the deal.

I’m a fan of the Sennheiser MKE 600, and you can get it as a full kit with boom pole if you like.
Or choose your own preferred mic, and the K-Tek is a darn fine boom pole.


Yes, this is just a small selection. But a proven selection.
Remember, audio is 50% of your production.Unless it’s bad, then it’s 80%.

Holiday Gift Guide 2020 #2 – Motion Gear

You’ve upgraded your social content, right?
In these crazy times you’ve realized that video gets more traction than straight still posts.
It’s true, as I’m writing a non moving post.
So let’s look at some of the highlights from this past year in the video game, and see what may be right for you, or a giftee.
Light is everything, whether you shape what is natural, or control it.
This year, I watched a pretty solid webinar by Nanlite, and tried a coupla units.
Solid high adjustable output, well built, and consistent through the line so you can add additional lights as needed, knowing your color will be consistent.
They have some units with a variety of output, shape, and most importantly, are silent! That seems to be the issue with a lot of units out there.
I went with 2 x 100 units as a start and have been very happy with them. check out the line and see what may be on your list of needs. And yes, part of the line is battery powered as well.
Nanlite Compac 100 Dimmable 5600K Slim Soft Light Studio LED Panel

On the more portable line up, the Lume Cube Go, is always in the bag, and adds that extra bit of kicker for your DSLR/Mirrorless vids, or even yor smartphine vids.

And if you are shooting video with your phone, I’d like to recommend the BeastGrip (Big Sale going on now!). It has all of the handheld versatility you need. Cold shoes all over, you can add more, and it fits a ton of phones. I use it with a Samsung Note 10+ primarily, and sometimes an iPhone 11Pro


OK, now let’s up the ante a bit.

If you have gone into the world of sliders, one of the stars in that universe is Edelkrone. Even if your goal is to get a great B-Cam footage of an interview, having a SliderOne V2, with a HeadOne, plus a flex head, will serve you right.

Once you program it with the free app on your phone, you can repeat a motion, so you set and forget it. Sure, you need to keep a distance locked , or a t/ stop that gives you a good depth, this company makes a solid product, and your should have some in your kit. Just make sure you have batts to power em both. They last a long time, so no worry. I’m using my Canon batteries.

 And a huge sale going on RIGHT NOW!!

And when you want to shoot with a larger screen, and take that sweet 4K output out of your camera, and put it onto a SSD drive with no time constraints. (30 min? hahahahah) How about 150 min in 4k on a 1TB drive?

Go for the Atomos Ninja 5

When you want to trick out your rig, and need that cage for your camera, or need an arm to attach a monitor, or any number of ideas you have to make content creation easier, my highest recco for SmallRig. Many items are available here in the US, although originate in Asia. PLUS! Black Friday Deals right now!

I usually go right to the site, and figure out what is needed to make the rig work thew way I want.

here is just some of the range of items they make:

So maybe this became a list of what to ask for the holidays. Or maybe , you just want to make sure your are buying the gear you need before year end.

Whatever the case, stick around as tomorrow we will tackle the audio parts of your content creation, including podcast reccos!!

Holiday Gift Guide 2020 # 1 – WFH Edition

How are you doing as we go headlong into the holiday season in an unprecedented (yep,I said it!) time?
I’m hoping that the time spent working from home has made you think, or rethink the best ways and tools you need.
We’ll start this years series of gift reccos with items that can help you work better at home.
Laptop stand – MOFT Z
This thing folds flat, is made of fiberglass covered in material, and lightweight enough to move around your home office with you. Stand up desk, perfect angle for vid conference, or just a good angle for general couch work!

Logitech Brio -Best Webcam

If you are tired of being a blurry blob, and want to show you have stepped up your remote video game, this is the webcam to get.

Had been out of stock for awhile( I scored mine on EBAY near the beginning of all this) Put your order in!
Lume cube Mini

And to compliment your new webcam, is a bit of extra light so you don’t look like you are sitting in a cave. Plus it’s a good, soft, light, bi-color, and can be charged as you use it, for those loooooong days of meetings. Now the whole set-up, including the suction mount for your laptop, is about $55.00!

For your audio pleasure, there are a couple of ways to go. Yes, you can you your wireless ear buds. I’m partial to AirPod pros, but any Bluetooth will do.
If you want to go for the full look, this
Jabra Evolve 70 has a ton of bells and whistles.

Optimized for Skype for Business, you can get it with, or without, a charging dock, has 100′ ranges, and has a cool red light they call a busy light, on both earcups that lets’ people know you are on a call. 15 hours of talk time. It comes with a great case, but where am I going?

And next to your laptop, you may want your phone for txts email, stock tips, or gamesA couple of ways to go here: One I’ve tried, and it works, is a double pack of this Anker charging base. It’s simple, 2 of them cost about $40.00, and I can even put my AirPods wireless charging case on them.


A more versatile, although not a charging deal. is the new Peak Design mobile system. You can get a case for your phone that will let you attach a slim, and strong folding stand.

Brilliant design, and you can take the stand part off, and the phone will still wireless charge.

OK, only on Kickstarter for now, but keep your eyes peeled, and maybe back em. they have been pretty successful so far!

And an item, I just reviewed, the OWC dock:


These items have been tried, used, and proven to be useful.

Where it’s for your, a partner, or a gift, these will make anyone smile when they unwrapped it, and send you a FaceTime thanks!

More Gift Guides on the way!


Muscle Up Your Wimpy Laptop

Working from home is where we are at now, and you may have found that the lightweight slim laptop you have from the office was great on the road.
But you’re not on the road these days.
Being able to add some versatility, additional peripherals, is what you need right now.
How about a larger screen, for the interminable remote meetings? Or even streaming a great movie?
OWC has got this handled.
The Thunderbolt 3 Dock   has all you need to plug in your extras, and increase the productivity of your laptop.

As you have discovered, USB C needs extra power than on-board BUS power for older USB plugs.

This unit gives you the power you need, (yes, you have to plug into an outlet) to super charge your basic USB outlets, and gives you additional Thunderbolt 3 ports.

And with media card readers, you now get back the ability to load in Micro-SD (go-pro?) and regular SD cards, back at your fingertips. Plus you can plug in your headphones, or Jabra Type headset. Although most laptops have the headphone port, you could use it for a mic.

I know, you may move around your home office. Is the couch better for you? Maybe a balcony?

This unit has a software feature for an easy disconnect, when you need to leave the extras on a desk, or dining room table, for the comfort of a simpler workspace

Safety first, right?

All in all, this unit has been designed by a trusted manufacturer, gives you 14 ports of usability, solidly built, lets you charge your electronics from one place, and basically lets you take the power inherent in your laptop, and utilize it to max capacity.

Is there a downside? Hmmm…

Well, it’s not cheap, which in a way is a good thing, $250 USD. You know a solid company, with a track record will stand behind the product.

Who knows, watch for some holiday deals and you may catch a break.

It’s already in my home office, and working away.

It’s time to build out your home office, for real.


Latest Wireless Charging Mat From Mophie – No More Jiggling!!

Yep, wireless charging for your phone is pretty cool.
Just laying it on top of a pad with no cables does seem like an easier deal. And with multi-use charging pads so you can charge your watch, air pods and phone at once is super useful.
Until you wake up and your phone hasn’t charged. At all!!
Has this ever happened to you? Jiggling your phone till you see the charging symbol, or percentage ring, confirming the right placement, only to find out that it wasn’t quite in place, or moved?
It has happened to me more times than I care to know.
Frustrating at best, causing me to use a cable on an external battery to get the day going,
Mophie has come up with a solution that may seem simple, but works like a champ! The Mophie 4-in-1 Charging Mat

With ridges outlining 2 places for phones, and 2 places for air pods, a dock for your watch (need to add your own charging cable) this unit has been a lifesaver!
It. Always. Works!!!!
They call it the EASY-ALIGN design, and i have been waiting for something like this.

Now, if you work at a company that requires you to use a company phone, and you have a personal phone (keep all of that stuff separate!) this dual charger is what you need.
And maybe it’s a couples thing where you can both charge your devices at once. Only one watch port though. There is an extra USB port on the back if you need to add another charging cable. Or if your other smart watch can lay flat you’re good.


This sits on my bed stand and I know, when I wake up, the devices are charged and ready.

Simple, yes? and about $125 .

Time to start your gift lists!

The Affordable Action Cam With ALL Accessories Included!

Truth be told, I don’t ski, skateboard, sail, or bike.
I DO snorkel a coupla times a year.
SO why would I want or need an action cam?
Good question.
And the answers are many: time lapse being a huge one, having a small, quality, capture vid camera for the beach, body mounted cam for documenting the day, a diff kind of webcam. etc..
Basically, a small video camera that can capture life.
Having used everything from the first GoPro to the current DJI Action Cam, there have been some great improvements along the way.
Front and Back screen, and simplified touch screen menus are 2 of the majors upgrades, plus image stabilization.
They may all come from the same factory, so many features are shared, although the apps, and build, are specific to brands.

A new player in the field, Akaso, sent me their new entry into the market to check out. The Brave 7 LE!

4K, waterproof down to 131FT/40M while equipped with the included waterproof housing, water resistant right out of the box.
and the beauty here is that everything you need is INCLUDED!! Continue Reading »

Best Way To Carry Your Audio Gear – Orca Wins!

How are you doing out there?
In NYC, we are starting to get back out into the world of production!
and not just with Zoom! Physically.
2 weeks ago, I was live on set for the first time in months. Whew!
Before the whole shut down happened, I discovered the best way to carry my audio gear. Simple, and a quality set-up.

In the set-up: I’m talking about a MixPre 3ii, with 2 Sanken lavalier mics, my trusty Sony 7506 headphones, batteries, and cables, and some extra goodies.
Sometimes I would switch out the lavs for 2 Shure SM58 mics, when I’m doing a one-on-one interview for a podcast, so throw some cables and small mic stands in the bag. Cloudlifter, as well. Just to boost the gain if needed. Yes, that is the double Cloudlifter, but a single may be more versatile for your needs.

This was all jammed into an Orca-28, and the bag is built just right.

Continue Reading »

Nikon Brings the Z Series to the Next Gen – Time to Order?

So, who out there can shift camera systems whenever a new body comes out?
Yep, thought so.
I was raised on Nikon, and have a ton of amazing lenses, plus bodies, that i’m not sure when/if i’ll ever sell.
Yes, since Sony and Canon have done major releases recently, you have to put a line in the sand.
Who are you going to shoot with? And invest in?
OK, I did move to the Fuji system a few years back, and am very happy I did. My back is very happy. My walkabouts in NYC are less strenuous.
More on that later.
Nw the Z- series was a temping move and i worked with it for a very long time.
Familiar menus, solid build, quality as i knew. Plus it was super easy to balance on a gimbal. For some reason.
Well now, a coupla years later Nikon has update the cameras, and If you haven’t given them a look, you really should.

This is crazy, but the 1st gen only had one card slot, and everyone knows, 2 slots are way better.

Before i post the company line, I do want to let you know that I have a Nikon to Fuji adaptor and still pull out that glass when needed.the 500MM Mirror was a champ this summer.

and here you go!


The High-Resolution, High Performance Z 7II and the Versatile, Multimedia Powerhouse Z 6II Offer More Innovation, Power, Speed and Precision to Step into a New Era of Creative Freedom
Continue Reading »

Lume Cube – It’s About The Quality of Light

I’m definitely a problem v. solutions kind of person, and look at gear to make life easier. And make better content.
The new goal/problem was to find a small, powerful source of light, to add onto my Fuji, and be able to get interviews at trade shows.
What was needed was a nice, compact, source of light, battery powered.
After looking around the landscape, Lume Cube, a company that has been leading in the tiny light category has come up with a solution.

Well, they came up with a few, actually. Continue Reading »

Let’s Go For A Walk!

Are we finally seeing some good times in the wild? I mean, our neighborhoods?
In my neighborhood, in NYC, the plywood has come down from the stores, the streets are alive with the outdoor restaurants.
I have been taking the subways, buses, and a coupla taxi’s. The taxi drivers have to remember the mask deal, especially in a closed space.
Mostly, it’s walking. That’s how you see what’s really going. Like always, right?

So, the basic walking kit has been in use, and this is what it consists of:

*Fuji X100F with a lens shade
*Spare batteries for the camera and the phone
*Extra SD cards- I’ve been going either SanDisk or Sony, 128gb, super fast cards.
*LensPen, because you need to keep it all clean.
*A wrist strap, so I have that extra bit of security carrying the camera.
*And it all goes into a Peak Design Sling 10L

*Plus, if you are new to this, you may want to check out the listed book on the 100V

All of it is here in this link.

Why this gear? One main reason is that I have used this setup for years, and it works.

First, the main event ,the camera.
the Fuji 100V has a leaf shutter and can be put into electronic shutter mode, so it can be silent.

The files are beautiful. Plus, you can access all of the Fuji film stocks as algorithms for your JPGs. Things like Provia, Acros, Classic Chrome, Sepia. They are added to JPGs only as you are hopefully shooting RAW and JPG, for editing later. In LightRoom, the FujiFilm film stocks come up as a choice in develop mode so you an get those formulas added to your RAW files, as well.
The small size of the camera is ergonomically right, AND most importantly, I’m not digging into menus to adjust my exposure. A hallmark of Fuji cameras, it gives an analog feel to a sophisticated camera.
I go for the all black version, as it has a more has a discreet presence, and being silent, when using electronic shutter, you can get shots that you may have missed.

The lens shade, allows me to be fast, and not missing the opportunity. With the shade, nothing is hitting the lens, and you grab and go. In jacket weather, I sometimes juts go out with the camera in a jacket pocket.

Always have spare batteries when you are out walking. Nothing hurts worse than having an empty camera when you see the shot.

SD cards can get filled up. Or go bad. Yes, that does happen. I usually pack 2 extra.
LensPen: I have one of these in every camera bag. They just work. cleans the lens, and wipes away and dust. Cheap, and cheerful.
And the wrist strap. EVERY camera I own has a wrist strap. On this smaller camera I use this simple strap.

The more robust, interchangeable lens cameras, get the SpiderHolster spiderlight wrist strap. It’s perfect and after a full day of shooting is still comfortable.

Now the bag.

We all have a bunch perhaps, or have tried a few.
This Peak Design Sling 10L is my perfect walk around bag.
Room for my Fuji x100f, with space to scale up to a X-T4 with a 14mm, a 56mm, and a 55-200 (my crop duster). Or the leave out the 56mm, and add in the 50-140mm.
Straps on the bottom to hold a monopod, tripod, or lately, an umbrella!

Into the front pocket, I slip credentials, biz cards, SSD hard drive, and maybe a protein bar.
There is an inside flap, which has been able to hold an iPad, when that may be needed. Yep, have the keyboard case, and the pencil so things can be edited on the run.
When we can go inside again, this will be more useful.
The shoulder strap is comfortable, and easily adjustable.
There are a couple of design features I especially like:
*The zipper top opens TO the body, as opposed to away. An extra bit of security.

*And the bag itself has a somewhat of a defined shape as opposed to soft, shapeless design.
It allows me to easily slip my camera in and out of the bag.

This is the basic kit.
I do always throw in a Baggu reusable bag, because while you are out, you may need to pick up some things. Like dinner, or some groceries.

I have added a carabiner to the back handle to hook up a bag to.
Now, one thing that is NOT on the bag is a water bottle holder.

Now, I will toss in the Fuji X-T4, with a 14mm lens, for street when I want to switch up the lensing. I’ll break that more robust kit down in another post.

Stay safe and healthy out there!

A Lot Of Time On A Tiny Balcony

How are you doing today?
Have you zoomed enough? Are tired of looking at a screen?
Well, I am!
So, for a bit of respite, I go out to my tiny balcony and catch up on some reading.


Trust me, it’s no big deal, but I have used this lately more in all the years I’ve lived here!
And catching up on my reading. Mainly books about photography, and the odd detective novel thrown in. Walter Mosely is my current fave as he can deliver a visual that sends me to that place!

If you want to skip the post, here is a full list of some starter books that’ll keep adding to.

When I left LA for NYC, I left 95 boxes of books behind. Yeah, I know. I do miss many of them.

There are books that have been next to my bed, and in my NYC bookshelf, that bring me to the great outdoors, currently about 92º, to get inspired, informed, and sometimes, just luxuriate in the images I’ve not gazed at in too long.
Let’s get to it:
For a faster read, there are a couple of books I go to:
Aperture’s Photographer’s Playbook, and PhotoWork: Forty Photographers on Process and Practice.

The Playbook has 1 or 2 page ideas that may spark a personal assignment. Interesting if you’re feeling blocked, or just want to expand.
The PhotoWork book is great because it gives some insight into the photographic mind. The same questions were asked of everyone, and the answers can add up to a better portrait of each photographer.

Then there are the books about photographers like Larry Fink and Mary Ellen Mark. They seem to be taken from classroom events they taught, and although I’ve been making photographs for decades, I get a nugget or 2 from each one that sticks with me. It’s called the Photography Worksop Series from Aperture.


Honestly, there is something in the Fink book that jogs my brain, every time I edit and get to selects. Scary.

Then have been diving into the Sally Mann autobiography. If you are familiar with her imagery, this cuts deep. Highly recommend.

One book that I haven’t cracked yet is the Dan Winters book, The Road To Seeing. I have picked it up, and put it down a few times. Big commitment and know I will get there before the end of summer.

The current perfect blend is the Life And Work of Sid Grossman.


Beautifully produced, superior printing, and not just a book of photographs, but a great read on his life, and personal conviction.
” A photograph is as personal as a name, a fingerprint, a kiss. It concerns me intimately and passionately. I am not ashamed of that” Sid Grossman

When the sun starts to set, I do head back into the smallish NYC apt, and go through the list of docs on image makers to watch.
More on that list in another post.

And yes, If you purchase from the links provided, we do get a small commission. No price change for you, but it helps support these efforts.


How Are You Doing Today?

I hope you are all staying safe and healthy. Best wishes to you, and your family.
Sure, most communications start with that in these days of covid.

But what can you say, other than to wish your fellow humans the best?
© Damon Webster, 2020. All rights reserved.

And how are you spending your time at home?
If you have been working, chances are you are spending more time in front of screen than ever, and the concept of a 9-5 day (or 8-6), has been blown away.

In NYC we are slowly starting to open up, with restrictions. Heck, even B&H is taking on-site customers!

© Damon Webster, 2020. All rights reserved.

If you are a photographer or videographer, I hope you have been documenting this historic time, as things are moving fast. I look forward to reading what all of the cultural anthropologists will say about this time.

© Damon Webster, 2020. All rights reserved.

© Damon Webster, 2020. All rights reserved.

© Damon Webster, 2020. All rights reserved.

Trying to use my shelter in place as productively as possible, it was time to dig through all of the accumulated gear, and see what was needed, and what needed to be sold!
That was cathartic! And profitable!
Not quite the keeping ” does it spark joy? ” but what is being used, or will be used. Things came out of hiding, lived in the light of day, got evaluated, and either were listed on ebay, given a go, or put away.

Then, of course, was going through all of the archives, and realizing what photo files need better tagging. A ton!
just try looking for a specific image and all it is tagged with is New York, and a date.
Not good enough.

And then the scanning. If you have come to photography in the digital age, you don’t have to worry.
There are nightly sessions with my Epson V850 scanner, making my negs and transparencies into digital files that can be more easily accessed.
Truth be told, even though the scanner can create hi-res files, still doesn’t beat drum scans.
So the flatbed scanners files let me see what I have, and then have judiciously selected images for the expensive drum scans.
Holy Moly! the difference is staggering. the depth on drum scanned images is incredible. I’ve been using Duggal, here in New York for that.

Don’t get me wrong – i have binged a TON of TV, bought too much rice, probably have enough TP to last me for a long while,

© Damon Webster, 2020. All rights reserved.

and have a flock of masks to choose from before walking out the door. And my office clothes have definitely taken a back seat to more comfy options.

The home office has been tricked out with proper lighting, optional green screen, a headset, and some good mic options. Why not, right?

And podcasts are all the rage. Before the shutdown, I was about to start a podcast about exploring your city. Hah! timing, right? With severely limited public events, and venues, now have to rethink this.

How have you been spending your home time? If you have kids, I think I have an idea, and if you are caring for someone at risk, bless you and the service you provide.

If you would like to share your experiences during these days of covid, please contact me @, and let’s see what we can do to get it posted.
Looking for image related experiences, and how your photographic life has been affected during all of this.

So stay safe, and stay healthy! look forward to hearing from you!
Wear a mask, and remember to Vote!

© Damon Webster, 2020. All rights reserved.


Nikon Inc. + NYC Salt Expand Partnership to Help Amplify Diverse Voices

Thsi is a good thing to see in the midst of all the rest. I personally have donated prints to NYC Salt sales, and encourage you to support them.

Today, Nikon Inc. announced the expansion of the brand’s partnership with NYC Salt, an organization that helps create opportunities in visual arts as well as pathways to college and careers for underserved youth from diverse backgrounds in New York City. This important partnership will expand to include a variety of programs that align with Nikon’s ongoing commitment to supporting the next generation of creators and amplifying diverse and underrepresented voices in the arts.

    Nikon Inc. + NYC Salt Initiatives

Emerging Talent Scholarship: Nikon will establish an annual $10,000 Emerging Talent Scholarship to an eligible student graduating from the NYC Salt program and entering a visual arts field, providing them with a foundation to help follow their dreams and pursue a career in the visual arts.
NYC Salt Camera Locker Equipment Fund: Nikon will support NYC Salt’s camera locker program through an equipment fund which will grant access to the latest Nikon cameras, lenses, and other equipment, enabling students with the necessary tools to advance their photography and videography skills.
Nikon Ambassador Mentorship Program: Nikon is collaborating with its network of world-renowned Ambassadors in the U.S. to coordinate a mentorship program for NYC Salt students, allowing Nikon Ambassadors to interact with the NYC Salt students, share their expansive knowledge and supplement the NYC Salt curriculum for 2020 and beyond.

    Public Print Sale:

Nikon is also working with its Ambassadors to organize an online public print sale of their images, with all proceeds going to NYC Salt to help expand their educational offerings to students. The print sale will take place from now through August 31.

Nikon Adds New FF Mirrorless To The Line-Up

It’s the way things are going: either go smaller with mirrorless, or go big with 100MP medium format. Even today, Canon announced the end of the 5D line.

Nikon has committed to the full frame mirrorless system, and with the new, Z5, has brought the line-up to a sweet affordable price.

Continue Reading »

Best Gimbal Hack I’ve Used!

First of all, do you use a gimbal? great way to get smooth pro video with your DSLR or Mirrorless cameras. After going through a bunch (will be selling the left behind gimbals) I’m partial to the Ronin SC.

Coupled with a Fuji X-T4, and a SmallRig ball joint with a Feelworld monitor (I know, not Small HD, but does the job) this rig has great software, right weight, and responsive. That is a key element. Connects to a sweet app, easy to control through it, and even updates firmware from your phone. Well done!

There is one thing I know you feel if you have gone out with your gimbal rig of late.

The weight! Plus the fact that the configuration is a little unwieldy.

The question comes up as to how to carry, after your arms get a bit wobbly, or you need to tend to swap the camera battery replacement, media card swap., on the fly.

Once it’s built, I want to be able to easily use it, without breaking it down, and rebuilding, and remain mobile. So it was time to figure out a shoulder strap solution.

It started with perusing my new favorite accessory site, SmallRig. Well made, well thought out, additions for just about any gear you own.

After looking at a ring to fit the Ronin SC with 1/4-20 holes to add things like a mic, light, etc. I came upon this set-up.

Now the idea of having a safe and secure ring to add a strap to the gimbal, and not only be able to sling it on my shoulder when not in use, BUT also be able to help set it against my body for controlled moves, is a huge winner in my opinion. Especially if you are out and about these days, covering events, you have to be on the move.

The strap was the next consideration. Peak Design has been my favorite currently, as the ability to adjust the length, and lock up fast is critical.

Plus the comfort factor. The interchangeability of the strap for different gear, using the anchors, is key. It comes with 4 anchors and a 1/2-20 clip, usually to put on the bottom of your camera.

Yes, SmallRig has a strap, but since I already owned one, a bit of savings. The design is more to my liking in it’s ability to adjust and lock the strap to the preferred length.

I did add on these 2 small bits, to ensure the right spacing for the anchor cords.


So that is one way to give you some more gimbal transport freedom.

Another way is to connect one end of the strap to the ring, and the other end to the bottom of the gimbal, giving you a different weight distribution situation. Using another piece included with the Peak Design strap, and attaching that to the bottom of the gimbal. The same anchors that you have on the strap can then be attached to the bottom. Different balance situation

You can also spread the detachable tripod part of the gimbal, and use your body to help stabilize the gimbal even more, letting the legs spread on your body, while the rig is secured on your shoulder, and you further stabilize the shot, with your hands on the stem of the rig.

Basically this whole addition to your Ronin SC (or perhaps other gimbals as well) will make your rig a more portable, fast action, and comfortable tool to work with.

Check out SmallRig, Peak Design, and as always, BH is my top shop for gear.

Stay Healthy, Everyone!

Your Stand Up Desk Just Got Portable!

WFH is the order of the day now, and a return to an office seems to be a ways off.
So now you are spending even more time in front of your screen, than ever before. Intently concentrating, making sure you are engaged, or looking like you are, forces you to stay on that keyboard!
If you have been feeling the strain on your body, you are not alone.
One of the best ways to help out the pinches, aches, and overall discomfort is to make the move to a stand-up desk.
And I’ve done the research. Most solutions are way too big, and being in an NYC apt, space is at a premium.

Check this out:
The Moft Z

Continue Reading »

The Best Way to Top Off Your New Camera

There is a 20% sale on if you’d like to get one of these!

I have always skipped generations on cameras as I feel that I’ll get the life out of my current bodies before I’ll see enough upgrades. Glass is forever, but the little computers we hold in our hands (ok, sensor upgrades) will keep getting better.

Having just done the research on the new Fuji X-T4, it was time. So many reasons for the upgrade from X-T2, but prime ones: in body IBIS, flippy screen, headphone jack, separate stills/video switch. 

Wish the headphone jack didn’t need a separate dongle, but have just dedicated a 3.5 mm headset to the dongle. Not a big deal. Working on a bluetooth solution. Concerned about latency.

But I digress.

The first thing is with new/new to you is the camera unboxing. Making sure all of the parts are there, get that hand feel on the body, to see what the physical updates are, and of course, charging the battery. Full charge, remember!

By staying with one line of cameras, the menu systems are usually familiar, and you can start to see any changes to that, which could affect your way of shooting. Usually not huge. And I’ll admit I do scour manufacture sites to see what the they call out as new.

So…..battery was charged, menu set and buttons customized to your preferred way of shooting, and now what?

My final bit of getting the camera ready for it’s first shoot comes with the addition of the SpiderLight Hand Strap. This is my absolute favorite hand strap, and sits on all of my cameras. The Lite version, as opposed to Pro, sits better for me on mirrorless. Pro adds another safety strap, if you like, for security more on the larger DSLRs.

Here is the main process of getting it installed. It’s easy, and I always feel secure and comfortable, even on a long day hold.

Continue Reading »

I See The Light: Packs small, Plays BIG!

Yes, the portable battery powered LED light market offers sooooo many options. You can honestly get the perfect light for what you require to illuminate.

Top of mind for me right now is small, portable, bi-color, with a decent battery life.

LumeCube has been a player in what I’d call the action LED light market. I own a few, and whenever I snorkel, this is on my action cam.

Bulletproof product, in my opinion.

When they introduced the lite panel last year, I was all over it! Looking for an event/trade show interview light, ticked a lot of the boxes, but had one main problem for me:

You couldn’t ramp it down enough. The quality of the light was great, but it was way too intense for the interviewee. I had to add some additional diffusion just to take it down a few notches. They did fix that issue and came out with the Lite Panel GO. I still wanted to get something that was even MORE compact.

The folks at Lume Cube heard this from a few folks, and went to work.

The new Panel Mini has so many cool features, and has an awesome battery life And not just by making it it smaller.

Well, it is smaller, but some of the best features is the fact that you can ramp down the output to 1%, select your color temp, and it’s about the size of a business card!

Continue Reading »

Battery Power For Every Situation. Like Outdoors!

OK, now that things are opening up, you can probably leave your house and get some air! Whew! Do it smart and safe, please!

Part of that is making sure you carry your own power for your phone. I think it’ll be awhile till you can plug in at the local restaurant or pub. And of course of you are on a trail, or beach, you’ll need a solid option as well.

And if you are powering things like a Sound Devices MixPre 3ii, or a Rodecaster Pro mixing deck for your podcast, you’ll want to show up contained, with no need to rely on power outlets. (Yes, pretty specific, but these will be covered in future posts. Best podcasting tools)

Here are some solid options for you from Mophie (big sale right now!) and MyCharge.

This first one is in my bag for all walk around: fast charge, small footprint no extra cables needed, fully contained. The MyCharge Turbo.

Continue Reading »

For a Little Peace, Listen to This

When you’ve done the Zoom calls, binged on all the recco TV shows, perhaps it’s time to take some solace in a good music listen.

I’m not talking about a podcast. Nope. Takes too much of your attention.

Talking about some of your favorite music. Filtered through more than your ear buds. Over ear. Some quality. Luxuriate in that. On the couch, on the porch, by the pool (if you are so lucky!)

There are a few solid choices that fit into the same price range. About $300.

Of course, the Sony WH1000MX3 are a lot of folks go-to blue tooth headphones. To be honest, it does help to get through the clutter of all the brand choices, with a known brand that all of your friends have. Good choice.

As we move through the choices, one of my faves is the Focal Listen. They are a high end company concentrating on the headset category, and while they do make the $3000. headset, these are 1/10 the price, less than $300, and separate the tracks of a high end recording to give you that distinct aural pleasure of hearing a track, like the first time.

And new to this group, is the BeyerDynamic Lagoon ANC Traveller offering. Admittedly, this unit gives a crisper, more defined separation of the tracks, than the Focal Listen BT headset. You will hear the nuance of instruments, and the mix is closer to what the original recording engineers intended. I will say that it was a slightly bit quieter than the Focal.

Bose has always had a solid footing here, and have consistently upped their game. And the price. About $350. Used to be the gold standard. And this new rig has Alexa Voice Control

When I’m home , and wired, the BeyerDynamic dt770 has always been my go to, coupled with a small DAC or amp to boost up the juice, and give a listening experience like no other. Under $200 for the headset, but you will need that external tiny DAC. That will run you about $75.

When we do start flying again, or if you need to connect to a TV, via blue tooth, I’d highly recommend the Twelve South AirFly Pro BT transmitter. It’s my plane travel companion, so it’s getting a bit less use now. Or even if you have 2 people that want to listen to the same thing at once. Also avail through Apple

So there you have it. When you’d like to shut out the rest of the world, enjoy high quality audio, and hear music more the way it was meant to be heard, you win with any of these options. Add Airfly to connect with a friend to watch a movie.

And if you really want to get the best in your listening, check out HD Tracks. From Jazz, Classical, and Billie Eilish (her brother is a good producer) you will no doubt find something to your taste.

On a personal note, Beats are not quite the audiophile headsets you want. Move on.

And one additional note. The better the headset, the more the quality of the recording is revealed. Tried some classic tracks from the 70’s and 80’s . and a lot of the rock then was not done very well.

Stay Healthy!

Time To Add To Your Photo Library

While we are spending a bit more time in our homes, you may be thinking ” Gee, I’ve looked through all of my photo books, twice, and maybe it’s time to get some fresh perspectives”

Aperture to the rescue with a fantastic 50% sale!

With books broken up into categories:

And if you want an expert to help you redo your photo book collection, they have even curated collections:

Enjoy, have fun looking, get inspired, and treat yourself to some new work!

I’ll be honest, I have just gone through the Larry Fink workshop book, and it has made a change in my photography. It was one concept that makes me look at my own images different. (this one is not 50% off, but still discounted!)

Magnum Is Back with the Square Print Sale!

You should be indoors, and perhaps looking at your walls, wondering what you could do to spruce them up!

Magnum has the answer, and signed or estate stamped prints by photographic masters will do just what you need!

I have 3 in my home and love them! Each one strategically placed so I see them as I move through the apt..

Please remember: they are 6″ x6″, so when framed, they fit almost anywhere in your home, without overwhelming the space.

California, USA. 1956. © Elliot Erwitt / Magnum Photos /Estate Stamped
“In life’s saddest winter moments, when you’ve been under a cloud for weeks, suddenly a glimpse of something wonderful can change the whole complexion of things, your entire feeling.”
Elliot Erwitt
 California. 1956.

Over 100 international photographers looked over their personal archives in search of images relating to, or capturing events that changed the course of history, society, a life, or a practice.
Their museum-quality signed and estate-stamped 6×6” prints are available for $100 through Sunday, April 12 on
Magnum photographers will be donating 50% of their proceeds from the sale to Médecins Sans Frontières’s COVID-19 emergency response. These donations will be matched by a private charitable donor, up to a figure of $500,000.

Route 12, Wisconsin, 1963 © Danny Lyon / Magnum Photos
“Skip Richheimer and I, both bikeriders, both photographers, were heading out of town to the scrambles at Elkhorn Wisconsin, Skip driving a VW Beetle. Five bikeriders approached us from behind, I’m sure heading to the races at Elkhorn as they passed around the car, like a swarm of bees. The bikers reached an overpass, lifting them up off the ground as they rose up before us. One of the bikers leaning to the side to speed past another. The great body language of motorcycles. That spring I showed the pictures I made at Elkhorn to Hugh Edwards, then curator at the Art Institute of Chicago. On May 8, 1963, he sent me a letter. “How I wish I had some influence in the world so that there might be a book of them, with a glorifying text by someone like William Burroughs, James Jones or John Dos Passos, the reproductions done by a great firm like Conzett and Huber in Zurich or Pizzi in Milan.” Three of the greatest living writers and the two greatest reproduction houses in the world. I was twenty-one. The letter changed my life forever.”
Danny Lyon

Bob Dylan. Woodstock, NY. 1968. Taken with Kodak Ektachrome Infrared Film. © Elliott Landy / Magnum Photos
“To capture a flickering moment of joyous experience and share it with others—that was the reason I began photographing in the first place, and that is still the reason I take pictures today.

One of the things I like to see most when I look at a photograph I’ve just taken is something I’ve never seen before. Therefore, I’ve always enjoyed experimenting. This was the fuel behind my exploring the use of Kodak infrared color film in the late 60s. It was impossible to know what the resulting photographs would look like because the colors of the image were dependent on infrared light which is not visible to human eyes.

When I used infrared film I tried a variety of color filters. So, this image was a complete surprise to me. In fact, neither Bob nor I realized its power and beauty when we looked at it with a slide projector but passed it by in our quest to find a photograph for the cover of The Saturday Evening Post. I don’t recall either one of us commenting on this picture.

This image seems to reflect the otherworldliness of his music—different than anything before.”
Elliott Landy

And a pluson this is the charitable donation that is made with every sale.

They have joined up with a few other organizations in this, Aperture and The Everyday Projects Org. Plus Aperture has a crazy good book sale right now!

And due to the current world situation, there may be delays in delivery, but they are great communicators. so don’t worry!

Light Em Up!! Photographing Fireworks Guide

Living in A Powder Keg and Giving Off Sparks!

Continue Reading »

Upcoming Events

Current Exhibitions

Is there an exhibition we’re missing? Let us know on twitter.

Like what we’re posting?
Join us on Flickr.