Tips and Advice

Paul C. Buff Offset Arm • Why You Need One to Tilt Your Westcott Apollo Softbox!

Paul C. Buff Offset Arm • Why You Need One to Tilt Your Westcott Apollo Softbox!

Using speedlights in softboxes intended for speedlights can be an infuriating experience. The layout of the zippers often restricts aiming of the softbox to anything but a completely vertical position. To get around this, photographers have come up with clever ways of moving the speedlight a few inches off the stand, to allow for more movement.

The solution I've found to be most effective, however, is the off-the-shelf Baby Boomer Offset Arm from Paul C. Buff. The arm is a perfect length to allow for full articulation of most speedlight softboxes, and provides the flexibility necessary for working with modifiers like the Westcott Apollo in the field.

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Adobe Drops OS Requirements for Lightroom 6

Adobe Drops OS Requirements for Lightroom 6

We are hard at work on the next major release of Lightroom, and wanted to share some information on operating system requirements in order to give everyone time to prepare for the release.

In order to leverage the latest operating system features and technologies, Lightroom 6 will require...

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Canon 7D2 :: An Action Camera That's Great for Events?

Canon 7D2 :: An Action Camera That's Great for Events?

Canon's latest APS-C crop sensor camera, the 7D Mark II, has been praised for it's buffer and burst speed, and while it will make a killer sports, wildlife and action camera, I think the improved ISOs and extra reach of the crop sensor will make it a great tool as a low light events camera.

Check out my thoughts in the video below...

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Stryker Medical - Sales Team Corporate Headshots on Location

Stryker Medical - Sales Team Corporate Headshots on Location

Occassionally the call comes in for a big gig, and it's hard to be anything but excited. Photographing a lot of corporate headshots on location for a sales team is always fun; I really do enjoy meeting people, learning about their different businesses, and trying to make sure they convey their personality and style in their photos. But then there's always the twist that brings my blood-pressure to a new level. For example, a recent shoot I scheduled with Stryker Medical went down something like this: Stryker: "We're going to be in Denver this weekend for a conference; can you come out to our hotel near...

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Denver Corporate Headshots :: Traditional Style Portraits

Denver Corporate Headshots :: Traditional Style Portraits

Corporate Portraits

Sometimes it's easier to take the studio to the client then to make the client come to the studio. This is a common scenario when shooting a large group of individuals with a similar style/setting, say for company portraits, corporate headshots and employee profile photos. Getting an entire company to shut down for a day to take photos at a studio simply isn't practical; so it's best to bring the studio to the company. This was the case when I recently photographed the owners, engineers and support staff at D. L. Adams Associates, one of the premiere acoustical consulting firms in Colorado and all of the U.S.

Taking the Portrait Studio on the Road

To work with their business schedule, while still being able to photograph every employee, I decided to load up my mobile gear and take my studio on the road. With a roll of seamless background paper, some light stands, umbrellas, speedlights and...

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RESOLVED :: Pixel Vertax BG-E11 for Canon 5D3 Suffers Battery Drain

RESOLVED :: Pixel Vertax BG-E11 for Canon 5D3 Suffers Battery Drain

Canon's Grip, and Photographers' Gripe

When Canon first released the official BG-E11 vertical battery grip for the 5D Mark III at $349, many photographers balked at the price and chose to wait for the knock-offs to hit the street. The first to arrive was the Vertax BG-E11 by Pixel; a Chinese manufacturer with a reputation for making some decent third party products. When the Vertax version of the BG-E11 launched at $85 with free shipping from Hong Kong, I jumped on it. At almost one quarter the cost of the Canon grip, I could get the same functionality, albeit in a more fragile plastic assembly. But seeing as I don't abuse my gear, I wasn't too worried about a plastic grip. And heck - even if I did crack or break it, I could replace it two times over before coming close to the cost of the Canon version.

A Sloppy Copy

Soon after receiving the Vertax grip I quickly stumbled upon a big problem: batteries left inside the grip suffered gradual power drain, even with both the grip and the 5D3 powered off. It was bad enough that two batteries would be almost completely drained after 7-8 days in storage. This almost cost me a job when I showed up for a gig and found my camera batteries dead. Luckily my 7D backup was...

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Denver Pet Photography :: Dog 'N Cat Behavior Solutions

Denver Pet Photography :: Dog 'N Cat Behavior Solutions

Animal Photography Tip #1: Plan in Advance

When the owner of Dog 'N Cat Behavior Solutions here in Denver contacted me about taking some photos for her new website with animals, I can't deny that I got a little nervous. Working with animals is always unpredictable and requires a lot of patience. If you shoot with flash, it's also good business practice to let your client know up front that there will be a lot of flashing lights. Some animals don't respond well to flashes, and the last thing you need is a spooked pet darting about your studio.

So with the basic information covered, I began putting a game plan together for the shoot. I usually start with developing some specific goals with my clients regarding the type of photographs they want. In this case, after a brief telephone consultation, it was clear that my client wanted some headshots, and...

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Surprise Proposal Photography :: Hiding Out When He Pops the Question

Surprise Proposal Photography :: Hiding Out When He Pops the Question

Big Plans!

When a client calls me pumped up and totally excited about a specific shoot idea they have, it's hard for me not to share in their enthusiasm and dive in head first with the collaboration efforts. Such was the occasion when Allen called me last week looking to have me take some surprise photos at the moment he proposed to his girlfriend. Not only did he want me to photograph the event, but he wanted me entirely out of site. I could tell that this was gearing up to be my kind of shoot!

That Special Spot

As Allen started explaining his idea and describing what he wanted me to shoot, I really didn't think that hiding at the proposal spot would be a problem until he hit me with the news... 

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How To Open Canon 5D Mark III Raw Files in Lightroom 4

How To Open Canon 5D Mark III Raw Files in Lightroom 4

With Canon's new full-frame powerhouse, the 5D Mark III, hitting the street this week, there seems to be some confusion about how to open its RAW files in Lightroom. As of today - March 23rd - there is no support for the 5D3's RAW files in Lightroom 3 (LR3) or Lightroom 4 (LR4). Although the new Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw 6.7 Beta does support the 5D3 files, most photographers do not want to use Photoshop's direct Camera Raw importer for bulk image processing.

With that said, I'm sharing this "how to" as a stop-gap to help photographers get their 5DmkIII's RAW files into LR4 until a formal update is provided by Adobe Systems.

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