Charge Your Cellphone During a Power Outage

One of the lessons that Hurricane Sandy taught us is that Mother Nature can strike at any time and as a result you could be without power for days. My heart and prayers go out to those affected by the hurricane. To make matters worse another storm is bearing down on the northeast. While generators are great, there could be situations where there is no gas to run them. In those cases you are probably going to want to at least keep your cellphone going at a minimum.

K-TOR Pocket Socket Hand Generator Can Save The Day

Having a portable hand crank generator may be the difference between a charged cellphone battery and a dead one. The concept is simple. Plug in your USB charger in to the standard AC outlet on the Pocket Socket and plug in your phone. Then start cranking. Unfortunately there is no free lunch. If you stop cranking the handle, then you stop generating electricity and therefore you stop charging. You will definitely get a good workout for the time it takes to charge your battery, but I’d be willing to bet there were some folks out there that had no power and therefore a dead phone who would have had no problem cranking this handle for as long as it took to charge up there devices.

The K-TOR Pocket Socket generates 10W 120v DC at 2 cranks per second. How long does it take to charge your phone? The answer is the same amount of time it takes to charge your phone now. If you can get a decent charge in 10 minutes, then you will have to crank for 10 minutes.

You should definitely make one of these part of your emergency preparedness kit!

You can get the K-TOR Hand Crank Generator here.

I also keep one of these charged for shorter power outages.

UPDATE

Some of my readers were asking about or suggesting solar options. A solar charger is a great way to go too as long as you’ve got access to the sun :-) The nice part about this particular one is that you can charge it during the daylight and charge your phone each evening even if the sun has gone down.

Get a great one here.


iStabilizer Mount for Smartphones

There is no doubt in my mind that smartphone photography is here to stay and in particular iPhone photography has become a category in and of itself. With that said, people are always asking me about various mounts to mount their iPhones and other smartphones to tripods. I’ve reviewed different ones here in the past and with each one there were pros and cons. In the past the problem was that in order to have a really good mount you really needed one that your iPhone would go into like a case. However, the downside to this is that if you already have a case you would have to take your case off in order to put your iPhone into the mount-case. The other problem is that the iPhone changes form factor every couple of years. The iPhone is different from the iPhone 3G/3GS is different from the iPhone 4/4S and different from the iPhone 5.

iStabilizer is more universal

The iStabilizer Mount isn’t designed for a specific type of smartphone. Instead it’s more like a universal clamp that holds your iPhone or other smartphone in place. It’s spring loaded. Just pull the top up, slide your smartphone in and gently release it.  The great part about this mount is that you can leave your smartphone in its case. Another great thing is that it’s fast. No need to put your smartphone in a special case or holder first before mounting. It has a standard tripod mount on the bottom. Below is a pic of my iPhone 5 in the Caze 0.5mm clear case mounted on my Sony tripod.

What’s the downside?

The only downside to this mount is that it doesn’t allow for vertical mounting. The clamp isn’t tall enough to mount a smartphone in the portrait position. However, since it does hold the smartphone very firmly in place if your tripod head can tilt then you could potentially take portraits by simply rotating the tripod itself. It’s now a permanent fixture in my laptop/travel bag.

You can get the iStabilizer mount here.

If you doubt that iPhone photography is real, check out this cover of Time Magazine that was shot with an iPhone by photographer Ben Lowy. See the story here:



How To Get Started With Adobe InDesign CS6 – 10 Things Beginners Want To Know How To Do

 

In this episode of the Adobe Creative Suite Podcast Terry White shows beginners How To Get Started with Adobe InDesign CS6 – The 10 Things Beginners Want to Know How To Do. InDesign is a core piece of the Creative Suite and Creative Cloud. This video takes the approach of showing beginners how to do the things they usually want to know how to do right away. See how to create a layout from scratch.

Are you missing out on my Bonus Content?

See more of my Adobe Creative Suite Videos on my Adobe Creative Suite Podcast and get the App here. It features EXCLUSIVE CONTENT that no one else gets to see. This episode has a BONUS CLIP that is available only in the App! My iOS App is a Universal App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. I also have an Android version on the Amazon App Store:

Learn Adobe Creative Suite with Terry White - Wizzard Media



Catch Me on The GRID Live Today for Photo Critiques

Hey everyone, I’m here in Florida and today I’ll be The GRID Live doing Live Blind Photo Critiques. You can tune in at 4PM ET here at KelbyTV or here at KelbyTV-on air and watch online.

If you’d like to have your work considered for today’s blind critiques (we show your images but don’t mention your name on the air), just leave us a link to your images here.


Adding an iPad Mount to My Tripod Rig

I’ve been shooting tethered for years. Judging an image via a 3 inch display on the back of my DSLR is a last resort for me. I prefer shooting tethered to my MacBook Pro Retina Display and into Adobe Lightroom 4. Now I have a choice. I can also shoot wirelessly to my iPad. This is why I was interested in the new iPad Clamps and Mounts from TripodClamps.com. I will use this iPad mount mostly on location when shooting to my MacBook Pro may not be as feasible. The mount can clamp to just about any tripod and is very adjustable. You can pretty much tilt the iPad to any viewing angle. and more importantly it holds it very securely. It’s easy to put the iPad in the mount and take it out again with a quick release.

Here’s what’s in my Tripod Rig Setup Above

 


Nikon outs a New 70-200mm f/4 Lens

The Nikon lens that I use the most is my beloved 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII. I use it for the majority of my studio photography. I rarely travel with it because of the size and weight. I was intrigued to see that Nikon just announced a less expensive, smaller and lighter 70-200mm f/4 VRII.

I’m still quite happy with my 28-300mm lens for casual travel (when I only want to carry one lens), My current travel camera is a Nikon D7000 , but I’m eyeing the D600 as a replacement and at that point I’d be 100% full frame on my bodies and lenses. Decisions, decisions!

You can pre-order the new lens here.


I Went With a Caze Zero 5 for my iPhone 5

When I wrote my iPhone 5 review, I indicated that I was waiting for the case that I really wanted to arrive. Well it did and I love it. I can probably count the number of times that I’ve dropped my iPhone (all models) on one hand. I tend to be pretty careful, but as the saying goes S*it happens. Also the black iPhone seems to scratch more easily than previous models. For that reason alone I tend to protect my devices with either a Gelaskin, a case or both. I will ultimately put a custom Gelaskin on the back of my iPhone, but I also wanted “some” protection in case I drop it too. I’m not a fan of cases that add bulk and weight. Therefore I was looking for something really thin and if possible CLEAR. The Caze Zero 5 iPhone 5 was exactly what I was looking for. This is the thinest case I’ve seen and being clear it doesn’t detract from the beauty of the device. Also being so thin means that it fits in my holster.

You can check out the Caze Zero 5 here on their site.


Wacom Cintiq 24HD Review

I can’t imagine doing photo retouching in Photoshop without using a Wacom tablet. As a matter of fact I refuse to retouch without a tablet unless it’s an emergency. I’ve been a serious user since the Intuos 3. I’ve enjoyed the Intuos4, and Intuos5 as well as the Wacom Cintiq 12wx and Cintiq 21ux. Although I’ve owned a couple of Cintiqs I find that I used the regular Intuos tablets more often. The Cintiq line has been great and it’s awesome being able to draw/retouch right on screen, but the problem has always been “positioning”. While I could hold the Cintiq 12wx in my lap it still required some finesse to be able to hold it, draw, and have a hand free for occasional trips to the keyboard. The Cintiq 21 ux amplified this issue with no real way to bring it to my lap and I couldn’t really get an angle that I enjoyed more than a few minutes. So I used my regular Intuos tablets more often.

The Wacom Cintiq 24 HD changes everything!

It’s easier to show you rather than tell you. See my video below:

Not only is the Cintiq 24 HD a work of art, but they figured out a way to give me the angles that I always wanted. With the innovative new stand I can position the this 24″ HD display off the table and down into my lap to work. However, I don’t have to bear the weight of it actually on my lap. It floats there where I want it to be. The Wacom Cintiq 24 HD has all the bells and whistles you would expect. It has a gorgeous LCD HD display with 2,048 levels of pressure. It’s like having a large Intuos 5 built into a large display. You get 5 touch keys and a touch ring on each side. Each of these keys and rings can be programmed with different functions in different apps.

The Only way the Cintiq 24 HD could be better is to have multi-touch gestures! Oh, by the way, Wacom did that. The Cintiq 24 HD Touch is everything above with multi-touch gestures. They also make a less expensive 22 inch model too.

Wacom has knocked this one out of the park. From the moment I sat down with one of these beauties at Photo Plus East last year, I knew I wanted one! Now that I have it I can’t imagine not using it.

Get the Cintiq 24HD here

Get the Cintiq 24HD touch here

Get the Cintiq 22HD here

Get the Cintiq 12wx here


Over 10 Million Served!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for making my YouTube Channel such a huge success! Over the weekend I surpassed 10 Million Views of my YouTube videos and that’s quite the accomplishment. It also encourages me to continue making the videos that you want to see. You can subscribe here.

Also my Adobe Creative Suite Video Podcast is on track to hit 25 Million Downloads soon. Thanks again!


Review: iPhone 5

Rather than do my usual 1st impressions post I decided to wait a bit and integrate the iPhone 5 (AT&T, 32GB Black) into my daily routine before writing a review.

What did I notice first?

The 1st couple things I noticed with the iPhone 5 was the fact that it definitely felt lighter than the previous iPhone models. The next thing I noticed was a definite feel of faster speeds overall. Apps ran faster, internet functions were faster, it just feels faster. After that It was great having a taller screen with a 5th row of App icons. When you do your restore your icons will be restored to their respective pages/folders, but on each page you’ll have an empty row at the bottom. Also folders can contain 20 Apps instead of 16 Apps. I quickly took advantage of this by consolidating App folders and screens.

What about the bigger screen?

Aside from the App management I mentioned above, it didn’t take long to get accustomed to the larger display. The Apps I use most have been updated or are being updated daily to take advantage of the taller display. Like speed, you get accustomed to more screen real estate pretty quickly. It wasn’t until a couple of days ago when I look at my sister’s iPhone 4 that it really dawned upon me how much larger the display actually is. I like it, it’s great.

What about battery life?

I’ve read mix reviews on battery life and it appears that I’ve lucked out in this area. Not only is my battery life good, but it’s noticeably better than my iPhone 4s. I have not problem getting through full a day on a single charge. Since I charge my iPhone, iPad, etc. every night, having a battery that lasts from the time I wake up til the time I go to sleep is all I need. One thing I will say is that I can see battery life sucking for those in either an area that doesn’t have 4G LTE or or weak coverage. Your iPhone 5 is going to constantly look for LTE service or try to connect to it unless you turn this feature off. Otherwise your iPhone 5 will work harder trying to connect and therefore drain the battery faster. So far I’ve been in areas with AT&T 4G LTE coverage so my battery life has been fine.

What about 4G LTE Speed?

Speedtest.net Mobile Speed Test - Ookla

My iPhone 5 is on AT&T and my new iPad is on Verizon. AT&T’s 4G LTE service in Detroit went live (much to my surprise) the day before the iPhone 5 was available. I was shocked to see my iPhone 5 display the LTE symbol at the top of the display. The speed is definitely FASTER than their faux 4G on the 4s. However, my iPad always tests faster on Verizon than my iPhone 5 does on AT&T. I tested both in Detroit and San Francisco and the speeds on Verizon were about double in both cities. Not sure if that’s a iPhone vs. iPad limitation, but those are the only two 4G LTE devices I have.

What about the new Lightning connector?

My 1st thought was “boy that’s small”. The new connection dwarfs the old 30 pin connector. Small is good the transition is going to be frustrating for a while. While Apple will undoubtedly use the new connector on everything mobile they make from here on out, I like many of you have a large connection of devices, docks, cables, etc. based on the old connector. As of the date of this review I hadn’t received my 30 pin to Lightning adapter yet. So I can’t speak to compatibility issues with that adapter yet (I’ll have to review it separately). At this point I’m going to need to have both cables with me for at least another 6 months to a year. I have no reason to upgrade my iPod touch to the new one and there won’t likely be a new full size iPad until 2013.

What about the cameras?

The rear camera is still an 8MP camera which is fine by me. However, Apple advertises that it does better in low light. Honestly I can’t really tell a difference between the two on my limited low light testing. IMHO smartphone cameras in general have a long way to go to please me with low light photography.

It’s mostly about iOS 6

If you look at most of the things that Apple touts when it comes to the iPhone, many of those benefits are iOS 6 benefits and not specific to the iPhone 5. Things like the new panorama feature, Passbook, etc. are available to users that upgrade their existing iOS devices.

Any problems?

The problems that seem to be making the news are: purple haze from the camera, Apple Maps, scratches and battery life. I’ve already addressed battery life above. I have yet to see a single one of my shots with any kind of purple haze. However, I don’t take a lot of shots directly at the sun :) . I handle my devices with care most of the time. I put the iPhone 5 in a case as soon as I could and before that I carried in my holster and not in my pocket. To date no scratches. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t scratch easily. It does, I just haven’t had any scratches yet. Lastly I’ve been burned by the new Apple Maps too, but that’s not really an iPhone 5 thing as much is it is an iOS 6 thing (See: iOS6 Maps Got You Down?). I also don’t use the built-in Maps app enough for it to be a problem since I use Navigon for my turn-by-turn voice GPS directions and it works great in iOS 6 and iPhone 5. My only issue initially was finding a decent case and having to switch holsters since the iPhone 5 with a case wouldn’t fit in my existing holster. More on my choices of case and holster in a separate post. Reason being, I bought a case that I’m not totally thrilled with and the one I really want hasn’t arrived yet. The only other problem that not many people seem to talk about is the fact that the iPhone 5 uses a new “nano” SIM instead of the “micro” SIM of the iPhone 4 and 4s. This means that you can’t just pop your pre-paid, international, etc. micro SIM out of your iPhone 4/4s and put it in an iPhone 5. Nor can you take your new iPhone 5 nano SIM and put it in a different phone without some sort of nano SIM to micro SIM tray. This will surely frustrate users that move their SIMs between devices until there are solutions out there that let you cut down/shave micro SIMs and trays that let you put the smaller SIM in a larger SIM holder. The good news about the Verizon iPhone 5 is that it has a nano SIM slot that is factory UNLOCKED! This means that you could take your Verizon iPhone 5 abroad and put in a local nano SIM to save money on international roaming.

The Bottom Line – Should you upgrade?

As usual these changes are “evolutionary”, not revolutionary. Faster processors, more ram, thinner body, better cameras, faster internet, bigger displays, better battery life are really what we would expect at this point. The iPhone 5 is a NICE upgrade, but not a game changer. All of these little enhancements make for a better iPhone than any of its predecessors. If you have an iPhone 4s then there’s little reason to upgrade (especially if you have to pay more because of your contract) to an iPhone 5. However, if you’re new to iPhone, on an iPhone 4 or earlier and you are eligible for upgrade pricing then the iPhone 5 is definitely worth upgrading to. Be prepared to also buy new cables/adapters, cases, etc. The combination of new faster hardware and iOS 6 makes the iPhone 5 a great choice.

Also see: “25 New Fun Things To Ask Siri in iOS6

The 25 Apps That I Use Most


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