Cyber Monday Deals for Photographers

I’m going to start a running list of deals I see today.

First up:Adobe Lightroom 3 is almost half off on Amazon! This is the lowest price I’ve ever seen for it.

Or consider Photoshop Elements 9 for about $50 after a rebate.

Next, grab yourself some Pocket Wizards. The Mini and the Flex (yes you need both) are about 20-bucks off for a savings of more than $40.

Stay tuned for updates…


Black Friday Photography News and Deals

I’m on the look-out for great deals.  Amazon, B&H and Adorama all have deals on DSLR and lenses; but it really depends on what you’re looking for and how much you want to spend.

I did find this on Amazon: Photoshop CS5 for $565. My last blog on Wednesday mentioned a deal from Adobe on Lightroom 3 for $199.

If you want to learn about flash photography, Zack Arias is selling his “OneLight” DVD for $100 and the field guide for $15.

If I find more deals throughout the day, I’ll update this post.

Before you buy, you might want to check out these reviews of the best and worst cameras. Be sure to check out the categories on the upper left-hand of the page.

Lastly,  a bit of news: Canon issues a firmware update for the 7D and T2i.

If you find some great deals, please leave a comment. Happy shopping!

Gift Ideas for Photographers

Black Friday is almost upon us and if you have a photographer on your list then you probably won’t get them anything they want. Why? Because the things we want include 16-hundred dollar lenses and 5-thousand dollar camera bodies. But no fear, you don’t have to break the bank.

In October, I blogged about stocking stuffers for photographers. I’m still on the look-out for great deals and gift ideas like these cool lens bracelets:

Lens Bracelets

click for link to site

Lance Armstrong’s got nuthin’ on these! They’ll set you back about 10-bucks.

I blogged about this one too awhile back:

This next one costs more, but is still a great deal. Pro Studio Supply is selling Adobe Lightroom 3 for $219. That beats Amazon and B&H by about 60-bucks.

[UPDATE: 11:34AM] Just got an email from Adobe. Great prices on Photoshop Elements 9 and Lightroom 3.

That’s if for now. All the big name retailers (Adorama, B&H, Amazon) are advertising deals and promising Black Friday promotions; but I wanted to give you some options that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

If I see any amazing deals, I’ll post them. If you hear of any, let me know. Until then, Happy Thanksgiving!

Quick Round-Up of Awesome Images on the Net

Just wanted to share two quick links I found over the weekend.

The first shows images of Earth at night taken from the Space Station. If any of my fellow Floridians are reading this, don’t forget to shut off the lights!

View of Florida at night from space

This next slide show is from April, but it has some very moving images from the Vietnam war.

I’m working on finding some gift ideas for photographers ahead of Black Friday, so stay tuned for that…

Friday Photo News Roundup: Breathtaking Images

I haven’t done a round-up in a little while. Not that I haven’t found anything interesting,  just that I fall into the habit of posting items piecemeal on my Facebook Fan Page.

So let’s start with an amazing composite image of lightning strikes captured over the course of half-an-hour.

Lightning Strikes

Chris Kotsiopoulos

You can see more of the photographer’s work here. He’s got some pretty cool galleries of celestial events.

You might also remember a past blog post where I mention a photographer who captured lightning hitting the Statue of Liberty.

Next, check out the “World’s Best Underwater Photographs of 2010”

'Hitting sailfish' - Sailfish attacking schooling fish in Port St Johns, South Africa

Photograph: Alexander Safonov /Barcroft Media


Keeping with the theme, Reuters has a 55 photo slideshow of its best photos of 2010. What I really like about this gallery is that the photographers give extended descriptions in the captions along with the gear and settings they used. Warning: some of the photos are graphic.

Lastly, is this 360-degree, 80 gigapixel (that’s 80 billion pixels) panoramic image of London. The page is a little slow to load, so be patient. Then click “cancel” on the window that explains how to pan and zoom. I love how you can zoom in to see people on the street and inside buildings. In fact, this article gives you more details behind the work and says the photographer had to censor some naughty activity.

If you like gigapixel images, I posted this 1.2 gigapixel image a month ago from game one of the National League Series.  Again, use the tools to pan and zoom. If you see yourself or someone you know in the stands, you can actually tag them!

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend!


Camera Straps Pt.II

My first post on finding the right camera strap was getting a little long, so I decided to add an update as a separate blog post. In the first post, a reader asked about a strap that can be used like binocular straps. I found a couple of examples online and linked to them in my response; so check that out if you’re interested.

I then ran across an attachment that lets you use your exisiting camera strap like the previously mentioned R-Strap. It’s called the C-Loop.

The C-Loop

Click image for link to video

In the prototype department, Olympus filed a patent for a camera strap that will also serve to block glare on your LCD screen. Personally, it doesn’t look very practical and I think you’re better off getting a Hoodman Loupe.

Finally, another design that turns your camera strap into a solar panel to charge your camera while you’re shooting.

Finding the Right Camera Strap

All camera straps are not created equal and I am on a quest to find the perfect one; the holy grail, if you will. The strap that came with your camera is ok at first; but be honest, how many times has the danged thing slipped off your shoulder…or just felt like a rock was hanging off your arm?

So the first leg of my journey brings me to the R-Strap by Black Rapid. In my last post, I mentioned a model made just for women. There are three other models with varying sizes of built-in storage compartments. Then there’s a model to carry two camera bodies. Cost is $54 to $130 depending on which model you choose.

The R-Strap runs across your chest so the camera rests at your hip. It’s designed so you can quickly bring the camera up for shooting. See the video below:

(note: this is an early video from the company. The fastener that attaches to your camera has since evolved)

If you get one, save yourself a lot of time and trouble and go to their website and click on “Set-up and Tips” to learn how to adjust the strap to fit you.

There are a couple of things I don’t like about my R-Strap, but there now seems to be a remedy for one of my complaints. First, I find that the shoulder pad sometimes slips. I’ll look down and find it on my chest instead of on my shoulder. Second, I can’t use it with my tripod plate. That means that if I want to go to a tripod, I have to unscrew the fastener, then screw-on the plate; then reverse the procedure to go back to the R-Strap. I considered returning the R-Strap and getting the Luma Loop. It’s very similar but uses a lanyard to attach to your camera. Looking at the pictures, however, I’m not sure it would solve my problem.

As I was writing this blog post I discovered Black Rapid now has a solution. The “FastenR T1” attaches to the Manfrotto RC2 Quick Release plate for quick transitions.

Other than that, it works great. My shoulder still starts to hurt sometimes, but I don’t think that’s an issue with the strap itself. My rig is a Canon 40D with battery grip and either a 17-55 f/2.8 lens or the 70-200 f/2.8. So what if I could get the weight off my shoulder entirely?

Well, back in the 1800’s, photographers carried their DSLRs just like any other respectable gunslinging cowboy.

Ok, I hope you know I was joking about DSLRs in the 1800s. Everyone knows people were using the I-Daguerreotype made by Apple!

Anyway, back to our story. I don’t have the Spider Holster yet, but I so want one! Sometimes I carry a second camera body to shoots and I’ll have one on the R-Strap and the other on the strap-in-the-box made by Canon. Ideally, I’d have one on the R-Strap and the other on a Spider Holster. Or maybe I could complete the gunslinger look and just get two Spider Holsters! Why don’t I just get the double strap from Black Rapid? It just looks cumbersome to me.

As you can see, the Spider Holster also leaves your camera at your hip where you can quickly reach for it. The entire system will run you $110, but you can buy just the parts and pieces you want separately. Or for $55, you can get the Black Widow for lighter DSLRs.

If you’re looking for just a regular strap that won’t slip off you shoulder take a look at the Up Strap recommended by the guys at D-Town Tv. The rubbery material with those “teeth” grip onto your shoulder to prevent slippage. There’s even one made of Kevlar so it will stop a bullet! (no, not really)

Ok, here are a few other suggestions:

From the Photojojo store, the poor man’s R-Strap. For just $15, you can turn your existing camera strap into a sling.

Buy the Camera Strap Buddy at the Photojojo Store!

For you fashionistas still shooting film (because you’re a purist, right?)

Buy the The Tokyo Dreamer Strap at the Photojojo Store!

And for those of you who fly with reckless abandon, why not rip out your car’s seatbelts (you don’t use them anyway) and put it to good use?

Buy the Seat Belt Camera Straps at the Photojojo Store!

What kind of strap do you use? Have you found something that works really well for you? I’d love to know…