Merry Christmas to All of My Followers and Fans

I just wanted to take this opportunity to not only wish you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season, but also to thank you for all your support and encouragement throughout the year! I wish you the best for 2014!

May all your tech and photographic Christmas wishes come true!

 

Terry

Kick Full Color Video Light Review

kick

As a photographer I’m always looking at the latest and greatest lighting gear. Most of the lighting I buy is geared towards professional photographers and videographers. However, today I’m reviewing a product that is geared towards non-professionals. Just about everyone takes pictures and videos with their smartphones and point-and-shoot cameras. However, most amateurs rarely think about lighting until after the fact. Also most smartphones and small cameras don’t really do well in low light settings. Therefore, off camera lighting is nice to have, but rarely convenient or cheap. This is where the Kick LED Full Color Video Light comes in. Beyond being a nice, small, light-weight, bright, battery powered LED light, it has a built-in WiFi network. You can control it with the free Kick App for your iPhone and Android smartphone. Not only can you control the brightness, but you can also control the color too. There are even special effects such as strobe effects and effects that will continuously change the hue. You can even use the camera on your device to sample the color of the walls or lights around you to have the Kick automatically emit the same colors.

Rather than tell you more about it, I’d rather show you in this video:

before-kick-web

Sample photo taken before adding the Kick light

after-kick-web

Sample photo taken after adding the Kick light

You can get the Kick Full Color Video Light here.

 

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Mophie Juice Pack Air for iPhone 5/5s

mophie-juicepack-air-red

If you use your iPhone a lot during the day then chances are you’ll run out of battery before you run out of day. While at my desk I keep it plugged in and while in my car I use this car charger. However, when I’m on the road I tend to use my iPhone 5s quite a bit when I’m not near a power source. I also depend on it heavily and can’t afford to run out of juice. I’ve used a variety of external batteries before, but the one that is definitely the most convenient is the Mophie Juice Pack Air. The reason I like this one best is because it doubles as a case for iPhone 5/5s. This means that while your iPhone is in the Juice Pack Air it’s being charged and protected at the same time. Because it is a battery it does add a bit more bulk than a standard case, but not too much. It’s also very light and therefore doesn’t add a ton of weight. The Juice Pack Air charges via a micro USB cable (supplied). At first I was a bit disappointed in this because I had hoped for a Lightning connector pass-thru. However, on the plus side micro USB is more common and easier to share with non-iPhone users. You can charge just the Juice Pack or both the Juice Pack and iPhone at the same time. The Juice Pack Air has a physical switch to turn it on/off and an LED readout to let you know how much “juice” is left. The 1700mAh battery is designed to give you 100% more power effectively doubling your iPhone 5/5s battery life.

The Mophie Juice Pack Air comes in Black, White and PRODUCT (Red). I went with the PRODUCT (Red) one. I keep it charged and available for those “long days”. I’ve used previous models on previous iPhones and they have never let me down.

You can get the Mophie Juice Pack Air here.

Did you miss the Adobe Create Now World Tour?

AdobeCreateNowBanner

If you missed the Adobe Create Now World Tour or you just want to see the presentations again, here’s your chance to catch the replay. You can see all of the presentations below in this YouTube Playlist. The New York stop of the tour was professionally recorded/edited and you can watch Paul Trani,  Jason Levine, and me deliver the presentations for Creative Cloud, Design, Web, Video, and Creating Interactive Content. Each segment is a separate video so you can watch them all or skip to the one you want to see the most.

 



 

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

ID-CC-totem

One of my most popular videos right now (it’s getting the third most views daily) is my How To Get Started with Adobe InDesign CS6 video. I figured it was time to make the Adobe InDesign CC version and here it is. In this episode of Adobe Creative Cloud TV I’ll show you how to get started using InDesign CC. This is for beginners, first time InDesign users, and folks who are self-taught and may be missing things. We’ll cover the 10 things beginners ask about the most.

Are you missing out on my Bonus Content?

See more of my Adobe Creative Cloud Videos on my Adobe Creative Cloud TV and get the App below. 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:

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CamRanger Review – Wireless Camera Control

camranger

I’m finally getting to my CamRanger Review. This is a product I saw several months ago and always wanted to do review of it. I get the question all the time: “Is there a way to wirelessly shoot to my iPad?” I’ve covered many ways that the iPad can fit into a digital photography workflow here and another wireless solution here, but at the time CamRanger wasn’t out yet. CamRanger offers a complete wireless camera control solution for your Nikon or Canon DSLR. It’s a small lightweight box about the size of a smartphone that plugs into your compatible DSLR via a supplied USB cable. It creates a wireless network on its own and therefore doesn’t need a computer or other wireless hotspot. You can connect to it with your iOS devices (such as an iPad or iPhone), Android devices, or a Mac or PC. For my testing I used an iPad Air. Set up was very easy and only required about a minute of reading the instructions. I tested it with my Nikon D600. Once it was set up I was able to work in either direction. I was able to use the iPad to control most aspects of my camera including picking focus points, ISO, shutter speed, f/stops, white balance, etc. and I was able to take shots using the camera and have them show up as I was taking them on the iPad. The latter mode is probably the one I’d use the most out in the field because I really don’t need the remote control functions as much as say a landscape or wildlife photographer would.

Rather than continue to write about it, I recorded this short video of how it works:

 

The Bottom Line

CamRanger works exactly as advertised. It has a range of 150 feet and a battery life of about 5-6 hours. It allows the most control over your DSLR than any other solution I’ve seen and it allows you to shoot directly to your mobile devices. Many of the newer Nikon and Canon DSLR are actually coming with optional wireless connectivity. So if you have a new camera you probably have more options to choose from. However, if you’re working with a slightly older model like the Nikon D700 or Canon 5D Mark II for example, then this may be your only option. CamRanger comes with all the cables, chargers, etc. necessary to get started including a pouch to easily put it on your camera strap or belt.

You can get CamRanger here.

Adobe Lightroom 5.3 and Camera RAW 8.3 are Here!

Lightroom_5_box

Lightroom 5.3 is now available as a final release on Adobe.com and through the update mechanism in Lightroom 5.  The goal of this release is to provide additional camera raw support, lens profile support and address bugs that were introduced in previous releases of Lightroom.

Release Notes

Newly added support for Tethered Capture in Lightroom 5.3

  • Canon EOS Rebel T4i / EOS 650D / EOS Kiss X6i

New Camera Support in Lightroom 5.3

  • Canon EOS M2
  • Canon PowerShot S120
  • Casio EX-10
  • Fujifilm XQ1
  • Fujifilm X-E2
  • Nikon 1 AW1
  • Nikon Coolpix P7800
  • Nikon Df
  • Nikon D610
  • Nikon D5300
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
  • Olympus OM-D E-M1
  • Olympus STYLUS 1
  • Panasonic DMC-GM1
  • Pentax K-3
  • Phase One IQ260
  • Phase One IQ280
  • Sony A7 (ILCE-7)
  • Sony A7R (ILCE-7R)
  • Sony DSC-RX10

New Lens Profile Support in Lightroom 5.3

Mount Name
Apple   Apple iPhone 5s
Canon   Canon EF-M 11-22mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
Canon   Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
Canon   TAMRON SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD A011E
DJI   Phantom Vision FC200
Nikon   Nikon 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6
Nikon   Nikon 1 NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8
Nikon   Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G
Nikon   Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR
Nikon, Sigma   Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM A013
Sony   Sony 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM
Sony   Sony 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM
Sony   Sony 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM II
Sony   Sony E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS
Sony   Sony E PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS
Sony   Sony E 20mm F2.8
Sony   Sony FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 OSS
Sony   Sony FE 35mm F2.8 ZA
Sony   Sony FE 55mm F1.8 ZA

Bugs Corrected in Lightroom 5.3

  • Issues when upgrading catalog from previous versions of Lightroom.
  • Incorrect photos are displayed after switching away from a Publish Collection.
  • Catalog optimization did not finish, and was not optimizing the catalog
  • Feather of clone spots is set to 0 after upgrading catalog to Lightroom 5.
  • Auto White Balance settings are not saved to Snapshots.
  • Sony 18-55mm lens is detected as the Hasselblad 18-55mm lens for lens correction.
  • Increased Update Spot Removal history steps when in Before and After view.
  • Slideshows start playing automatically even when the Manual Slideshow option is enabled.
  • On certain images, red eye removal behaved incorrectly
  • Incorrect White Balance settings applied when synching Auto WB from source to targets
  • Video playback stops when dragging on the scrubber.
  • Errors when publishing photos to Flickr through the Publish Service.
  • Option + drag on Edit Pin behavior is functioning incorrectly.
  • Black border appears around the exported slideshow video.
  • Catalog containing images processed with PV2003 were adding a post-crop vignette when catalog upgraded to Lightroom 5.
  • Pressing the “Reset” button while holding down the Shift key caused Lightroom to exit abruptly.
  • Output Sharpening and Noise Reduction were not applied to exported images that were resized to less than 1/3 of the original image size.
  • The Esc key did not exit the slideshow after right clicking screen with mouse during slideshow playing.
  • Import dialog remained blank for folders that contain PNG files with XMP sidecars.
  • Metadata panel displayed incorrect information after modifying published photo.  Please note that this only occurred when metadata was changed after the photo was published.
  • In the metadata of exported files, the application is listed as 5.0 instead of the actual Lightroom version (such as 5.2, etc.).
  • An Error Occurs When Playing a slideshow having an image Flipped Horizontally or Vertically.
  • Added Camera Matching color profiles (Natural, Muted, Portrait, Vivid) for the following Olympus cameras:
    • Olympus E-5
    • Olympus E-M1
    • Olympus E-M5
    • Olympus E-P1
    • Olympus E-P2
    • Olympus E-P3
    • Olympus E-P5
    • Olympus E-PL1
    • Olympus E-PL1s
    • Olympus E-PL2
    • Olympus E-PL3
    • Olympus E-PL5
    • Olympus E-PL6
    • Olympus E-PM1
    • Olympus E-PM2
    • Olympus STYLUS 1
    • Olympus XZ-1
    • Olympus XZ-2
    • Olympus XZ-10

Download Links:

Lightroom 5.3: Windows | Mac

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Chromecast – Stream web content to your HDTV wirelessly

chromecast-dongle

If you’ve followed my reviews you probably already know that I’m a fan of TiVo and Apple TV. Between the two devices I pretty much have all my TV watching needs covered. TiVo is definitely the best DVR experience for recording and watching TV shows and Apple TV is great for streaming all my media content, watching Netflix, YouTube, HBO Go, iTunes rentals, podcasts, etc. With Apple TV I can even stream/mirror any content from my iOS devices OR my Macs. The latest Macs and Mac OS X has AirPlay built-in. Even with all these capabilities I was intrigued by Chromecast. The low $35 entry price was low enough to give it a shot.

What’s Chromecast?

Chromecast is a small “dongle” that attaches to your TV via HDMI. However, don’t let the picture deceive you as it did me. You not only connect it to your TV via HDMI, but you also need to supply power to it. You can either use the supplied power adapter and plug it into the wall or you can use the USB cable and plug into an available USB port on or near your TV for power. This freaked me out at first because my TV is on the wall and I didn’t want any wires hanging down. However, I was lucky to have a USB port on my TV right next to the HDMI ports in the back. I was able to plug in the Chromecast and power it right off the USB port on the TV as well. No visible wires!

chromecast-setup

Once it’s plugged in and you turn your TV on to that HDMI input you’ll be presented with a setup screen. Head over to your computer and download the setup app. You computer should see the Chromecast wirelessly. During the setup process you’ll give it access to your WiFi network and enter your WiFi password. Mine needed to download a firmware update then I was up and running. After the Chromecast install on the TV, you’ll need to download (Google Chrome if you don’t already use it) the Chromecast extension for Chrome. This extension lets you broadcast from any browser tab you have open in Google Chrome to your TV.

settingupchromecast

How is this better or worse than Apple TV?

First off it’s not direct competition to Apple TV. Apple TV does way more and costs more. Chromecast only works with whatever you can display in Google Chrome or from a Chromecast compatible app on your computer or mobile device. So no streaming of other things on your computer unless they are Chomecast aware. However, that’s probably the one thing I like about it over Apple TV. While I can use AirPlay to stream ANYTHING from my MacBook Pro to my Apple TV, it’s a direct mirror. I cant’ say stream a slideshow in Lightroom and then go work on another photo in Photoshop. It’s a mirror of whatever I’m doing on the computer. (UPDATE – with Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks you can AirPlay to an Apple TV and use the Apple TV as a second display/extended desktop and NOT mirror.) However, with Chromecast I can stream content from one browser tab and go work on anything else while that browser content is streaming in the background. That’s what I like about it most and I think that’s what people that are trying to cut the cable/satellite bills out of their lives will like too. You can stream Netflix, HBO Go, YouTube or any other site to your TV while not tying up your whole computer. There are times that I watch my Slingbox via my web browser. Now I’ll be able to stream that content to my TV.

What about audio? This is the tricky part. If your content is either Flash based or coming from an App that is compatible with Chromecast then your audio will also stream to your TV. However, if the content is not Flash based then the audio will play through your computer.

The Bottom Line

If you want to stream content from the web to your TV, this is your easiest most cost effective way to do it wirelessly. The playback rate is “decent”, not great or perfect, but certainly watchable without dropping too many frames. The picture quality was very good. It’s a one time cost with no monthly fees. I’m tempted to get another one for travel/hotel room use.  You can get one here for $32.88. If you want to MORE, then I’d still recommend getting an Apple TV.

chromecast-nowshowing

How To Get Started with Adobe Illustrator CC – 10 Things Beginners Want To Know How To Do

Illustrator_CC_totem

One of my most popular videos right now (it’s getting the second most views daily) is my How To Get Started with Adobe Illustrator CS6 video. I figured it was time to make the Adobe Illustrator CC version and here it is. In this episode of Adobe Creative Cloud TV I’ll show you how to get started using Illustrator CC. This is for beginners, first time Illustrator users, and folks who are self-taught and may be missing things. We’ll cover the 10 things beginners ask about the most.

Are you missing out on my Bonus Content?

See more of my Adobe Creative Cloud Videos on my Adobe Creative Cloud TV and get the App below. 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:

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Photoshop for Photographers Deal Open To Everyone – EXTENDED Til 12/31/2013

Photoshop-for-photographers

As you may know Adobe announced a deal for photographers to get Adobe Photoshop CC, Lightroom 5, 20GB of cloud storage and a Behance Prosite (professional customizable online portfolio – see mine here) for $9.99/month. However, with that deal you had to be a previous owner of Photoshop CS3, CS4, CS5 or CS6. Unfortunately this excluded Education, Elements owners and Suite customers. If you wanted this deal, but didn’t meet the qualifications, you’re now in luck! That’s right from NOW through (UPDATE)  12/2/2013 12/8/2013 9PM PST 12/31/2013 you will be able to sign up for the Photoshop For Photographers Deal no matter if you’ve ever owned Photoshop or not! This is your chance to get in on the best deal for Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5 as the price of $9.99/month is the price! It’s not an introductory price that goes up in a year, it’s the price. There are no plans to raise it in a year.

See the details here.

Got questions? Check out the FAQ here.




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