LIVE: “Ask a CS Evangelist” Session Today!

 

Join me, Jason Levine (Video Evangelist), Greg Rewis (Web Evangelist) and Paul Trani (Flash Evangelist) for a LIVE Creative Suite Q&A session Today!

Date: Today, Thursday, April 21, 2011

Time: 3:00 PM EDT (GMT-4)

Where: Online in our Connect Room

Cost: Free

Registration: Here

Will there be demos?: Yep

Will there be prizes?: Yes!

What questions can I ask?: Pretty much anything you want, but let's keep it Creative Suite related :-)

 



Triple Your MiFi Battery Life

I love my MiFi 3G hotspot! I use it all the time. The only thing that can be a bit of a drag is when it runs out of battery power. If I’m near an outlet I can just plug in the supplied USB adapter and run it all day. However, if I’m in a seminar or other setting where I don’t have immediate access to an outlet the battery can only last about 4 hours tops. That all changed when I “super sized” my MiFi Battery.

A 3300 mAh Extended Battery Lasts me all Day!

As long as I have a good 3G signal, my MiFi will now last me all day with this battery. It’s designed to replace the stock battery and battery cover. This way it charges internally and as far as your MiFi is concerned it doesn’t see any difference. The good folks over at The 3G Store sell both Verizon MiFi 2200 and Novatel GSM MiFi 2352/2372 Extended Batteries for $90.

Yes it makes the MiFi about twice as thick, but it’s worth it if you need to be mobile and connected for several hours throughout the day.

By the way, you can get an unlocked MiFi GSM 2372 Mobile Hotspot here On Sale for $226.



Thanks David for Turning Me On To The X-rite ColorChecker Passport

I was walking the Photoshop World show floor with Jason Lykins and he asked me “do you use one of those?” We had just passed by an X-rite ColorChecker Passport on display and I said “nah.”  Although I’m sure I’ve seen this product in passing before as well as magazine ads for it, I never paid any attention to it because I thought it was just another color chart.  Man was I wrong! Fellow photographer, Photoshop World Instructor and good friend David Cuerdon was in the break room and it just so happened that he had one and said “you want to see a demo?” (this is what we do in our spare time). I thought, yeah sure. The missing piece for me that this thing integrates directly into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. He showed me how it works and I didn’t even let him finish talking. I got up, went back to the show floor and bought one on the spot.

 

The problem with RAW files

I shoot in RAW probably 99% of the time. While I’m quite comfortable achieving the end result that I want, it can be a challenge while shooting tethered and having the model/client seeing the images as you take them. If you’ve ever noticed this, as your image come in you see a great looking shot for a split second and then you see one that’s not as “colorful”. For that split second you were seeing the JPG preview. That’s the one where your camera made decisions for you on color, sharpness, etc. You can achieve these results by either manually tweaking a color profile in Lightroom or picking one of the default ones to more closely mimic the JPG preview. There’s even a better way!

 

This is where the ColorChecker Passport comes in

Take one shot under the same lighting conditions that you plan to do the rest of the shoot in with your subject holding the ColorChecker Passport (or simply place it in the shot). Bring that one shot into Lightroom and Export it to the ColorChecker Passport Lightroom Module. It will automatically and in the background process the RAW file (after it converts it to .DNG) and upon successful processing it will create a Custom Color Profile for you to use in Lightroom. Although it even automatically installs this Profile you’ll need to relaunch Lightroom before Lightroom sees it. Once Lightroom offers the profile as a choice you can then choose that Profile for this shot. Once you have the Profile chosen  you can then save it as a Develop Preset. Now that you have this perfect preset, you can use it to AUTOMATICALLY ADJUST ALL INCOMING SHOTS whether you’re shooting tethered or just importing from a card.

The card even has White Balance Squares for both Portraits and Landscapes. Rather than just giving you Neutral White Balance you can (optionally) adjust to warmer or cooler by just clicking on the next square in the row. You can also add it to the Develop Preset to auto adjust as you bring the shots in.

 

See it in action here:

 

The software brilliantly identifies the color swatches AUTOMATICALLY and adjusts for what they should be as they are known values:

 

The Bottom Line

My life just got a little easier with this great tool! It’s now a part of my ever evolving workflow.

You can get the ColorChecker Passport for $99 here from Amazon or here from B&H Photo.


Learn the Adobe Creative Suite with Terry White on your iPad

Oh happy day! I'm pleased to announce that my "Learn The Adobe Creative Suite with Terry White" App has just been updated to be a Universal iOS App, which means that you now get to see the videos in all the iPad 10" glory without having to screen double them. The App is now available on the App Store and is of course a FREE update to anyone who already had it.

If you're new to the App, the advantage here my regular podcast is that many of the episodes have Exclusive Bonus Clips. These clips can only be seen in the App and aren't published anywhere else. Often the Bonus Content includes additional tips and techniques or expands in an area where the regular episode left off. On the iPad these Bonus Clips are highlighted right below the regular episode so you'll more easily be able to identify the episodes that have Bonus Content.

There are literally hundreds of videos available on the various Creative Suite Apps all the way back to CS2. Thankfully the App has a built-in Search feature as well as the ability to Star your favorite episodes and download the ones you want to be able to watch offline.

I want to personally thank you for your support in my podcast as well as my App!

See more of my Adobe Creative Suite Videos on my Adobe Creative Suite Podcast and get the App here for $1.99:

Learn Adobe Creative Suite with Terry White - Wizzard Media

 

Continue Reading »



Eye-Fi to Send Photos Direct to iOS and Android Devices without a WiFi Hotspot

In case you haven't been following me on this story you can start with my "Shoot Tethered (wirelessly) to an iPad" from a couple of weeks ago here. Back then I decided to try out the Eye-Fi Pro X2 Card in my D7000 shooting wirelessly to an iPad 2 via my MiFi mobile hotspot and I was pleased with the overall workflow. Today Eye-Fi just announced a new card (yeah that happens in technology, deal with it!), the Eye-Fi Mobile X2 which is a cheaper card that offers Direct to iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) and Android mobile device shooting WITHOUT the need for a WiFi hotspot. Removing the WiFi hotspot requirement and going direct in an AdHoc fashion makes this solution even better. However, don't fret if you bought the Pro X2 card like I did. They are going to release a firmware update to the existing cards next week. Keep in mind that the Pro X2 card does handle RAW and Geotagging. The new card does not.

This should open up a whole new world for people that want to shoot with a decent camera and share those images even with some minor retouching/adjustments, from a tablet device directly. I'll be shooting RAW to my regular SD card in slot 1 and BASIC JPG to my Eye-Fi card in Slot 2 on my D7000. Life just got a little more fun.

If you don't have an Eye-Fi card yet, you can get the NEW Mobile X2 8GB card with the Direct Mode love built-in here.

Sorry, still not Compact Flash joy.

As soon as I have the yet to be released iOS App and an updated card you expect a review here.

Promo Video:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zN8ZRzXLG_I



Adobe CS5 Evolves: Digital Publishing from InDesign to Tablets Gets Better

 

Adobe InDesign CS 5.5 improves in the areas of Digital Publishing to devices. It addresses the number one request from our ePUB authors and that is the ability to embed video in your exported ePUBs and yes those videos play on the iPad (or any other ePUB 3.0 standards compatible device). We've also made some improvements on allowing you to layout your publications for print, but also dictate the order in which elements are exported to ePUB using the new Articles Panel. Another major improvement is the ability to either have InDesign generate your ePUB cover from the 1st page of your document or linking to a specific image that is optimized for a small size "bookshelf" on a device such as the iPad's iBooks App. Here's a video on how some of these features work:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bBNrMoKz0Q

 

What's new in Interactive Digital Publishing to Tablets?

The video below walks you through some of the enhancements to the Digital Publishing Suite in InDesign CS5.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HR_LdlM31s

 

 

There's more new stuff in CS 5.5

See Greg Rewis' post on what's new in Dreamweaver CS5.5 for HTML 5 and Mobile Authoring here.

See Jason Levine's post on what's new in Production Premium CS5.5 here.

See Paul Trani's post on what's new in Flash Professional and Mobile App development here.

Learn more about Creative Suite 5.5 including a New Subscription pricing option for those that don't want to or need to "buy" Creative Suite Products here.

Also see more CS 5.5 videos on Adobe TV. In case you missed it, Adobe TV can now be viewed on your iPad.

 

Why is Adobe releasing a new version of Creative Suite so soon?

As you know Creative Suite apps have typically reved every 18-24 months. The world is moving faster than that and many of our publishing customers need solutions for publishing to new devices and in new formats sooner. Now you will see Adobe introduce a major milestone release ever 24 months and a mid-cycle release every 12 months. Johnny L is here to tell us all about it:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niE9VT8Yjbo

 

Join us for a Live Q&A Today (4/11/2011) 

We will be hosting a live Q&A Today (4/11/2011) on Facebook at 12:00 noon EDT (GMT -4). Join me and the other Adobe Creative Suite Evangelists, Jason Levine, Greg Rewis, Paul Trani for an hour to answer your Creative Suite questions.

Here's the link for the live Q&A

 

Join us on the CS5 Evolves Tour

I'm  about to head off on the CS5 Evolution Tour with my Adobe Evangelist colleagues!

Details here.

Schedule:

Tour Locations

May 2
Gothenburg
May 3
Stockholm
May 4
Oslo
May 5
Prague
May 6
Helsinki
May 9
Copenhagen
May 11
London
May 11
Århus
May 19
Warsaw
May 23
Amsterdam
May 24
Kortrijk*
May 25
Moscow
May 27
Istanbul
May 31
Sydney
June 2
Melbourne
June 7
Paris
June 9
Barcelona**
June 14
Sao Paulo
June 17
Mexico City
June 17
Skellefteå



Amazon MP3 Beats iTunes to the Cloud

One of the rumors that has been floating around for several months now is that Apple will take an upcoming version of iTunes to the cloud. Perhaps even ship new iPods (normally released in September) that have no storage or very little storage and simply stream YOUR music over the internet to these devices. Music and video streaming is not a new concept. Just look at apps like Netflix and Pandora Radio and you'll see these kinds of services in use everyday. What is a fairly new concept is streaming YOUR music collection over the internet. It seems that Amazon decided not to wait around for Apple and therefore they released their own version for the Amazon MP3 Store.

 

Introducing Cloud Drive

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkQ55Iij-1M

Amazon's Cloud Drive gives you 5GBs of FREE space for your music collection (or any other documents) to reside in the cloud. You can even get 20GBs for a year by simply buying one of their Albums. I bought a $9.99 MP3 album last night and my space was immediately increased to 20GBs with an expiration date of next year on this same day. At that time I can choose to go back down to the free 5GBs of space or pay $20/year to keep the 20GBs of space. When I bought the Album I was given the choice to either download the songs to my hard drive on my computer or just leave them on my Cloud Drive. Had I chose to just leave them there I could download them at any time in the future if I choose to do so. The purchased Album was available for immediate streaming via the Amazon Cloud Player in my browser and the sound quality was good. 

 

It works with your music too

Cloud Drive not only works with music you buy from Amazon's MP3 Store, but it also works with music in your existing iTunes library (yes including Non-DRM'd AAC files). As a matter of fact you can download the Amazon Uploader and it will automatically sniff out your music collection and offer to upload your music and playlists to your Cloud Drive. I did this with a subset of my collection. I uploaded 396 songs from my iTunes Library on my MacBook Air including all the playlists. The process took about 2 hours to complete, but once it was done it was all there and available for streaming. The 408 songs I have there now only take up 2.8GB of space. The 5GB of FREE space will probably be plenty for me at least for now.

 

The benefits

The benefits of this service are pretty clear. I've often complained that iTunes needs to be able to sync your library between computers. I have this solution, but this should be something that is built-in. By having my most played music in my Cloud Drive including playlists (a must have) I can now access my favorite tunes from any computer with a web browser. If you're an Android user you can grab the Amazon MP3 for Android App and have instant streaming access on your mobile device as well. It will be interesting to see if we see (and if Apple would even approve it) an iOS version of this App. The other benefit is that this serves as a offsite backup of your music. Granted my music collection is larger than 20GBs and Amazon will sell you more, but it's nice for people with smaller collections to know that their music is backed up offsite in case of a drive failure.

The only downside in streaming is you need to have an internet connection to do so. In the Android App there is the option to download any of your music/playlists to the device so that you can enjoy it offline. That is truly the best of both worlds. You can have all or most of your music in the cloud for streaming and perhaps a playlist or two on the device for those times when you don't have a connection.

Apple, your turn!

 

Check out the NEW Cloud Drive and Cloud Player here:



How I Broke My D700 By Tethering

If you've been reading my posts for the past few days you've probably noticed a theme: Wireless Tethering/Shooting. Now I'll disclose the reason that increased my interest in wireless solutions for shooting to my iPad or laptop. A couple of weeks ago I taught a workflow workshop in Texas for Precision Camera and Westcott. An important part of my workflow is shooting tethered into Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3. On the 3rd day of this 3 day workshop I just couldn't get the tethering to work. Nothing really changed on my end that I could see and it had worked flawlessly for two straight days, but for some reason I couldn't get past the 1st shot. I tried the usual troubleshooting things, but nothing would get this working again so I moved on. I shot to the card and just took breaks to import the shots via my Firewire 800 CF card reader and showed the class. I got home and didn't think about it again until my next studio shoot. This is when I knew something was really wrong. I tried different cables and nothing would work. Again I had to move on and shoot to the card to get through the session. When I got home that evening I decided to do some additional testing. I tried different cables and again nothing would work until I realized that the cable attaching to the camera seemed slightly more loose than usual. Nothing crazy, but noticeable. I applied a little more finger pressure to the cable end pressing leaning it one way and Lightroom saw the camera. I tried holding it this way as best I could, but the slightest movement would cause a disconnect again. 

 

It was time for a repair

On my way out the door to Photoshop World I stopped by my local authorized Nikon Repair Facility – Midwest Camera Repair (these guys are great) and dropped off the D700. They said that it was probably an issue with the port being broken off from the circuit board or the board itself had gone bad. If it was just the port then the repair would be around $125. If it was a bad board – oh oh – "we'll call you." Needless to say I was praying for a "disconnected port." Luckily that's all it was and I was happy to pay for this versus a whole new board. 

 

I don't want this to happen again

I shoot tethered 99.9% of the time in studio. I can't imagine going back to just looking at a 3 inch LCD. My colleague Tom Hogarty (Lightroom Product Manager) pointed me a device called TetherLock.

The concept is simple. You attach this device to your tripod hole/port (there is a pass-through so that you can still use a tripod) and run your cable through it. When you tighten it it not only keeps the cable in place, but if you accidentally step on or otherwise tug the cable while shooting there will be zero pressure/tension applied to the USB port on the camera. Like I said, the concept is simple. I ordered one here and it works fine. It's crazy expensive for what it is and YES there are several do-it-yourself options (I don't need you to list them for me, I get it :-) ), but as I've said before I'm not a D.I.Y. kinda guy. Clearly I'm not the only one with big feet tripping over tethering cables while shooting or this product wouldn't exist. 

The other thing I would recommend whether you go with TetherLock or your own solution, is a USB cable that has a L-Left head on it. This allows the cable to run down flush along the body as opposed to sticking straight out. Here's the one I use.

 

The Bottom Line

Above setup Bogen-Manfrotto Double Head Accessory Arm and Gitzo Laptop tray that sits right on my tripod.

Built-in WiFi on all cameras can't get here fast enough for me. Until that day happens I'll continue to shoot tethered via a USB cable for my studio shoots. Not ripping the cable out during future shoots is going to be nice and better yet not damaging the camera/USB port is even going to be better.



3 Things I Want In My Next Nikon Body

images compliments of iStockphoto.com

I'm actually pretty content with both my Nikon DSLR bodies. I use my D700 primarily for studio work and my D7000 for travel and event photography. I've had the D700 for a while now and of course the rumors have been circulating for a while regarding a D700 replacement. Even if there were no rumors we all know that there would be a D700 replacement (let's call it a D800) getting announced eventually. In thinking about what I would want in my D800 there are really only three things that come to mind. Sure, I'll take better sensors with less noise at higher ISOs and even a slight bump in megapixels is OK. However, neither of those things would make me want to buy it. I'm not unhappy with the 12 megapixels I have now and the ISO:Noise ratio of the D700 is fine for what I shoot. Nope, those features alone would not get me to upgrade. 

 

I Want 3 Things

 

1080p HD Video

This one is almost a given. I can't imagine that Nikon or any other manufacturer would not include DSLR HD video in their bodies from here on out. Although my D7000 has the video features I wanted including external mic support, I would like to see those same exact features in my D800 too. If they have to improve upon them, then give us a 60fps video capture option too. This is not rocket science and like I said, it's all but a given that the D800 would have this.

 

Built-in WiFi

I continue to be amazed that WiFi is not being built into every camera being sold today, especially the higher end models. After spending a few days shooting wirelessly to my iPad 2 via the Eye-Fi Pro X2 Card, I want this even more. It's crazy to have to continue to transfer images via cables and card readers as the only options. 802.11n chips are small and cheap. If an iPod touch can have WiFi, why not a $2,500+ camera body?

 

GPS Geotagging

I love the fact that Nikon DSLRs have built-in GPS support right in the camera's menu.

However, the actual GPS receivers continue to be an external option only. I have several different models, but it's time to have this functionality built-in. Again these chips are small and relatively inexpensive. After all you can get an entire portable GPS unit for your turn-by-turn directions for $99 or less. Those devices have touch screens, speakers, storage, etc. The actual receiver can't cost that much by comparison. Also size can't be much of an issue since most modern smartphones being sold today have them built-in. As big as a D700 (D800) is there has to be room in the case. 

 

I'll gladly take any additional features that Nikon wants to throw my way, but the three things above are the ones that would make it a no brainer for me to upgrade.

 

Plan B

I've even got a way that they can make these last two features available optionally for those 5 people on the planet that wouldn't want them built-in to the bodies themselves. There is easy way to give us WiFi and Geotagging in a more convenient way. They could build them into the Battery Grips. A WiFi transmitter in the Battery Grip is not a new idea. Both Nikon and Canon have done this before. The problem is the early ones were both SLOW and EXPENSIVE! It's time to go back to the drawing board and make these grips more functional, less costly and bring them into the 21st century. 

 

 

iTunes, App Store and Mac App Store

With the tragedy that has happened in Japan, we can all certainly wait! There are more important things to focus on right now.



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