Actuations (Shutter Count) / Full Frame Thoughts

I am not sure when, but in the next few months Nikon will announce the D700 replacement.  Will it be called the D800 (fake photo to the left)..or D700x…or D900?  Not sure.  But I will def get one later this year.  I may wait a bit after it comes out…just to read reviews.  I have been using my D300 for 3 years…so any body change is a BIG choice.  Not only will this be a body change…it is a move up to full frame FX lenses.

I truly love my D300 and will keep it and all my DX lenses.  I can assume that full frame cameras will be the only available DSLR’s in a few years.  So buying full frame lenses now is the best investment.   But it does come at a steep price tag.  Here is what I would enjoy adding to my collection…

Nikon D800 – estimated $2500 – $3000 – body only

1) Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 – $1800.00

2) Nikon 28-300 f/3.5-5.6 – $1000.00

3) Nikon 85 f/1.4 – $1200.00

4) Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 – $1500.00

5) Nikon 400 f/2.8 – $8900.00  (Hey, I can dream!!!)

So such a jump is tough to swallow!  But must be done.  Probably step by step.  I just cannot wait to have a camera with great ISO capabilities!  Shooting sports in low light will be awesome!!  Hope to hear the Nikon news soon!!

Actuations / Shutter Count

In preparing for a switch…I wanted to find out how many actuations (shutter count) my camera had completed.  I googled and online there are a few methods.  I have a MAC…so I used EXIF Viewer (free)…just open a pic with this app and it gives you the details.  I was at 90,000 pictures!!!    The D300 will last approximately 150,000 actuations.  So it still has life!

Other viewers for PC are… Opanda &  Preview Extractor Now if you use another camera other than a Nikon…google and see if these EXIF viewers work for your camera.   If you have over 100K…wow!  Post what you shoot and let us know!

News: onOne Software SALE!! $100 savings until Feb 16th!!

I just received an email from onOne Software …if you click this link you can save $100 on the Perfect Photo Suite 5.5!   You have until Feb 16th!  I love this software and you can download a trial…and you like it as much as I do…save $100 now!   Have fun!

News: The Good and the Bad

My good friend Dave Wilson recently had a blatant un-approved usage of one of his photos recently.  You can read about it here….Dave Wilson.  As photographers reach more people these days due to social media and word of mouth, viewership of our web sites have grown to great numbers.   We post on blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr (and others).  I am eager to get my work out there and abide by Creative Commons.  Dave does as well.  After reading his post, it gets me going to check up on my pics.

There is software to do this…so just this morning I checked a few pictures that might be popular.  This past summer I posted my HDR of a Castle with an added photoshop effect.  I did my search and I found this….

A website in the UK called Murals Wallpaper (Kids section) clearly has bootlegged my photo and is charging people for its usage!   I have since sent a hefty Invoice to them immediately.   Policing your own work does take time.  I am sure many of my photos are out there without credit.  If they are, I will find them!!  I wish Dave good luck on his invoicing!!  These companies need to pay up when they steal work!  So sad when work is stolen.  It might be time to check up on your pics as well!!

But on the other hand…you can find great companies that handle business properly!  If you travel in Texas, you may find the 2011 Austin Urban Lifestyle Guide at local shops and food stores.   They have used my bat photo inside the issue.  Thanks so much!   It is a great honor!

If you are in downtown Austin just stop by Urbanspace Realtors on 5th Ave (near Congress) and they many copies.  It contains some great info and cool pics!!

So with exposure comes the good and the bad.  Let’s hope the good outweighs the bad!!!  Wish me luck with Murals Wallpaper!!  They better pay up!!  =)

REVIEW: onOne Software Perfect Photo Suite 5.5

Per my post yesterday of Hacklebarney – Infrared…I post processed the shot and used my new software onOne Software Perfect Photo Suite 5.5.   I have now had it for almost a week now and must say I love this software.  It opens so many more processing  options to me…which is a great thing to us photographers!!

I love photos that have that soft tone to them and thanks to Photo Tools 2.6…I processed the shot above using a preset!   What comes in the suite:

1) Perfect Resize 7: powered by Genuine Fractals—is the industry standard for image resizing. It is renowned across the photographic and printing industries for its ability to increase image size well over 1000% without the loss of sharpness or detail that you would normally expect. The patented, fractal based interpolation algorithms works like nothing else and the results speak for themselves. Perfect Resize works as a plug-in to Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture and as a standalone application.

2) Photo Tools 2.6: is the fastest and easiest way to add a professional look to your photos in Photoshop. You get hundreds of professional-grade photographic effects, all wrapped up in an easy-to-use Photoshop plug-in making this the fastest and easiest way to make your photos stand out from the crowd.  PhotoTools works only as a Photoshop plug-in.

3) Perfect Layers:  is the fast and easy way to bring a layered workflow to Photoshop Lightroom. With Perfect Layers you can create and edit multi-layered Photoshop files directly within Photoshop Lightroom or Apple Aperture. Use it to change skies, composite images and even create layouts. Perfect Layers works as a plug-in to Lightroom, Aperture or as a standalone application.

4) Photo Frame 4.6: Add the perfect finishing touch to your images with PhotoFrame 4.6. It features hundreds of design elements like film edges, borders, textures, backgrounds and adornments. It even has complete layouts where you just drop your image in and you are done. It’s the perfect way to add a realistic darkroom touch with a film edge or to create beautiful album or scrapbook pages. It includes all the tools you need to find the perfect design elements, add them to your image and control things like size, color and opacity. You can even stack multiple elements to create your own designs and save them as a preset you can use in a single-click inside of Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture.

5) Focal Point 2:  You control the focus with FocalPoint 2. Create realistic selective focus, depth-of-field and vignette effects that tell your viewers right where to look. With the intuitive FocusBug controller it is just like using a tilt-shift or selective focus lens right inside of Adobe Photoshop. Set your area of focus and then select a lens to simulate or create your own by controlling the amount and kind of blur, even in 3D. With the new FocusBrush tool you can paint sharpness or blur right where you want it. Finish things off with an elegant vignette. It has never been easier or faster to focus your viewer’s eye and minimize distractions. FocalPoint works as a plug-in to Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture and as a standalone application.

6) Mask Pro 6:  Removing backgrounds or making complex selections has never been easier. With Mask Pro 4 you can select the tough stuff that you never thought was possible like hair, smoke and glass and maintain all the detail and transparency. Mask Pro works based on color; You select colors to keep and colors to drop and then just paint away backgrounds to keep only what you are interested in. Mask Pro works only as a Photoshop plug-in.

7) Photo Tune 3:  optimizes the dynamic range, color and sharpness of your image without the need to know all the complicated controls in Photoshop like levels and curves. If you photograph people you can also tune your images by clicking on skin tones to guarantee accurate skin color. Pro users get access to all the controls for tone, color and sharpening. Better images are just a few clicks away with PhotoTune 3. PhotoTune works as a plug-in to Photoshop, Lightroom, Aperture and as a standalone application.

Those are some super plug-ins!!!!  The whole package is available for $499.00 or you can buy them individually if you like.  Check the onOne website for prices.

Some of my thoughts….I use Photo Tools 2.6 and Photo Frame 4.6 the most.  Photo Tools has soooo many presets!   Check this link out for more info…Photo Tools 2.6.  There is this sharpening preset that is awesome!  It actually blows away my NIK Sharpener .  Great for portrait and landscape photographers!!!   The Photo Frame 4.6 is awesome!  I made this fun shot for a BDay party recently…just in one click!!

Such great stuff to work with here!   So enlarge images to any size, make professional photo effects, add layers, frames, instant bokeh, replace backgrounds and improve the color of your images!   You can do it all with the amazing suite!!  I will give it  a 10 out of 10!   Kudos onOne!!!   I love this software!!!!  My landscapes and portraits will now have some extra kick!!!!  Check it out….try the trial for free and see how you  like it!!

News: 50 Terrific Travel Photography Blogs – Places 2 Explore is included!

Guide to Art Schools has just released its list of the Top 50 Terrific Travel Blogs in the world.  Places 2 Explore made it in at number 21!  Thank for the inclusion GTAS!!  It is an honor to be included!!  Click the link here to check out the list…Guide to Art Schools.    Thanks for visiting Places 2 Explore!!

News: 2011 Calendar Giveaway & For Sale!

2011 is almost here!   It is time for the 2011 Talke Photography Calendar giveaway!!!   Just type “Yes” in the comments below and you are entered!  I will pick the winner out of a hat on Dec 24th!!  Good luck and happy upcoming holidays!!

The calendar is now available for sale!!  $34.99 includes shipping and handling (sorry only US customers only).   They are made by Apple and the quality is fantastic, thick quality paper and wire binding!  Click here to check the entire calendar out and order your copy today!   2011 Calendar

Places 2 Explore News:

Hello everyone!  I took this past week off for the first time since starting my blog in March of 2009…after 602 posts and now over 600,000 visitors, I have decided to keep Places 2 Explore running..but with one BIG change.  Instead of my 6 days a week posting…unfortunately, I am going to switch it to a Saturday (only) post…1 day a week.  I have been shooting many portraits recently and even shot a banquet!  This has kept me very very busy.   My original goal was to start my portrait business one day and one area must suffer…that will be my landscape shots.   So I will begin my portrait learning process immediately.  After a few shoots, I see I have lots to learn! Please come back and read P2E on every Saturday!  Have fun!   Thanks for all your visits and comments!   Cheers, Pete