My Desert Fashion Shoot


You might remember my photographic adventure from a couple of years ago where I visited Page AZ to shoot the slot canyons and Horseshoe Bend. During that trip I knew that I wanted to go back and some day do a fashion shoot there.


The funny thing about this is that you would think this would be an everyday event for photographers, but really it's not. You can find tons of images of Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend, but very rarely do you ever see images with models in them (unless they've been composited in afterwards). 



Having been there once before I kinda know why this is rare. First of all this area is kinda in the middle of no where! So if you're wanting to shoot a model in this location you're most likely going to have to bring one in. 


The second problem is that it's not that easy to get to. While there are small airports in the area, most of them don't have the major airlines. This means flying into Phoenix and driving for 4-5 hours to get there. (BTW: She's freezing her butt off, but she'd never let it show!)


Luckily I was already on the west coast doing the HOW Interactive Design Conference in San Francisco, so all I had to do was fly from San Fran to Phoenix and meet the model there for the drive to Page on Saturday. I chose my favorite model, Kandice Lynn for this trip because there's one thing that I realized about Kandice. Not only do I get great shots when I work with her, she's also not a "diva". LOL


Kandice accepted the challenge of extreme temperatures, hiking in the desert, making quick wardrobe changes, hair and makeup. 


What I learned…

The best times to vist this area are April and October. Due to our schedules we couldn't go until November. You would think that a few weeks wouldn't make that big of a difference in climate and light, but it does! It was FREEZING! As soon as we got out of Phoenix and started heading north we were shocked to see snow on the ground!!! Pretty, yes, but it would kill the shoot. We called ahead to see if there was snow on the ground in Page and luckily there wasn't (YET). 


The next thing I learned was that while the slot canyons are BEAUTIFUL and you can have wonderful rays of light coming in. The time of year also affects this. I knew from doing a little reading that we would NOT have the rays of light due to the fact that the sun would be in a different postion.

However, what I didn't think about was that on an overcast Fall day that the canyons would be just that much darker. While this isn't a problem shooting long exposures on a tripod, it becomes a challenge shooting a live subject due to the fact that no human being can stand perfectly still that long. This means either shooting at a higher ISO or introducing lights. They kinda frown upon flash photography in the canyons. Therefore I had to make the best of the combination of finding the right spots and working at higher ISOs. Lastly the light isn't as warm on the walls as it is in April and October, so you have to really look for the bright vibrant colors that would normally be everywhere!


Of course shooting in the desert there are no restrictions on bringing speed lights. I used my Gitzo tripod as a light stand to hold my SB800 and FlashBender.


Once again there's Kandice being a trooper laying on the cold hard desert terrain to get the shot!


Yeah I know the cropping is a bit tight at the bottom of this shot, but it's the one she really liked best.


The gratuitous car shot 🙂


Photo by iPhone photographer Kandice Lynn


All in all it was a fun trip and as always I'm learning more and more about this whole photography thing.

Apple TV Update Sneaks in a New Photo Wall Screen Saver

I use Apple TV's and HDTV's throughout my studio to display my photography. When I did my last update to Apple TV for some reason it forced a factory reset and while it was no big deal to set it up again, I discovered that there were a couple new choices in the Slideshow/Screensaver area. One of them is called Photo Wall.  I love this one because not only does it frame your images in a variety of nice frames that float by, it adds nice touches like mattes and a 3D spin when it hits the corner of the virtual room. It's like you're walking along a wall of photos and you get to the corner and turn to walk down the next wall. Nicely done!

You can get an Apple TV 2nd Gen here for $99.

Review: Looxcie LX2 Wearable Video Camera

Have you ever had one of those moments that you wished you had a video camera in your glasses? If so it was probably because what you were witnessing you knew no one would believe you. 🙂 While I don't quite have a video camera in my glasses just yet (or a heads up display either), I do find the Looxcie LX2 to be a viable alternative. At first glance it looks like one of the early (fairly large and obnoxious) bluetooth headsets that people used to wear. You know the ones with the big flashing blue light that everyone else but you could see? However, what we have here is a very capable video camera that captures up to 480p video and audio to a built-in 2GB memory chip. Oh by the way, it's also a bluetooth headset (sans the blue flashing light too). I've seen and used small video recorders disguised  as other things before. Typically while they worked, the resulting video quality was poor. That's not the case with the Looxcie LX2. I was actually quite impressed with the quality of the video considering the relatively small form factor and low cost. Yes it would be nice if it were 720p HD, but for the most common use cases for this kind of camera the 480p quality is usually more than enough.


How well does it work?

The Looxcie LX2 comes with a USB cable and various ear gels and over the ear clips for you to get the right size. You can charge it via USB and of course connect it to your computer to access the video files. You turn it on/off via a switch on the inner side of the unit. Once it's on you can start and stop recordings with a dedicated button as well as answer calls/hang up on a second dedicated button. There is a green status light so that you know if it's on and a red light on the front to indicate recording.

Rather Borgish, but hey, it works. Once you record your clips, just plug it into your Mac/PC to retrieve them. They are in .MP4 format. There is no zoom or any other manual controls on the device itself. It does autofocus. 


It gets so much better with the Looxcie Mobile Apps

While the device works as advertised and as I've indicated above, it's soooo much better if you have an iOS or Android device. You can download their FREE mobile Apps that not only allow you to control the camera via bluetooth, but also serve as a LIVE LCD Viewfinder so that you can see on your device what the camera sees in real-time (not the same quality of course). Very Mission Impossible like. You can even edit and share the footage you just captured right from your phone. Sweet!

You can get the LooxcieCAM (basic recording functions) for free here from the iTunes or here from the Android Market

You can get the LooxcieMoments (capture, editing, sharing) for free here from theiTunes or here from the Android Market



Here's a 1st attempt at doing a quick recording walking around the yard



The Bottom Line

This is a really cool gadget! I can think of a few good uses for it. While ti could also be used for evil, so can most gadgets. I'd like to see it get down to about half the current size. Perhaps in the LX3 some day. You can get the Looxcie LX2 here for about $149.

How to Create Scrolling Content for your Digital Tablet Publication in InDesign CS 5.5



One of the questions that came up during my New Class at Photoshop World on creating Digital Portfolios for your tablet was "how do I create scrolling content?" There was always a way to do it with the DPS tools for InDesign, but it just got a whole lot simpler with the latest update to the DPS tools. In this video I show you just how easy it is now.

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:

Learn Adobe Creative Suite with Terry White - Wizzard Media

PS. My iOS App just got an update that fixes the iOS 5 video playback problem and adds the following features:

  • Retina Display Graphics
  • A new tab bar interface
  • Swiping to the left and right from the episode detail page will go to the next or previous episode
  • UI enhancements
  • Faster show loading
  • Minor bug fixes


iHome iW1 AirPlay Speaker – Video Review


Not long ago I did a post on the "State of AirPlay" speakers and at the time I couldn't get my hands on the long awaited iHome iW1 AirPlay Speaker. While this speaker is stil in short supply I was able to snag one at my local Apple Store. Rather than write a review I decided to record a short video on why this speaker rocks!

As of the writing of this post, most places are still out of stock. However, you can check this link for availability. List price is $299.99

LCD 4 Video Offers My Readers Some Exclusive Deals

Owner George Haddad

My friends over LCD 4 Video have given you, my readers some Exclusive Deals on some of  their Video and Photography Gear! It's always great when a vendor is willing to give my readers some deals and I'm pleased to share them with you:


LCD4Video iLED On-Camera Dual-Color LED Light Kit $50 off at $199.95

Use Promo Code "TERRYWHITE" and order here


LCD4Video iLED-XL On-Camera Dual-Color LED Light Kit $50 off at $299.95

Use Promo Code "TERRYWHITE" and order here

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital Camera (Body Only) $50 off at $2,249

Use Promo Code "TERRYWHITE" and order here


Elinchrom D-Lite-4IT 400Ws 2 Light To Go Set (90-260VAC) $674.95

No promo code needed, order here


Elinchrom BXRi 500 Twin Flash Head Kit for $1,449.95

The same lights that Scott Kelby uses on his Light It, Shoot It, Retouch it Tour

No promo code needed, order here

Hey Logitech! Can I get a tripod mount?

I'm really impressed by the video quality of Logitech's 1080p HD Web Cams. As a matter of fact I've started using them for my Adobe Creative Suite Podcast when I'm recording an episode in studio. The only problem that I have with them is that Logitech (along with all the other webcam makers) seem to think that the only place anyone would ever want to mount a webcam is on top of their monitors. The reality is I already have an HD webcam on my MacBook's. It's called an FaceTime HD Camera. If I'm doing a video chat it's great having it built-in. However, If I want the camera further back to capture more of the set that's when an external video camera works best. 


Drill a hole

There is no physical reason why the Logitech HD C910 pictured above couldn't have a standard tripod mount built-in. As you can see the mount is just dead weight with no electronics in it. There's even room for a standard mount without changing the design. I've even seen some do-it-your-selfers out there posting all the steps necessary to do it yourself. While I know it wouldn't take much for me to do it, there's not reason for Logitech not to build it in.


My Solution

Instead of drilling a hole. I just went with something I already had in studio. A Justin Clamp mounted on a light stand. These are great for mounting speed lights and holding reflectors on standard light stands. They also work great for holding the Logitech Web Cams. The only problem is that they cost almost as much as the webcams themselves. If you're buying one for just the purpose of holding a webcam or reflector, then there is a much lower cost alternative. The Manfrotto Spring Clamp is less than half the cost of the standard Manfrotto Spring Clamp with Flash Shoe and it gets the job done just as good. You can get one here for about $17 or less.


Logitech Could Even Take It Up A Notch Further

Besides adding a tripod mount hole they could really kick things up by adding or selling a separate stand to allow the camera to be pointed down at say, oh I don't know,  a mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone. More and more presenters are having to present from their mobile devices and the current solutions are expensive and bulky or low quality video. I love having video out on my iPad 2, but the problem with that is that people can't really see the gestures that you're doing. They just see things happing on the screen.  If a Logitech HD webcam could be mounted on a lightweight stand that's easy to travel with (See my Point 2 View review), then it would make them even more attractive.


What say you Logitech?

You build great webcams. Please look outside the box and look at more uses than just sitting it on top of a monitor!


UPDATE: Twitter follower @EricKintz alerted me to this Logitech Model (C615), which does in fact have a tripod mount on it. Woot!

Metal Mural Rocks!

Having your photographs printed on metal is not a new thing. I've seen companies like MPIX and others offer this for a while now. However, like many other printable products, you really take notice once you see one of your own images on it. I remember walking onto the Photoshop World show floor last year and seeing one my images on display in the Westcott Booth. While this is not a new thing for me, it was a new thing seeing my print on metal! The print was done as a tiled 3'x4' metal print. All I could say was WOW! I never made the time to go by the Metal Mural booth and check them out. 

This year I took the time…

At this year's Photoshop World Vegas I spent a little more time on the show floor and I went by the Metal Mural booth. I saw my same print, but on single tile on the table used as a sample. This time I got to touch it and admire the quality. Next thing you know I was placing an order. The show special didn't hurt either 🙂 The way it worked was I place the order and paid for it on the spot. Then once I got back home I used the invoice number to upload the photo that I wanted to have done. They let you download a Photoshop template to use to make sure that the cut lines don't go across anything critical. A few days later I received an electronic proof. It looked good and I gave them the thumbs up to print it.


When it arrived, it was complete with all the hardware necessary to hang it on the wall or suspend it as I did (hanging wire not included, some assembly required). I took one of the tiles out of the box and the first thing I noted was that the color was dead on! The photo above doesn't do it justice. It was probably the most color correct print I've ever received. I did nothing special on my end. They apparently just know what they're doing!

The tiles are UV coated and scratch resistant. 

You can find out more about their products, pricing and configurations here.

25 Fun Things To Ask Siri

I’ve gotta say that I’ve been having fun with Siri over the past weekend. Siri is the built-in digital assistent in the iPhone 4s. You can ask it things in plain English (or other languages) and it will either use its built-in intelligence to answer the question or it will offer up a web search. I’m pleased with how well it works most of the time. I’ve used it to respond to text messages, schedule meetings, do searches, and dictate emails. However, the developers behind Siri also have a sense of humor. Here are some useful and some fun things you can ask or say to Siri:


Who Are You?


Where am I?


Where is ________?

If you and your iOS 5 using friends are using the Find My Friends App from Apple, you can then simply Ask Seri where is _______? It also works for things like “where is my sister?”


How old are you?


Talk dirty to me

Continue Reading »

5 iOS 5 Features That I Really Like

iOS 5 was released to the public yesterday and the good news is that there is a lot to like in this new version of iOS. For me most of the features address some of my long time criticisms of iOS. Although they are long over due, I welcome them just the same. Here are 5 of my favorite features right off the top:


1. WiFi Sync


This is one that I've actually been waiting for since the early iPod days. I have an iPod that stays in my car and I always envisioned the day that I'd just be able to pull into my garage and it would sync with my computer in the house via WiFi to grab the latest music and updated playlists. iOS 5 brings this feature to life. You can now either initiate a wireless sync from the computer or iDevice manually or automatically when you plug your iDevice into a power source, say to charge it overnight.


2. Notifications screen

While this is a rip off borrowed feature of the Android OS notifications screen, I'll take it! I hated picking up my iPhone and having to dismiss 50 push notification pop-ups before I could do anything else. Now the notifications all accumulate on a single notifications screen. Just swipe down from any screen and see all your past notifications including the current weather and stock quotes. Nice and long overdue!


3. Built-in Shortcuts

Recently I got hooked on TextExpander. While TextExpander works with just about any app on the Mac, the iOS version is limited to only the Apps that support it. Apple has built-in a universal Shortcuts feature located in the Keyboard prefs. You can type in your shortcut and the text that it should expand to. For example, "omw" expands to "On my way!" It's great to have this work in all Apps now!


4. Camera Access from the Lock Screen

By the time you swipe to unlock your iPhone, enter your passcode, find the camera App and launch it, you've probably missed the shot. Now you can double tap the home button and you'll have immediate access to the Camera App. Sweet!


5. Adding Photos to Albums

People accumulate hundreds of photos on their Camera Roll. This is largely due to the fact that there was no way to move the photos into Albums. You'd have to sync them to your computer first, delete them off the device, organize them into Albums/Folders and then sync them back on. Now you can just put them in Albums directly on your iDevice. You still can't edit existing Albums that were added from your computer, but this is a big step in the right direction.


The Bottom Line

iOS 5 has a lot of useful features and the above 5 are just a few of my favorites. There's a lot to digest in this iOS update as well as iCloud, updated/new Apps from Apple and the new iPhone 4s.