First Conversion with Topaz BW Effects

I began playing with and testing the soon-to-be-released Topaz B&W Effects plug-in today.  There is some serious power in the program.

My first take is the black and white conversion is very good.  In addition, the plug-in gives me access to Topaz Adjust-like effects and control over exposure and contrast transition.  There is so much in the program it will take me a couple days to give a full report.  Another great tool to have in the kit.

 B&W from Topaz B&W Effects

Color from Canon and Lightroom

Should be fun testing this one out.

Fiat Lux!

California Photo Festival Spotlight: Rob Sheppard

We are very excited to have Rob Sheppard back again for the 2nd annual California Photo Festival!

Rob will be teaching a number of techniques including Lightroom workflow, Basics of Digital Video, and Landscape Photography.

Get a sneak peak of what you can learn from Rob by checking out this great video and tip on shooting video with your DSLR.

Connecting with Nature from Rob Sheppard

A lot of photographers are interested in shooting video because most new cameras include this capability. Good video needs good sound, which is not something a photographer has usually paid attention to.

First off, you need to be close to your subject, or find a way to get a microphone close. No DSLR with video capabilities has a quality microphone built into it. In addition, built-in mics tend to pick up a lot of camera noise.

For a simple, easy to work with solution, try a small shotgun mic that fits into the camera's hotshoe and plugs into the camera's mic jack (your camera has to have such a jack). I use a Sennheiser MKE-400 microphone that gives great quality at a reasonable price and is compact enough to fit any camera bag. This video was shot with that mic and a Canon EOS 60D.

Courses are filling up for the 2nd annual California Photo Festival! Get your pass today by visiting
Early bird pricing ends August 30th, save $50 off your pass!