International Power! Revisited

Image compliments of iStockphoto.com

Last year I wrote a post called "International Power" and the purpose of that post was to recommend adapters and accessories that you might use when you travel abroad. Since that time though I have been experimenting with different solutions and have just about completely revamped my list of travel adapters and plugs. The first goal was to reduce the amount of adapters needed and the second goal was to accomodate the ever increasing number of mobile devices that I'm traveling with. Since my job now not only involves showing Adobe Creative Suite on the desktop, I now show tablet and mobile apps on both iOS and Android devices too. On my current trip I'm traveling with a MacBook Pro, iPad 2, iPhone 4, Motorola Atrix and Motorola Xoom. Not to mention a Nikon D7000 DSLR, iPod nano watch and camera GPS device. That's a LOT of batteries to keep charged each night. One of the other big problems is that many hotel rooms can have as few as one single accessible AC outlet for you to use! Here is my current crop of adapters and gadgets to accomodate charging and powering on the go.

 

The Universal Adapter

All of my devices either can accomodate the higher voltages in other countries or charge via USB. Therefore I only need a couple of "adapter" plugs to adapt the US prongs to the sockets of foreign outlets. The one above is one of my new favorites. I like it because the prongs fold into it so that they don't protrude in your bag. I typically have at least two of these in my suitcase to leave in the hotel while I'm out and about and one in my computer bag for meetings and presentations.

Get one here.

 

The Universal Power Strip

I don't want to have to adapt every single charger to a foreign plug and as I mentioned you may not even have the luxury of multiple outlets in the room. So just like at home I would love to use a power strip that plugs into the Universal Adapter above. This Power Strip not only works on US current and the higher European 220v outlets. Also the plugs work for both US and European based prongs.

You can get one here. I use this one in my computer bag.

 

Retractable Extension Cord

Another common problem is that the single available power outlet in the room may be located across the room. This is when I pull out my retractable extension cord. Granted it's only 5' long, but it can make all the difference in the world.

You can get one here.

 

Charge 4 USB Devices At Once

My phones, camera GPS and iPod watch all charge via USB. Therefore I can get away with one of these multiple USB charging devices. Yes they work on the higher 220v current too and deliver standard USB power to up to 4 devices simultaneously and yes I've charged 4 devices at once without issue.

You can get one here. I also like this flater one too.

 

The iPad Power Adapter

While the iPad will charge over standard USB, it will do so at a slower rate. In this case I always travel with an iPad 10W adapter to charge the iPad/iPad 2 at top speed. This adapter also works at the higher voltages.

You can get one here.

 

Longer iOS and USB cables

Since the only available outlet in the hotel room is sometimes behind furniture or across the room it may be necessary to have longer USB and iDevice cables. I found some nice long ones here.

 

The Bottom Line

When I have all these things plugged into a single outlet, it's not pretty! However, it works. I can easily charge 6 devices without any problem. It definitely cuts down on the number of little adapters I have to carry and I don't have to worry about not having enough of the right adapters for the country I'm in .



Adobe Photoshop World 2011 Keynote

 

 

If you missed Photoshop World Orlando, you missed the Adobe Keynote where Photoshop Product Manager Brian O'neil Hughes showed some sneak peeks of some up and coming Photoshop Technologies being worked on in the labs at Adobe. Check out the video above to see what you missed! Was there really a Photoshop for iPad shown? ;-)

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

Learn Adobe Creative Suite with Terry White - Wizzard Media

 



How the iPad fits into a Photography Workflow

Last week when I was on The Grid, I got asked to describe how the iPad would fit into a photographer’s workflow and I promised to do a post on it…

The iPad is definitely a revolutionary product that has disrupted the status quo. While I absolutely enjoy using an iPad, I don’t find it to be the end all be all replacement for a desktop/laptop computer. At least not full-time. The iPad didn’t replace my phone, nor did it replace my laptop. It’s another device that I use when it’s more convenient to use than either of the other two devices. With that said the question has been asked “How does the iPad fit in a photography workflow?” Last week my buddy Scott Kelby wrote a post about what he’d like to see in a “real Photoshop for iPad.” Adobe demonstrated some Photoshop technologies for iPad at Photoshop World in Orlando. There are several image editing and image viewing Apps for the iPad. So the question becomes does the iPad fit in a Photographer’s workflow and if so how?

 

The short answer is YES!

Here are the ways that I use my iPad in my day-to-day photography workflow:

 

Getting ready for the shoot

If i’m doing a model shoot, then I use the PosePad App to plan out my shoot with photos and notes to pull up right there on the spot and walk them over to the model. This is my digital shot list. This has worked extremely well even on location shoots outside the studio.

PosePad for iPad .

 

Model and Property Releases

I stopped carrying paper releases over a year ago. There are two fantastic Apps for doing CUSTOM (yes, YOUR text) release forms for both Model and Property releases. I prefer the look and feel of the release forms in Easy Release, but I absolutely love the exhaustive number of available custom fields in the Contract Maker Pro. My recommendation: For a basic release only requiring a few fields and your custom text that looks great, go with Easy Release. If your release forms are more complicated or multiple pages go with Contract Maker Pro. Both Apps are GREAT!

Easy Release .

Contract Maker Pro .

 

Getting Images into the iPad

When you’re out and on the go chances are you’re going to be shooting and you’ll want to do two things. You’ll want to backup your images and review them. Let’s start with getting them in. There are 3 popular choices. The first is Apple’s own Camera Connection Kit. It works great with SD cards or via a USB cable to your camera. It will bring in your pics (JPG or RAW or both) as well as your videos. However, it will not work with Compact Flash cards. Apple turned down the power of the port via a software update and therefore card readers don’t work anymore connected to the Camera Connection Kit. That brings me to a NEW option: M.i.C. has shipped a CF reader for the iPad. Lastly and probably my favorite method is to shoot wirelessly into the iPad via the Eye-Fi card.

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Adobe CS5 Evolution Tour Off to a Good Start

photo by Erik Bernskiold

Hi guys, this is a short post from the road. This week we kicked off the worldwide Adobe CS 5 Evolution Tour in Sweden. We had a great day in Gothenburg yesterday and looking forward to the Stockholm crowd today. It was also great seeing my good friend Erik Bernskiold (designer of this blog and bestappsite.com) in his home town. Looking forward to seeing you all on the tour!

 

Adobe Ships Creative Suite 5.5 Today!


CS5.5 SHIPS TODAY! You can even get your hands on it now by ordering and downloading it here. Or, explore everything that's new by trying it out first.

That's right! You can get your hands on all of it's mobile authoring goodness today!

 

 

Gothenburg yesterday:

They really are happy on the inside :-) Those are expressions of excitement in Sweden.

 

Erik & Tommi manning the video switcher. Thanks guys!

 



Review: M.I.C Compact Flash Reader for iPad

I reviewed Apple's Camera Connection Kit when it first came out. The Apple kit is two adapters. One is an SD reader and the other is a USB port designed to connect your camera directly to your iPad for image import. The one glaring omission is the lack of a way to bring in images directly from a Compact Flash (CF) card. During my review, I showed how you could attach a standard (San Disk) reader to the Camera Connection Kit and bring images in directly from your CF Cards. However, shortly after I did the review Apple released an iPad software update that basically reduced the amount of power that the dock connector outputs making it virtually impossible to power a card reader. I guess they didn't like people plugging in all the things (keyboard, drives, etc.) they were plugging in to the Camera Connection Kit on their magical devices. That left us with the only option being to use a USB cable and connect the camera directly to the iPad. While this works, it's slow and will drain the cameras battery during long transfers. 

 

Problem Solved by M.I.C

This Hong Kong based company has developed a CF Reader that attaches directly to your iPad and allows you to import your CF cards (up to 400x speed cards) right into your iPad. Of course I ordered a couple of these immediately and mine just arrived this past Friday. I was hopeful and doubtful at the same time. I just couldn't figure out how they would get around the power problem. Well, they did! I plugged in my standard SanDisk 8GB Extreme IV card and it showed up just like the Apple Camera Connection Kit does. I imported my RAW (.NEF) files with no problems. 

Hallelujah!

You can order the M.I.C CF Reader here. They are back logged (as you might expect), so give it a couple of weeks.

 

Show me!

I would normally do a video of such a gadget in action. However, they already had a video that shows it in action and I concur with the results shown. So here it is:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIQc22RoTyg



I Love LightDims

You might remember my rant from a few weeks back on the unnecessary LEDs on many consumer electronics that keep me up at night. While some of these devices allow you to turn off their annoying LEDs, there are many more that do not! In the past I've used everything from electrical tape to gaffer's tape to cover up these LEDs. While an inexpensive tape solution certainly gets the job done there are two problems with it. The first is that black tape doesn't look great over your expensive gear. The second is that sometimes you do actually need to see these status lights. For example, I have tape over the VERY BRIGHT LED on my AirPort Express. However, if I plug it into a connection in a hotel room I sometimes need to see the status light to see what's going on. Yep, I've just been peeling back the tape to take a peek. 

 

LightDims are better

When I wrote my rant, one of my readers chimed and suggested that I take a look at LightDims. I did. I ordered both versions. These "stickers" come in two flavors. You can get the set that simply cut down on the brightness, effectively dimming the LEDs or you can get the total blackout set. There are situations where I would want to use one or the other. 

I gotta say it. I'm in love with these! I've replaced the unsightly tape on most of my gear and used the nicely precut LightDims instead. They really work! My bedroom is now completely dark at night just the way I like it.

You can order LightDims here starting at $5.99 for a set of 100!

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LIVE: Ask a CS Evangelist – again

 

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

We will show our Top 10 Favorite Features of Adobe Creative Suite 5 and 5.5

Date: Today, Thursday, April 28, 2011

Time: 11:30 AM 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 :-)



Lessons Learned on The Flash Bus Tour

I had the great pleasure of attending the Flash Bus Tour put on by none other than Joe McNally and David Hobby aka The Strobist. I couldn't pass up an opportunity to learn from these "flash" experts! The day was packed with different lighting setups and live examples.

 

         

David Hobby almost never wears long pants :-)

 

David Hobby took the morning and started off by deconstructing a couple of his recent shots.

 

Joe McNally aka Numnuts

Joe McNally took the afternoon and showed how much POWER there is in shooting with speed lights. Drew, I think it's a little close ;-)

So that's how they do that Justin Bieber look!

 

Amazing what you can do with 3 Nikon Speedlights and shooting in TTL.

 

Audience participation

 

Great Q&A at the end.

 

My take-aways

 

While I own 3 speedlights, I always looked at them as the lights I would use when I travel and don't have the ability to take my "big lights". However, after watching Joe and David I'm really starting to think about using my speedlights more often. As a matter of fact in a recent shoot I did, I decided to use a Nikon SB 900 to augment my natural light setup. I'm having a blast with the possibilities and want to thank Joe and David for not only putting on a great show, but also for bringing the tour to Michigan!



Adobe Lightroom 3.4 is here with Nikon D7000 Tethering Support

If you have a Nikon D7000 (Yippie!), Canon EOS 60D or 550D and you're a Lightroom user you'll be happy to know that the 3.4 update is here and provides built-in Tethering support for your camera.

Grab your update here:

Camera Raw 6.4 update

Windows | Macintosh

DNG Converter 6.4 update

Windows | Macintosh

Lightroom 3.4 update

Windows | Macintosh

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Stuff we mentioned Live on The Grid yesterday

photo by Brad Moore

First off I want to thank everyone that participated online in yesterday's The Grid LIVE show! The response was amazing! We mentioned quite a few products yesterday and I've gotten questions from people as to what they where so here's my list:

 

FlilterStorm Pro

The App that Scott showed that gives you Photoshop Like editing capabilities on your iPad

Get it here from the iTunes

 

The Eye-Fi Pro X2 Card (the one that handles RAW)

Get it here for $92.99 (was $149)

The Eye-Fi Mobile X2 Card (the cheaper one that doesn't do RAW)

Get it here for $79.99

 

 

The Nikon 4T-4A Wireless Transmitter

The one that looked like a walkie-talkie (or C4 detonator) that has the 500 foot range and was used during the Olympics.

Get it here for $699

 

The Cameras I Used

Nikon D7000 (the body with TWO SD Card Slots)

Nikon D700 (Full frame DSLR with CF Card Slot)

 

 

Shuttersnitch

The App that Terry was using on the iPad to import images wirelessly as he was shooting with either the Eye-Fi card or the Nikon WT-4a

See my review here

Get it from the iTunes

 

 

The FREE Eye-Fi App for both iOS and Android

Although I prefer Shuttersnitch, the Eye-Fi App is FREE and does import your shots

See my review here

Get it from the iTunes

Get it here for Android

 

 

 

The NEW Photosmith App (Lightroom features on the iPad)

This is the App that Scott mentioned that will let you rate, sort, manage Collections, add metadata to images on your iPad and then SYNC via WiFi back to your Lightroom Catalog on your computer!

Just came out Today! Get it here from the iTunes

 

Catch the replay

If you missed yesterday's LIVE broadcast you'll be able to catch the replay that should be posted later today on the site as well as on iTunes as a downloadable podcast to watch offline here:

The Grid



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