Cameras, camcorders, and photography advice.
Photography and Video
Gordon wants to be able to backup his photos to the cloud and share them with family. Leo says that ShutterFly is great because it stores full resolution copies of his images, and then if his family wants a copy, they can buy prints directly (he can even get a piece of the pie).
This week's photography topic is investment. You can invest in your gear, sure. But Chris says it's more important to invest in learning technique. Learning manual exposure, image composition, aperture priority. How do you learn? By doing. Looking at other people's photography. Good coffee table books are an excellent source. Workshops. Leo likes to go to 500px.com and look at what better photographers are doing. Chris says that is an excellent way to learn, by surrounding yourself with better photographers. Learn how they see light.
Just in time to do some holiday shopping for your favorite photographer, Chris has a few ideas for you:
1. Black Rapid WandeR. This is a carrying case for your mobile phone that has a wrist strap. Never drop that iPhone X! $16
2. Aputure ALM9 Pocket-sized LED light. LED light balanced with an included orange gel. Multiple levels of light. Great for product photography or adding a little bit of fill light. $45.
Brian is a photographer and he's rather down about the fact that Adobe Lightroom is about to drastically change with mandatory cloud storage and subscription rates. It has a lot of pros looking for alternatives. Leo says that it's a shame that Adobe is changing what was an excellent app for photography workflow.
Scott is expecting his hard drive to fail soon, so he's been backing up his data. He has over 12,000 photos, and he knows that some of them are duplicates. Leo says that de-duplication is tricky because he has to preserve the originals while getting rid of the extras. If he's not careful, he could get rid of an original due to a false positive. So Scott will want an app that not only looks at the file name and size but actually deep dives into the data inside it.
With Winter, there's a lot of overcast skies and snow, and that means we're spending more time inside. So Chris says it's time to begin practicing your photography by shooting something from different angles to practice your photo composition. You can do that indoors with your iPhone where it's nice and warm! Just take a picture of a flower vase, for example. Also, pay close attention to how light falls on your subject and how the colors look. How does the color change with light or angle? This will help you understand what light and color does and how to manipulate it on your subject.
Leo isn't sure why more manufacturers don't have this, but his Sony A9 does have that. He can hold up the camera above his head and still see what he's shooting, or hold it down by his waist. It's great to be able to get different perspectives like that. Ironically both Canon and Nikon offer movable screens on their low-end cameras, but Mark wants one on a full-format prosumer model. Leo saw a report from Canon Rumors that Canon has patented a very large swivel display for a 1DX style mirrored camera. They don't offer it yet, but they have the patent.
Chris says that shooting the "Super Moon" isn't really super at all. Even Neil DeGrasse Tyson says that the moon is only maybe .01% closer. But if you want to shoot the moon, here's what you need to keep in mind:
1) It's tiny.
2) It's really bright.
3) It's rather boring.
Trent is a video teacher and he wants to do live Chroma Key with green screen with his kids. How can he do that more affordably? Leo says that lighting is everything. He'll want to be sure the lighting is smooth and even, and doesn't cast a shadow on his green screen. Then he can use software like ManyCam. It works great, according to the chatroom. Wirecast is another option, and it is 30% off for Black Friday.
Nora would like to scan her negatives and slides. What's a good film scanner? She hears that Magnasonic will scan every size negative around. Leo says that he's never heard of it, but it looks like they make a lot of stuff, so it may not be a reliable option. She should check out the Epson Perfection scanners.