Archive for October, 2009

iTouch reality (the iPod Touch rocks)

howdy folks,

This is going to be a hard post for me.

You see,  I’ve never been an apple fan.  I don’t own a mac or iPod or iPhone or ever visit the iTunes store.  I didn’t want to…  I grew up learning to program edLine basic (even before gwBasic for those that remember).  I didn’t like how everything apple was proprietary.  I didn’t like how you were locked in once you joined “the club”.  I built my own computers and downloaded songs from Amazon because of their DRM policy. 

The times they are a changin’

After 4 failed attempts to find a non-apple mp3 player worth it’s price, I’ve decided that if everyone else loves their iPod then they can’t be all bad – right!?!  Then my step-son acquired an iPod touch and boy did that change my tune.

Now to the heart of the problem…

After seeing what the iPod touch can do, I wondered why I hadn’t heard of it’s features before.  Maybe I didn’t pay enough attention, or maybe others glossed over it assuming that everyone who cared already knew.  I found a couple examples on one of my favorite blogs – photoshop insider by Scott Kelby.

In the first example, there isn’t even mention of the iPod touch. It just talks about a cool new app for the iPhone.

In the second example, he does mention the iPod touch but it’s kind of like an afterthought.

I always ignored the iPhone news because I wasn’t going to switch my service provider just to get a cool phone.  It just wasn’t going to happen (ask anyone who’s married).  If someone had come out and said that you don’t have to have an iPhone to have all those cool apps, it may have turned my head a long time ago. 

If you have read this far, and you write a blog or twitter or facebook, please tell your friends that the iPod  Touch has most of the features of the iPhone without the AT&T contract.  A friend of mind told me he even found an app that turns his iPod Touch into a phone.  Here’s a link to  do that:


Adobe Photoshop CS5 painting feature

howdy folks,

I’ve seen a couple of news sources pointing to a new video from adobe labs.  Whether this makes it into Adobe Photoshop CS5 is uncertain, but it looks like Adobe is trying to catch up with Corel Painter in the area of realistic painting, brushes and simulated media.

here’s the link:

I also talked to a co-worker who attended the recent photoshop world.  He said there was a closed door meeting with some plug-in developers that required non-disclosure agreements (big surprise).  He said he expected photoshop to be announced at one of the bigger trade shows at the beginning of the year and released before July.  I’m still sticking with my april release estimate to stick with an 18 month release schedule (with an announcement in or around February).

A Fresh Look for the Home Site.

howdy folks,

This morning I finally loaded a totally new version of the website.  It’s not complete but it is a lot more attractive and functional than the previous incarnations.  I’ll post updates as the features are activated.

Don’t miss the photo tips section at the bottom right of the page.  Anyone is free to go to the outofnapkins photo tips blog (click the “more” link in the lower corner to access the blog) and send me suggestions for future tips.

My New Portfolio Blog

Howdy Folks,

Since I have been writing for a few months on photography, I came to the conclusion that I probably ought to have some sort of online portfolio (something more current than my studio’s online gallery).

I present to you my studio’s blog:

It’s sole purpose is to provide a fresh portfolio of recent photography projects and related content.  I’m not going to be writing about gear or techniques or other general photography topics.  That informations stays here on this site.  I realize I only have a couple of photo sessions listed at the moment, but I don’t want to be posting old stuff.  I’ll post new projects as they happen.

p.s. If you visit the new blog, please feel free to comment.  I’m always looking for critiques to improve my knowledge and techniques.

Making a list and checking it twice

howdy folks,

It’s been pretty busy around here so I haven’t been writing as frequently as I would like.  I had a portfolio shoot the other day.  I asked a couple of coworkers if they wanted some “free” family photos in exchange for letting me use them in my portfolio.  There are a lot of topics I could cover (but I’ll save them for another post). Some topics of consideration were: location scouting, outfit considerations and getting model releases.  Today I wanted to talk about the shot list.

Have you ever gone on a photo shoot and after the shoot you suddenly remember that one great pose that you saw the other day. You think “dang” (or insert your explicative of choice) because you didn’t remember the pose until it was too late. 

I remember studying wedding photography years ago.  One topic that kept popping up was the shot list with all of the various (almost mandatory) images that the newlyweds will expect to see in their photos.  Imagine no picture of the cake, no boquet toss or boquet for that matter, no first kiss, no bridesmades.  You get the idea.

Whenever you see a great pose, write it down so that you can reference it when you need ideas.  Before you head out on a shoot, review your pose catalog and make a list of poses that will be relevent to that session.  I am currently in the process of building four or five lists myself, that should cover most of the common situations I encounter.

***As a bonus, we originally planned to take all of the pictures in an extremely small park downtown, but another photographer showed up after we’d been there only 20 minutes.  I decided to pull my models and we shot in the alley.  I had scouted it a week ago and found a couple great locations.  There were a lot of great free props in the alley and it was much more visually interesting than the brick and stone found in the park.  Almost all of my favorite images were from after the park.  Rusty window grates and urban decay abounding, even the gravel parking area turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

In case you’re wondering here are a few pics from the shoot.

I think I took around 250 pics in 45 minutes.  I pulled around 80 to 100 images ( approx. 50 images for each family) for the DVD session I’m giving to my models.  I spent about 2.5 to 3 hours total in post (mostly in lightroom) cleaning and tweaking the final images.