Matt is the full-time Director of Education for Kelby Media Group and a Tampa-based landscape and outdoor photographer. He’s lead instructor on the Lightroom seminar tour and author of several best-selling Photoshop books. Along with being featured on national television, Matt also hosts the worlds top Lightroom blog, LightroomKillerTips.com.
Okay, I just got the go-ahead from my friends over at onOne Software to post this publicly. I’m always mentioning how I use their new Perfect Photo Suite 8 plug-ins (specifically the Dynamic Contrast presets in Perfect Effects 8) for all of my landscape and outdoor photos. Well, they’re giving Perfect Effects 8 away for free until tomorrow, January 28th. It’s usually $99 and you can download the full version for free. Yep, everything. No trials, no expiration, no stripped down presets or anything like that – the full freakin’ version.
Here’s the link and tell ‘em Matt sent you (not really on the 2nd part)
Hats off to onOne for, well, giving away free stuff (oh, and for making a really cool plug-in too). Have a good one!
Okay, I’m going to admit this right up front. This is not a photography tip. The headline I wrote is totally meant to grab attention (hope it worked) But I really wanted to write about this. I’ve seen this tip help (or how it could have helped) so many freakin’ photographers out there and I couldn’t think of any other title that people would actually read
The Back Story
This time of year, many photographers are packing up their stuff and heading to cold places to photograph, or for vacation, work, or all of the above in some combination. Now, if you already live in a cold place, then you probably know what type of gear, clothing, etc… to pack. But what if you don’t (like me).
A True Story
Years ago, I went on a photography trip out to Moab, Utah. I looked at the weather forecast and it showed that the lows would be somewhere in the 40’s. “Meh… no problem!” I thought. I live in Tampa, Florida where it doesn’t get in to the 40’s much (although it is as I write this). And when it does, everyone breaks out their winter coats, boots, scarves, gloves, snow shoes (maybe not the last one). But I travel enough that I’m in cooler weather often, not to mention I grew up in the northeast so I know what it’s like. Anyway, so when I saw 40’s I didn’t think much of it. 40′s ain’t bad at all.
What Did I Miss?
Some of you already know the ending to this story because you’re saying to yourself, “Yeah, it was 40, but what about the wind”. Sadly I didn’t think of that. And I paid for it. We got out to some locations and there was a 10-20mph wind blowing. As I’m sure many of you know, 40 isn’t so bad. But 40 in high winds can get really cold really quick. So cold that all I wanted to do was get back in the car when I was supposed to be out there shooting. It wasn’t just uncomfortable, it was downright miserable. I couldn’t be creative and I couldn’t even think about shooting. And I was with a group and several people were the same way. You know who wasn’t? The people that had the right clothing.
Okay, So Why Am I Writing This?
So what’s the point here. The point is that I think there is a secret to getting the most out of your photography gear in the winter that a lot of people can miss. The right clothing. See, we spend so much money on our photo gear Read More
For all of you landscape photographers out there, I just saw over on PhotoWhoa.com that they have a free ebook called The Landscape Collective. It’s a collection of landscape, cityscape and outdoor photographers and interviews with them on how they create their work. I downloaded it the other day and it’s a very inspirational read with lots of great (and very different) interviews. Definitely worth checking out and, hey… it’s free
Here’s the link to download it.
I’ve gotten a lot of questions lately over why I’ve been shooting Canon gear. And rightly so. During the course of the year, I personally come in to contact with thousands of photographers who have seen me shooting Nikon. But lately, I’ve been posting some Canon photos here on the blog (I always mention the gear and settings I use when I post an image). And many of you have nicely (well, mostly nice) asked what’s the deal? Why Canon? So I figured I owed you an answer.
Interesting Side Note
I used to shoot Canon. My first DSLR was a Canon 10D back in 2003. In fact, I never got rid of it. My kids use it actually, and I still have a few lenses. I wasn’t very heavily invested though, and when I started at Kelby Media back in 2004, I switched to Nikon because everyone shot Nikon. I’ve always told people to “use what your friends use”. Mac/PC, Nikon/Canon, etc… That way you have a built in support network. You can ask questions, share gear, batteries, lenses, battery chargers, whatever… So that’s exactly what I did. I invested in Nikon over the years because that’s what everyone I shot with used.
Back To The Back Story
Okay, back to the story. First off, as timing would have it, I sent Scott an email a couple of days ago because I knew he mentioned the topic of how he personally switched to Canon on one of our shows, and I wanted to see which show it was so I could point to it. He sent me back an email saying he was actually covering the same exact topic on his blog the next day (yesterday). So, when you get a chance, go watch the video and you’ll get an idea on how our relationship with Canon, started at KelbyOne and why Scott switched.
As Scott mentioned in the video, Canon wanted to sponsor Scott’s Photo Walk and Photoshop World last year. And since we were all mostly Nikon shooters in-house, they simply hoped that we would at least mention/show that Canon has equivalents to many things we talked about. Makes total sense. And probably the right thing to do since, depending on which stats you go by, let’s just say a very large percentage of the people that watch our training shoot Canon.
How I Got Canon Gear
Our video team was clamoring for some Canon gear to shoot the Kelby Training classes. Canon is revered among the HDDSLR shooters out there, and they wanted to try some stuff out. Among the gear they tried, was a 5D Mark III. Well, last October I was heading out on a trip to Colorado and I figured I’d bring it along to try it out. I thought that it would be good to check out, as I hadn’t shot a Canon camera in nearly 10 years. I did still bring my D800 though because it was my first time out with a Canon in a while.
To me, it was perfect. Ever since I started teaching photography, I’ve been asked why I just teach using Nikon. That so many people shoot Canon and why don’t I give settings, tips, tricks, etc… for Canon cameras too. And I teach workshops all the time. It’s frustrating when a Canon shooter comes up to me and asks a question about how to set up their camera and I can’t answer.
So… this was my chance. I could now get familiar with Canon cameras too, and it wouldn’t cost me a small fortune in a body and lenses to do it. Since then, I’ve been bringing Canon gear with me when I go shoot. And honestly, I’ve liked it so much, that ever since the first shoot in October, the Canon is all I’ve taken with me.
Where Am I At Now?
I still have my Nikon gear and I have no plans of selling it right now. Both my Nikon D800 and Canon 5D Mark III have things I like about ‘em. I’m not going to do a feature-to-feature comparison. They both make gorgeous images and we all know it’s more about the photographer behind the camera, and what you take a photo of.
I will say this. After spending a short amount of time with the Canon, my first thoughts are: I love the 5D Mark III as a camera body. I totally agree with Scott (you have to watch the video above) on how the camera feels. It just feels better. That was immediately my first reaction after using it for 5 minutes. Dials and buttons feel like they’re positioned better. The menus, settings. The way everything is accessible through a menu, which means I can save all of my different shooting setups without messing around with analog controls. Really nice for jumping between landscape, long exposures, night photography, and portraits. I like the bracketing on it better than my D800 too. I’ve long wished I could change the number of stops between brackets on my Nikon D800 because it fills up my memory cards too quickly. Seems like that would be such a simple firmware upgrade, but it’s never happened.
The one thing I do miss about my D800 is the file size. I may not always print large enough to take advantage of the D800’s file size, but I certainly enjoy having it. Aesthetically, there’s something about post-processing a photo of that size. And say what you will, but we’re visual people so that counts for something. Just like the “feel” of the camera counts for something, the “feel” of the image on the computer counts for something too.
So that’s it. To the conspiracy-seekers out there, think what ya’ want. This post isn’t in any way directed toward you, because no post I write will get you to not think that way. This is to all of the people who kindly have asked over the last few months about why I’m shooting Canon. Now you know why
Have a good one.