New Technology In 2018

2018 Tech

With each passing year, we always see new technology coming to our hands. I have to sit and wonder what will be next? Often I have people ask me what will be the next big thing? My reply is if I knew that I could be a very rich man. But I like most of you reading this normally sit back and waits to see what the next thing will be in technology.

Let me begin by saying this might be the year for VR, Virtual Reality? I think VR will be used for more than just gaming. I think we might see VR pushing its way into the entertainment world. This would be great to help bring back movie theaters. It might be for awhile anyway something that most of us do not have at home? Instead of just watching a movie we could be in the movie or a part of a scene?

The next push I see coming is flat everything. From flat card-like phones that we can roll up and put in your pocket to flat TV’s that will be hanging on the walls. Not flat as we now know, there will be paper flat that might be put up with double face tape?

My wish is that someone will invent a credit card system where there is no standard numbering system. I feel that credit card companies can come up with a chip that mixes your numbers up everytime you use it. As long as there is a standard numbering system hackers will be able to get those numbers and use them for whatever they wish.

I have been in technology working now for the past 25 years. I am like most of you who are always amazed by what comes out next. Just look at our camera’s we use every day. I now use a mirrorless that weighs almost nothing compared to the large Nikon I use to carry around. Now that smaller is better it is just easier to carry around.

I would like to know what you think might be coming to the technology landscape? Or do you have an idea of what we need that we do not already have? Only time will tell what the next big thing will be.

Photoshop Elements 15

Photoshop Elements 15

Last week Photoshop Elements 15 was released by Adobe. Every year like clock work we get a new version of Elements in October. With each new version we see new tools that we can use to make our photos jump off the paper or computer screen. I could not wait to get my hands on Elements 15, I downloaded the new version as soon as it hit the Adobe site. So what new features are packed into this version? Here are some of the new features. We can now create folders to group our layers. Under guided edit we have Adjust Facial Features, Painterly, Effects Collage, Frame Creator, Speed Pan, Photo Text and there is more. The Organizer also has a few new features. Is this a must have upgrade? This all depends on how you view these new tools, if you need them or not.  The truth is it is pricey to upgrade $79.00. I would wait until the holidays it always seems there is a price drop. To learn more about the new features please check out my You Tube video. Compare Elements 14 To Elements 15 Video

Flash Photography

Yongnuo Flash

I seem to get a lot of emails each week asking me about flash photography. Some of the questions concern what types of flash to buy? What kind of triggers should I get? Are all flashes created equal?

Let me first start by telling you that not all flashes are created equal. Some are brighter, some are hotter, some use batteries faster then others. But at the end of the day they all do one thing pretty well, they put light onto the subject that you are shooting.

Sometime ago I bought a Nikon flash for about $200.00. I knew I wanted a really good dependable flash for my wedding business. When I started taking senior pictures I knew I needed another flash. I didn’t have another $200.00 so I started looking for a flash that would be dependable. I turned to Yongnuo and picked up a YN560-II. This little guy cost me about $65.00 and is very dependable. I can use it as a slave from my Nikon flash or as a stand alone unit on a stand.

I also picked up a second light stand from E-Bay for about $20.00 and now have a great portable lighting kit. My kit now contains (1 Nikon SB600, 1 Yongnuo YN560-II, 2 Light Weight light stands with brackets and two large white umbrellas). I carry this kit to all of my photo shoots.

One last thing I would tell you to look at when buying any type of flash. Look into flash triggers. I picked up a set of Yongnuo YN-622N. These little guys will do TTL and manual triggering. Also very low cost.

One thing I can say about any lighting. Buy something. I think a photographer without some kind of lighting is like a painter without any brushes.

Learn Elements 12 And More

I have been putting in many hours working on my new training site that I have been telling everyone about JTC LEARNING. I built this site to enable me to setup easy to follow courses on topics such as Photography, Computers and Podcasting.

If you tried to signup in the past and were having trouble it was because of the way the site was processing orders. For some reason it was not processing them at all.

GOOD NEWS! The site JTC LEARNING is now running and processing your orders.

You can now signup for learning Photoshop Elements 12 from importing your pictures into the organizer to working with the editor. I am still adding more video content to this course but you can jump in now and follow along as we build.

Because you are a friend and registered for these daily emails I am offering you a $5.00 discount off the purchase price if you act now. Please use the coupon code jtc5. Before you check out you will see where it asks for this code.

Please visit JTCLEARNING.COM and click on the Courses link at the top of the page. Then select Photography, simply select Photoshop Elements 12 and begin your signup and check out to begin learning how to photo edit using this great tool!

JTC Learning

Point and Shoot Dead?

The point and shoot camera that many people carried and that many women had in their purse are becoming a technology of the past. I really liked the pocket compact cameras. They always took great pictures and you always seemed to have one. I use to keep mine in the glove box of the car.

But today it seems all of us have smart phones with great little cameras built right into them. Now we all have a camera in our pocket. Why worry about batteries or where that little pocket camera is located?

What’s nice about using a smart phone as your camera is you can set the phone to upload your pictures as soon as you snap them. When you used a point and shoot camera you had to transfer them to your computer and then upload them to the Internet.

At the end of the day I always teach that the best camera you can have is the one you have with you. But on the other hand there are times that I am driving that I wished I would have my DSLR camera in the car with me.

Point Shoot

 

Photography

I was working with a new sports shooter the other day who was getting discouraged. I explained that photography is tough because with every change we make to our setting we effect something else with the picture.

As photographers we can not get discouraged. We need to learn from our mistakes. Use these simple steps each time you go to shoot and you should have a good starting point to get over your aggravations.

1. As soon as you take you camera out of the bag. Turn it on and check your settings. The ISO, good starting points for inside is 800, if you are shooting outside start with 100.

2. This is when you select what setting to use. Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority or Manual? Once you choose one stick with it throughout your shoot. Just don’t put the camera on automatic!

3. Try not to chimp! To CHIMP is to look at the display after each shot. When I shoot I concentrate on the subjects I am shooting. When I get into post I can edit out any issues.  They only thing we can’t correct is blown out shots. There is no detail to correct.

4. After the shoot. Whip your camera down before placing it back into your bag. I also reset all of of my setting back to ISO 100 and Shutter Priority.

Picture Taking

Shooting Sports

This is my time of the year to shine with my camera. As my daughter is in track I get to stand on the side lines with my trusty camera in hand and eyeing up my every shot.

I wanted to give you some simple guide lines to help you shoot better outdoor sporting pictures of your kids.

Let’s begin with my favorite setting. I like to shoot sports in Aperture priority mode. This allow me to worry about what I want to focus on either a full focus shot or a soft focus background. And I allow the camera to decided on my shutter speed to capture the moment.

Next I use continues focus. This allow us to have the camera track our subject and lock focus on a moving subject. This is handy because when someone is throwing a javelin or running full speed the camera will track their focus. I have also used this at soccer games.

The main thing is to be ready. Have you camera up and always be looking for the action. Once I had a hot dog in my hand and missed my kid running right in front of me. Silly I know but it happens. And remember to learn is to shoot, shoot and yes shoot. Always try different settings and different angles.

Track Meet

Shutter Speed

Learning about your shutter speed can make or break a photo. One sure way to learn the effects of shutter speed is to shoot on shutter priority once in awhile and get the idea of how pictures look at different shutter speeds.

Our shutter speed control the amount of ambient light that is let into our sensors. With this said and having this one tool in your photography belt you are going to already begin to shoot better pictures. The reason I say this is because you can control the amount of light, the amount of movement and the amount of blur that you put into the picture when you shoot.

The faster you take you shutter speed the less amount of light will hit your sensor. This is simply because as the shutter is moving fast the sensor is expose a short amount of time, leaving in less light. If you slow the shutter down and use a tripod to steady the camera, you will allow the sensor to be exposed longer and allow more light into your sensor.

If you want to stop fast moving action it would make sense that you want to have a fast shutter speed. Keep in mind that as you speed the shutter you begin to effect the light into the camera. I get a lot of questions about dark pictures when shooting at higher shutter speeds. And this is why this happens.

If you want to make something have motion, you would use a slow shutter speed. Remember when we slow the shutter we make that camera very hard to hand hold. This is why you would need a tripod to keep the camera steady. Slow shutter speeds make moving water look like it is flowing.

Using shutter speeds means that you are controlling light. If you remember this you will be able to control your exposure. To learn the effects of shutter speed, again I would say to shoot on “Shutter Priority”.

Most of all to learn how to shoot your camera you need to shoot your camera. If it is in it’s bag until you need it, you will never get the hang of photography.

Slow Shutter

 

Lens Filters Changing The Shot

Have you ever been out shooting pictures and looking at your LCD thought, “I would like to make this look different.” Then lens filters are for you. Of course there are as many reasons for using lens filters as there are filters.

First to buy a filter for your lens you have to know what size to buy so that it fits your lens when you receive it. Take off your lens cap and look at the backside of the cap. You will see something like 72mm or 52mm. This is the size you will need to buy so that the filter will thread onto your lens.

WAIT! Don’t order that filter so fast. If you have a few lenses and you want to save some money and have a few sizes of filters needed I have a trick for you. Buy the largest filter and also order a step down ring. With a step down ring you can use the larger filter and reduce it to fit the smaller lens.

As I said there are more filters then I could write about this morning. But the few that I have and truly love are these.

UV Filter: I leave this attached to my lens all of the time. If you ever drop your lens and shatter the glass you would rather it be the filter then the lens glass.

Circle Polarizing: This filter is handy when shooting sky’s and water. I took this filter on a cruise to enhance the blue waters of the ocean. It spins around allowing you to either cool the sky or the ground?

Neutral Density: This filter comes in many different levels. The reason it does is it acts as sunglasses for your lens. This filter is great when shooting outside. If you can’t knock down enough sunlight with your shutter speed, you add this filter to your lens and it will knock it out for you.

There are of course many different types of filters on the market. I don’t spend a ton of cash on them. I do buy the middle of the road as far as pricing. Don’t buy the filters costing hundreds of dollars. It is better to put your money into other gear. But do buy a few filters and keep them in your bag. And remember place a UV filter on all of your lenses to keep them safe.

Filters

 

Print Or Send Out?

It’s funny even today with digital photography this questions is still as fresh as it was when I shot film years ago. Should you buy an expensive printer and print at home or should you send your prints out and have them down?

Years ago I would get into discussions with other photographers at out monthly photo club meeting. We would get into talks concerning should you buy all of your own chemicals and turn one room in your house into a dark room? “Mine was a closest in my parents house.” Or should you send the rolls of film out to have it developed?

I hardly ever print a picture at home. I don’t have a good printer. I just upload mine to Smug Mug or ShutterFly and let them do the work for me.

The reason I don’t like to print at home is the ink prices. I feel that even with shipping I can send my work out and have one of the above companies create my prints and mail them back to be for less than I would pay for printing at home. It is also nice to have Smug Mug mail prints directly to my clients. I never have to get involved in the process of mailing prints to my clients.

At the end of the day there really is no right or wrong answer to this question. What ever makes you happy and seems to make sense to you. I would like to hear about your picture printing. Do you Print of Send Out?

Shutter fly