Archive for category Reviews

Triggertrap review

Let me start of by saying I’m not really the kind of person that works from a tripod, but… as many of you probably recognize I’m always traveling with one and not using it, UNTILL that day you don’t travel with one… and you need it, that’s the story for me with tripods. It’s also the reason why at the moment I’m looking for a good carbon one…… well actually the reason is my Triggertrap, sounds weird right? until you read this review.

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I’ve been seeing very positive reviews on the Triggertrap all over the net so I was very curious to test one out myself, because I’m shooting Sony I was very happy to hear that Triggertrap actually had a version for both my A7r and A99 (well done Triggertrap), now don’t get me wrong I LOVE shooting Sony but one of the frustrations is that a lot of companies simply don’t have accessories for Sony, take for example Camranger, this is a product I’m very interested in and I’ve been bugging them for years now to support Sony, the answer is always…. “next time we see each other”… and that’s well…. still not working (great product by the way) so back on topic…. Triggertrap does have a Sony version, and as soon as I got them in I started testing.

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Sony RX100 MKIII review part I

One of the most fun things to do is test new cameras, and although the RX100 MKIII has been on the market for some months it never caught my eye. Let me first explain why…

 

I’m very happy with my Sony A7r, in fact it’s the best camera I ever used, it’s small and it delivers a stunning quality. However there are always situations where you don’t want to bring a camera but you do want to take pictures sometimes, normally I will use my iPhone and although the images are great (for a phone) it’s exactly as I said, they are ok for a phone….. And yeah I know there are some amazing shots online made by iPhones and I can pull that off too… if the situation is 100% right, but in most cases it simply is not the case, so you will need a “little” bit more power. Because the last few months we’ve been traveling around a lot the idea of a small iPhone alternative camera grew and grew and during Photokina I did start “shopping around”. I always loved the Fuji cameras so the X30 would have been a good option, however I’m also very much in love with the dynamic range and looks of the Sony cameras and thats when I found the RX100 MKIII, of course I knew they were there but I never held one, and it was a bit of a shock to see how small they are….

 

Here you see it next to Annewieks iPhone with Mophie case.
2014-09-24 12.27.17

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Leaf Credo 50 user review

One of the things I absolutely love to do is testing new gear, especially when it gives the photographer totally new options which were not possible before.

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As you probably know I’m shooting different systems.
I always tell people that I will use DSLRs for when I don’t really can control the lighting, or if I need higher ISOs and Medium Format when I can use strobes or if there is more then enough ambient light. The simple reason for this is that Medium Format (although a superior format) is not really usable above ISO400 (some even ISO200). But this has now all changed.

 

Sony makes some amazing sensors and since a while they also have a 50MP semi Medium Format sensor, I say semi Medium Format because in reality it’s a crop sensor for Medium Format, now is this a bad thing? no not really but personally I love to use a full frame sensor, that being said….. man does this sensor rock.

 

When Leaf asked me to test this back the idea was that I could use it for a few days during a session and had to send it back, however I got so attached to the back that I kept sending them images and they let me keep the back for a much longer time, actually ALL the images you saw appearing online from our trip through Denmark were all shot with this back and that’s something that I would not be able to do with my Credo60 for the simple reason that I would also need a DSLR for the higher ISO material and traveling with 2 cameras is… well just a bit awkward sometimes so I often opt for the DSLR, however seeing that I can now easily shoot up to ISO3200 and even ISO6400 makes a HUGE difference.

 

Now there will be many reviews about the technical stuff and the specs so I thought “let’s make a much simpler user based review”, I will do this from both the viewpoint of a DSLR user and a MF user.

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Tonality from MacPhun video

One of the things I always love it playing with new software, being it plugins or apps, it’s always nice to see if a piece of software can give you a boost in workflow or simply give you a new/better/faster way to make your images stand out.

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Now there are some great BW converters out there, I love Alien Skin Exposure, SilverFx and DxO filmpack so when the guys from MacPhun asked me to testrun their newest app called Tonality (in base a BW convertor) I was very curious what they could add to the market with their app, but after some weeks of test-driving Tonality I can tell you that it ROCKS, the interface is very easy to understand but most of all the options you have to really custom make the look you want for your image is awesome. I’m 100% sure you’re gonna love it.


As with all MacPhun software it’s for Mac only, it will work as a plugin in for Lr, Photoshop but also as a standalone.


You can order it here :
https://secure.avangate.com/order/checkout.php?PRODS=4626017&QTY=1&AFFILIATE=59677&CART=1


Congratulations to our buddies at MacPhun for releasing another awesome app.

 

And here is my video on Tonality Pro.
As you can see I don’t use the layers option, this is something I do use in Photoshop, but if you want it in the software it’s there.

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IceLight review

Today a small review on a speciale piece of lighting kit, the Westcott Ice Light.
Let’s first look at what it is…
Annewiek called it my short lightsabre and I have to be honest, it does remind me of one :D
Here you see one in action in the shot.

Chantal Juni 25 2014 161 1

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California Sunbounce

I love to play with light, being it ambient light, strobes big or small or whatever as long as I can tell my story I’m happy.
I always tell people that we as photographers are story tellers and light is our language, one can of course just put some words together to make oneself clear but one could also work like a poet and really play with the words. For photographers this translates in just using light to show something, or play with light and create something beautiful.

 

On location it’s not always handy to bring strobes and when you already have a  great looking set and model and plenty of light it’s often even better to just go for the natural light, but…. that being said I always like to work with accents, fill in etc. In the past I’ve used different reflectors for fill in and some extra accents but I never really was super excited about what I could do with them creatively…. that was until I got a California sunbounce from a friend, this thing is awesome.

 

I’m using a larger version and actually only use the silver side to really throw some light in the scene, in fact they are so powerful that one day by accident (yeah Frank) I pointed it inside the studio from outside and Annewiek came running out to see what was going on, the whole studio was brightly lit :D, they are for that matter also not perfect for your models, often the models feel a lot of heat in the burning sun and looking into the light… well it’s not something you will do for pleasure (so counting down 3-2-1 open eyes) will work pretty well.

 

The thing I love about the California Sunbounce I use is that it’s very easy to travel with and assembles pretty fast, but most off all when it’s in the sun…. it REALLY bounces the light. Of course I can write 1000’s words about it, but what about just showing some images I shot during the workshop at Great Fosters in the UK, all were shot with Natural light and the California Sunbounce. You’ve seen the images before but I wanted to tell you a little bit more about the Sunbounce and these images show my point best I think.

 

All images are 100% natural light, and as you can see the pop and accents the Sunbounce give really mimics the way I would normally use strobes in these situations, but Annewiek likes this a lot more :D So if you’re shooting a lot with natural light and travel light, check out the California Sunbounce products.

9 Juni 2014 Marie 0025 1

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Which RAW software DxO vs Capture One vs Lr

I think that on software this is probably one of the most asked questions “Frank which RAW convertor do you use and which one do you advise?”

 

Well let me start with saying that there is no 100% best solution, in this blogpost I can only tell you what my experiences are and my results, the problem is that all three convertors are strong in certain areas and less strong in others but none is the strongest in all. So in this post I will tell you my opinion and how I use them, this might differ from yours of course.

 

The contenders :
DxO optics 9.5
Lightroom 5.x
Capture One

 

First lets look at my opinion on them and when/why/how I use them.

 

Lightroom
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I think it’s no secret that Adobe is a huge company and their products are among the best photographers use, in fact it’s the standard for most professional workflows. Adobe has several software packages I use including Premiere for video, Lightroom and Photoshop of course, and I have to be honest I LOVE all their products, and probably that’s also the reason that they are the standard in the industry for so many people.

 

Lightroom is where all my files “life”, it’s my hub where I keep everything combined, make smart albums, label and keyword my images, and yeah I’m even using their GPS map module. In short Lightroom is what is on my computer screen a lot and when I search the archives it’s actually the only software I use.

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