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Fotobug – Elusive Image Podcasts

I just posted the Fotobug podcast number 4 and the next one will be ready in a week or so. If you are interested in nature, travel or even general photography – give us a listen! The podcast is available at PODBEAN and is also available on iTunes and Zune. I recommend you subscribe so you don’t miss any episodes and give us a listen!

In addition to the previous episodes featuring interviews with Clyde Butcher and Trey Ratcliff, the new podcasts feature a tour of Clyde Butcher’s darkroom facility and Clyde’s “backyard” in the Big Cypress Swamp, as well as an interview with writer, director, producer, cameraman, Richard Clabaugh and a sneak preview of his latest film, EYEBORGS. Rick discusses the use of DSLR video capable cameras being used on professional Hollywood style films.

We also feature discussions on the latest news in photography and new equipment, such as the iPad. Upcoming episodes will feature more interviews, software reviews, techniques, and a series of training videos hosted by photographer Jason Hahn. The first video is about wading techniques based upon Jason’s article in the August issue of Popular Photography. Last, but not least, we will be discussing our latest photo tours and workshops (Everglades workshop in November and Costa Rica in March for Outdoor Photo Workshops, as well as my tour to Mongolia in August, 2011).

So, now you know why I’ve been lax in my postings here!! Please check out our Fotobug Podcasts, don’t forget to rate us, (I recommend subscribing) and we want to hear from you about your photo tours, workshops, questions, complaints, etc.

Posted in DSLR, General Photography, Podcast, Video

64bit Raw Viewers?

Rufous-tailed hummingbird

I just put together a new computer to edit my podcasts (PODCAST) and to edit the new HD formats, I decided on Windows 7 64bit OS along with the new Intel 930 processor and 6Gb memory. Great machine – but there was one small problem: I loaded up the Canon raw codec to view my RAW image files and discovered Canon doesn’t support 64bit – neither does Nikon! That’s a real problem – although I use Lightroom, sometimes I just want to do a quick look at the RAW images using the Windows viewer.

However, I discovered that all is not lost! Axel Rietschin Software Developments to the rescue! Axel has developed a complete set of raw codecs for all the major manufacturers that will work in 64bit (and 32bit) operating systems and is currently selling the codecs at the bargain price of only $5.99! He also has an image view that sounds quite interesting and I may download the trial version and check it out. Go to HERE and check out the codecs and his image viewer!

His codecs and viewer work on regular 32bit systems as well and I recommend you check it out!

Posted in General Photography, Review Tagged , , , , |

Podcast now live!

Clyde Butcher

Our long awaited podcast is now live! The first podcast features an interview by James Shadle with Clyde Butcher and an interview I conducted in Tampa with HDR guru, Trey Ratcliff.
The podcast is also available on iTunes, Zune, etc. and I hope you will subscribe and consider commenting. In the mean time, go here – http://fotobug.podbean.com/ – to watch the Elusive Image Podcast!

Posted in General Photography, Photographers to inspire, Podcast Tagged |

HDR Workflow

Monk and Begger in Lhasa, Tibet.

HDR is rapidly becoming more mainstream. I recently met Trey Ratcliff (http://www.stuckincustoms.com) in Tampa and I’m seeing more and more articles on the technique in mainstream photo magazines. For Canon shooters (sorry Nikon folks, but these techniques may likely work for you too!), I am going to post my workflow for taking and processing HDR images.

First of all, on most of the Canon models except for the 1D and 1Ds, the camera is limited to 3 exposures for AEB (automatic exposure bracketing). While this is good for most images, there are times where a wider range might be desirable.  Continue reading »

Posted in technique Tagged , , , , , |

Travels Beyond the Edge

Art Wofle

Abstract man gallery – Art Wolfe

Like many artists, photographers tend to find a comfort zone and therefore become classified according to a particular style or subject. However, I find it very refreshing when a photographer steps out of that zone and looks at a subject in a new way or attempts a new style.

I’m sure that many of you are familiar with the work of Art Wolfe. He has a PBS series running called Travels to the Edge where a video crew follows him to remote locations as he photographs the amazing cultures, landscapes and wildlife from around the world. While I have never met Art, I have spoken to him on the phone and have many of his books, including Migrations which he sent me an autographed copy. Continue reading »

Posted in Photographers to inspire Tagged |

A World in HDR – review

World in HDR

World in HDR

I finally got around to reading Trey Ratcliff’s new book, A World in HDR. In a blog post a few days ago, I mentioned that I recently met Trey and was fortunate to attend his HDR (high dynamic range) image workshop in Tampa. I had already pre-purchased his book, but I confess I just now got around to reading it! Not just pursuing his amazing images, but actually reading it (quite a concept, no?). Continue reading »

Posted in Review Tagged |

Feather Detail

I have searched for a technique to enhance feather detail in white birds. I think I may have found one! Simply increasing contrast doesn’t work as that tends to muddy up the whites. I also tried copying the white areas to a new layer in Photoshop and using various layer modes with limited success. I found that using linear burn was best, but still didn’t give me quite what I wanted. The gull picture at left (click for a larger view) was one such image. I liked the position of the gull, but the whites of the feathers lacked detail and the picture fell flat. I knew the detail was contained in the RAW image, but how to pull it out? Continue reading »

Posted in technique Tagged , |

More HDR!

HDR Panther

HDR Panther from Ecuador

OK, I’ve received a few emails asking more about HDR (High Dynamic Range) – I highly recommend checking Stuck in Customs for tutorials on how to process these images. The image to the left is a captive panther I photographed during one of the Photo tours I conducted to Baños, Ecuador. I then processed the single RAW file using Photomatix and then finished up with some masking techniques in Photoshop. I really like the way it turned out! I have a number of images from my Photo tour to Turkey from last year on my gallery and on my Flickr account HERE. I’ll be happy to post more information by request! Although the panther image isn’t a “true” HDR image since it was created from a single RAW exposure, some images can benefit from processing in a similar manner and programs such as Photomatix can sometimes draw out more range from the RAW file than a ‘normal’ RAW processor. Continue reading »

Posted in General Photography, HDR, technique Tagged , |

Trey Ratcliff

Trey Ratcliff HDR image – Savanah Ga.

There are some photographers with massive egos. Trey Ratcliff is not one of them. However, dogone it, the guy is good! If anyone should have an ego it should be Trey!

I first ran across Trey’s website, stuckincustoms.com, while surfing the net for workshops and photo tours. I generally quickly browse these sites, take some notes and move on – but the images on Trey’s site not only kept me looking, I had to bookmark it and return again and again. About the time I discovered Trey and his work, he was just about to come out with a new book on HDR titled  A World in HDR  which quickly sold out on Amazon in the UK and then in the USA when first released! I felt fortunate to have had the forethought to pre-order a signed copy from Trey prior to the initial release.Then I found out Trey was going to do a workshop in Tampa – I signed up immediately and asked if he would grant an interview for my upcoming podcast. The answer was, “yes”! Continue reading »

Posted in HDR, Photographers to inspire Tagged |

Kayaks and Cameras

kayak

Cameras and kayaks

Perhaps I’m just tired of walking.

Last year, on a visit to Myakka State Park, I rented a kayak to get closer to the hundreds of roseate spoonbills feeding along the river bank. Now, I have rented kayaks and even canoes there before, but somehow this time it was different. I don’t exactly know why – but the bug bit me. Perhaps it was the large groups of shore and wading birds – black necked-stilts, wood storks, great egrets, plovers, etc. – all along the banks of the Myakka presenting marvelous photo opportunities. I don’t really know why – but within two months I bought my own kayak and one for Carolyn. Continue reading »

Posted in General Photography Tagged , , , , |