Environmental Portraits (Johan)

Using my 70-200, I thought that this herd of elk would be too far away to create a powerful composition, but I took a picture anyway. After downloading the images from the day, I was very pleasantly surprised by this shot. The composition works quite well as an environmental portrait. (By “environmental portrait”, I mean a portrait that shows the animal in its environment.) Environmental portraits have the potential to be very powerful, but since they have a tendency to be very busy and thus detract from the subject, they can also be difficult to do well. You can click on the photo for a higher resolution version.

Trek-Tech T-Pod Mini-Review (Johan)

Hello everyone! Today I have a mini-review of the Trek-Tech T-Pod. I hope to post again soon. Enjoy!

The first thing I noticed about the Trek-Tech T-Pod was its extremely sturdy construction. Designed in the USA, compared to most table-top tripods, it’s built like a brick.

The tripod makes use of rare-earth magnets which are very strong and photo safe. The detachable and expandable center column connects to a magnet on the legs and the camera mounts to the ballhead in the same manner. For a shorter tripod, the ballhead can be mounted directly to the legs.

The ballhead and quick-release system, which are included, are rated for nine pounds and very well designed. I have used the T-Pod to support my gripped 40D, 70-200/2.8, and 580EX flash, with no problems whatsoever.

The T’Pod is also effective as a chest stabilizer arm or mini monopod; I have used it as such on numerous occasions.

In summary, I am very pleased with the T-Pod and highly recommend it to anyone who needs a compact go-everywhere tripod for their SLR camera. This tripod is truly outstanding and a pleasure to use.

Some great resources (Johan)

Howdy, people! It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and today I have two helpful links for you.

The first is a free computer program that recovers lost files–Recuva is great for recovering accidentally lost photos, but is only Windows-compatible.


Secondly, a good in-depth tutorial on D-SLR sensor cleaning from LensRentals.com. They do a good job of dispelling some of the fear surrounding this delicate and vital piece of camera surgery and showing how to do it properly.


Packing Light with Strong Support

Seagull at Niagara

Hello everyone! Here are some photos from a recent trip to Niagara Falls in New York state. Since the main goal of the trip was not photography, I packed light, but thanks to Trek-Tech, I was able to take a small yet sturdy tripod. I highly recommend the Trek-Tech T-Pod. Due to experience, I know their customer service to be top-knotch, as are their products.

Nebo Tools also makes great products, and has top-tier customer service as well. I find it useful to keep a small LED flashlight (#5110) near my camera bag.

Niagara Falls

So… What small items do you find to be invaluable in your camera bag?

Goodnight, Sun (Johan)

One filter much used in the days of film was the graduated neutral-density filter. With one side allowing more light into the camera than the other side, this filter was crucial to properly expose sunsets while retaining detail in the shadows.

Now, in the day of digital technology, such filters are still popular among landscape photographers.

However, for this image, I used the virtual graduated neutral-density filter found in Photoshop Lightroom to restore the details in the foreground. Here is the original shot:

Costa Rica: Preview (Johan)

This little mantis was less than half of an inch (~1 CM) long.
Stay tuned for more picture posts!

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