Archive for the 'Review' Category

LEAP Motion From a Photographers Perspective – A Leap into REALITY!

PinExt LEAP Motion From a Photographers Perspective   A Leap into REALITY!

by Gavin Seim:

Day One: I’m going to get brutal with the reality of how the new LEAP Motion handled REAL WORK. If you want to save time here’s my initial impression.

LEAP does NOT leap out of the box and work well – Maybe that will change in time, but this feels like pre-beta and does not make my work easier.

leap 600x502 LEAP Motion From a Photographers Perspective   A Leap into REALITY!I pre-ordered early and my LEAP finally came today after what must have been more than a year. It had been so long it was almost like magic just to hold the box. WOW, I thought. I can now control my computer just by waving my hands. Minority Report, here I come.. I’ve not actually seen that movie. Is it good?

Anyways that a little voice inside said “Gavin! Though shalt not count thy leaps before they hath jumped” But I still rushed to my studio to try it out. “The waiting will pay off” I thought.

Well, LEAP worked. Sort of. It reminds me of many an encounter with voice recognition software. It looks great in the promos. Then you use it.

I could talk like a hot shot and say how amazing it is and how high tech I am. Because the idea really is cool. But the reality seems to be that LEAP is mostly useless for me right now.  The first thing I realized was how they made it look really pretty, but barely indicated what I needed to do actually use it in the real world. Perhaps that was because there was little practical use. The goofy games hold little interest for me. I want to get something done.

On my production studio desk nothing gets real estate that does not do it’s job. From my precision corded laser mouse to my Medium Wacom tablet. A device has to do something well, or it goes in a drawer.

Once I finally got calibration to work (not pretty on my Mac), I Installed Better Touch (an app that allows for custom commands). Sadly I could not even make it “practical” for the simplest of movements.

First Test: I started with a hand gesture for right and left arrow keys, thinking it might be useful for sorting images in Lightroom. Nope. Unless I held my fingers just right it did not even see the gesture. Trying to think about your hand, while also holding it in the air becomes very tiring VERY fast. It’s mentally and physically frustrating. In practice I ended up waving my hand slowly, then furiously over the device just to browse images with poor results. Not a good sign. Back to the keyboard.

Next Test: I wanted to control the mouse in hopes of using Leap’s touted precision to do things I do with my Wacom, or even basic Finder work without my mouse. Since Leap gave no indication during setup that this was even possible, it took a few minutes to realize that I needed a free app called Touchless. I installed that from Airspace (the app store for Leap) ran orientation and it started to look good. Reality soon set in.

Again I started simple, hoping to use Leap to control the mouse for simple but precise painting, burning and dodging in Photoshop. I got little functionality in Basic Mode so I switched to advanced and got a working curser where I could touch and engage the click – Sometimes. That was when it was not doing random zooming, window switching and the like. I even managed some basic painting and burning. But it was totally unreliable. Sometimes the click would engage and the tool would work, sometimes not. Sometimes it would change the window or do something else. Sound like something else? Here’s looking at you Voice Control.

I know it’s new and I will spend more time with it. But the truth is a great device usually works from the start. If they had simply given us solid reliable mouse/touch integration it would have been a GREAT start. But the reality is this is not even comparable to a mouse or a tablet in ANY practical sense. Since it lacks that, it’s little more than a gimmick with a few games and trinkets attached. So far.

After a year of waiting. Leap is essentially useless for me in any practical sense - I hope this changes, but if they could not give us BASIC functionality after all this time, I fear we’re in trouble.

I know I’m being harsh. But it’s the reality of it for today. I’m trying to be a beta tester. I paid for this. The potential seems real. But I waited, hoping they would get it right. They did not. This looks like another piece that will end up in the drawer. That said I will keep trying for awhile and see if it gets better. If I have a new revelation, I will update this article.

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Pro Photo Podcast #93 – Fiasco’s, Fishing and Photography

PinExt Pro Photo Podcast #93   Fiascos, Fishing and Photography
Gavin Seim Cameras 800x570 Pro Photo Podcast #93   Fiascos, Fishing and Photography

It’s road trip season. Check out Gavin’s road trip article for a huge list of resources.

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Today’s Panel… Gavin Seim - Bary HowellScott Jarvie

This week Gavin and Barry talk about the latest topics and then dig into some stories of past photography adventures.

This episode brought to you by the Seim Effects and the award winning EXposed Workshop.

PPS #93 Forum Discussion HERE.

Main Time Indexes:

  • 00:00 Introductions.
  • 01:40 Barry Speaks
  • 17:55 A bit of video discussion
  • 24:30 News and LR5 talk
  • 34:30 The Stolen Facebook Photo Fiasco
  • 52:20 It’s Story Time
  • 1:18:47 Picks and Fishing
  • 1:37:25 Scott Jarvie Joins in

LINKS…

EXposed Workshop win’s a hot one award.

Gavin Road Trip Journal

Gavin’s road trip article with a list of gadgets.

VIDEO: Selling Photos as Fine Furniture.

Canon C100

Graphene Camera Sensor.

The Stolen Facebook  Photo Fiasco.

Jarvie’s Faith in America Project.

Picks…

GAVIN -

SLR Pro Dot

Bucket Boss Jumper Cable Bag.

Epic 25ft Jumper Cables

Barry -

Stool with tool storage.

Air Display – iPad

Rapela Scatterrap.

Scott -

Jumper Power  Box
(Here’s a heavier duty version)

Pro Photo Podcast #85 – Photos Are Not Free

PinExt Pro Photo Podcast #85   Photos Are Not Free
King of the Valley Valley of the gods utah seim Pro Photo Podcast #85   Photos Are Not Free

No not even this photo is free – King of the Valley – Valley of the gods Utah

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Today’s Panel... Gavin SeimBarry HowellNina BeheimScott & Adina Hayne

This month the panel looks at a few news bits, understands that photos have value, reviews Photoshop CS6, our favorite lenses and more.

PPS #85 Forum Discussions Here. Share Your Opinions.

Main Time Indexes:

  • 00:00 Introductions.
  • 04:50 News and Chat.
  • 10:10 Free Photos for Alter Bridge?
  • 27:45 Photoshop CS6 Group Review.
  • 49:00 A larger format future.
  • 1:09:55 Lenses Lightning Round.
  • 1:32:55 Picks of the show.
  • 2:04:08 The After Show. Business and beyond.

Links…

LIghtroom 4.

Creative Suite CS6.

5DMK III is good. So is the Nikon D800. You decide. And check out the value of the D3200.

A pack of free LR develop presets for video.

Glif iPhone tripod mount.

The Brenizer Method. An stitched approach to the large format look (thanks to Vincent P for the link)

Bands don’t need to pay for your photos?

PICKS…

 

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My Top Travel Apps & Resources for Road Trips.

PinExt My Top Travel Apps & Resources for Road Trips.

by Gavin Seim: My family and I have been on the road for about three weeks now as I teach workshops and hunt pictorials. Last fall we spent a month and a half. We love to travel and aside from all my gear, I have a plethora of resources that we rely on to make our travels safer, cheaper and a more enjoyable.

I’ve decided to stat a list of my favorites. Besides the essential Google Maps, I find these to be great tools and use most of them even when I’m not out for a long trip. You’re welcome to add your favs in the comments. I’ll also come back and update this or re-post in in the future as I find new stuff.

If you want to follow my photography travels and see where I’ve been, you can do so on my journal, or get frequent updates on my Facebook page. Lets get started…

seim camping utah 600x393 My Top Travel Apps & Resources for Road Trips.

Our Shamrock 21ss camped near Bryce Canyon Utah. Spring 2011.

Camp RV 200x300 My Top Travel Apps & Resources for Road Trips.All Stays Camp & RV. For Apple and Android.

This $6 app is worth every penny and more. It’s paid for itself countless times in saving money camping, time traveling, and preventing headaches. It’s a must have for campers.

It lists  pretty much anything a camper or RV’er might want. From truck stops to campgrounds, to wall mar parking lots. It’s not perfect and something it misses things but it’s data base is huge and no matter where you are it will usually give you options.

This is my favorite, but All Stays has various other apps that you may find useful. iExit for example shows what’s coming up and the next exit. Check out their website for their offerings.

 

GeoTag Photos Pro. For Apple and Android.

This is a cheap way to get location info into your photos. Make sure you camera and phone time is the same. Turn on this app and start recording. When you get home upload the data and login to there website to A. Use their web app to merge dates into your RAW or JPEG files. or B. Download a GPX file and use it with a LR plugin like JF Geoencoding Support.

Continue reading ‘My Top Travel Apps & Resources for Road Trips.’

Gavin’s Thoughts on Photoshop CS5. The Straight Dope

PinExt Gavins Thoughts on Photoshop CS5. The Straight Dope

Adobe Photoshop CS5 300x284 Gavins Thoughts on Photoshop CS5. The Straight Dopeby Gavin Seim: I’ll keep this brief because Photoshop CS5 has been out for months now and reviews have been floating all over. Rather than get redundant with an ultra in depth review, I’ll just talk a little about what I think. I’ll be frank and you can make your own decision from there.

Photoshop CS5. Full = $699 – $999.
My overall rating 6.5/10.

New features worth noting…

  • Content Aware tools are the big news in CS5. It works when lassoing and deleting sections of an image, using the healing brush and more. Neat tool, but not perfect. More on that below.
  • New “Mixer Brushes” blend color like paint, similar to something like Painter (but less powerful).
  • Crop has a rule of thirds overlay now (finally).
  • Remastered HDR tools and Pseudo HDR with HDR toning. Better, but not perfect.
  • Remastered Refine Edge. Will find more detailed edges for better masking and has automatic edge decontamination.
  • Puppet Warp allows you to modify in a new ways. Move limbs, horizon lines and more by defining control points.
  • New process versions and improved camera RAW.
  • Mini bridge right within PS.

Content aware fill. This feels more like a beta feature. It got hyped a lot prior to release. Probably over hyped. Once we got the product in our hands, reality set in. Content Aware was not the magical tool that Adobe made it out to be in demo videos and they took some flack for it. I think the problem was that they showed it as being so perfected. Erasing entire areas of photos, cleaning out power lines with a single stoke. It looked wonderful in theory.

Continue reading ‘Gavin’s Thoughts on Photoshop CS5. The Straight Dope’

Lightroom2 VS Lightroom3 Process Examples Compared:

PinExt Lightroom2 VS Lightroom3 Process Examples Compared:

by Gavin Seim: I’ll be talking more about Lightroom soon, but I wanted to make a quick post about what I found most significant in LR3. It’s the processing. It may go unnoticed at a glance, but is so much better, that by itself makes LR3 worth the upgrade. This first example shows an ISO 50,000 image from a 1D MKIV, showing just how impressive the new noise reduction and processing in LR3 is (not to mention the camera). I did this in LR3 by simply switching it back and forth from new to old process version (in the camera calibration settings).

Next is a lower 640 ISO example. For this one I actually processed the first in LR2 itself and the other in LR3. While not so obvious (click for the large version) it shows the subtle quality of not just the noise reduction, the the quality of how the file is being processed. Notice in the large version how the LR3 version feels more organic, almost film like in quality. I love it and you can be sure I’m getting under the hood in LR3 to see what’s possible for workshops and my Seim Effects presets.

mk4 50k LR3 600x300 Lightroom2 VS Lightroom3 Process Examples Compared:

LR2 vs LR3 iso640 600x297 Lightroom2 VS Lightroom3 Process Examples Compared: