Monthly Archives: December 2012

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,400 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Behind the shot: Vaughn’s Lights

It’s been a while since posted in my “behind the shot” series, and I apologize for that.  Lots of hockey shooting lately… so at least I’m keeping busy, and I’m not lazy, right?  If you missed any of the other posts in the series, go take a look at them.

Let’s just kick things off then.  Over the summer I had the opportunity to photograph for the band “Go Play God“.  While recording their guitarist, Vaughn Klein, I decided to mess around with the settings on my camera to go for something fresh.  Below is the original shot, taken with my Canon 7D and my Canon 35mm f/1.4L.  Settings are ISO 200, aperture f/10, 6-second shutter speed, no flash.

Original

Original

From there, I used one of my presets in Lightroom 4, resulting in this image:

1

I wanted a bit more contrast, so I darkened the darks, and lightened the lights, which gave the image below:

2

Decent, but I lost all definition in the highlights in the upper right, so I added a graduated filter from the upper right, towards the center of the image, with -1.61 adjustment to the exposure.

3

As you can see below, that had a profound impact on that section of the image, preserving the color and exposure for the final image below:

Final

Final

And here’s an animated gif showing the before and after edits.  I hope it works:

AEPOC’s “Vaughn’s Lights” image.

Review: Google Nexus 10

Google Nexus 10 (image courtesy of Google).

Google Nexus 10 (image courtesy of Google).

So there it is… The Google Nexus 10, the big brother of the Nexus 7 that was released this past summer .  The 10 has a larger (10″) screen over the 7’s 7″ screen, and an incredible 2560-by-1600 (300ppi).  It’s extremely thin, at only 8.9mm.  I ordered mine before knowing just how thing that was, but when you hold it, you almost wonder where the rest of it is!  And it’s light too, at just over 600 grams (603 to be exact).  By comparison, the new iPad is 9.44mm thick, weighs 652 grams, and boasts that amazing 2048-by-1536 resolution (264 ppi) in its Retina Display.  The 16gb wifi-only Nexus 10 is priced at $399, while Apple’s iPad at 16gb wifi-only is $499.  The main reason I went with the Google version; I don’t already belong to the iClub… well, that’s what I call it.  I don’t have a mac computer, nor an iPhone, so buying into that ecosystem now wouldn’t do much good for me, so I’m skipping on an iPad.  Besides, I love this thing, so I’m not switching.  Neener Neener!

The Nexus 4, 7, and 10.
(image provided by androidauthority.com)

A few weeks ago I reviewed the Nook HD + by Barnes and Noble, and stated that wasn’t really for me.  My qualms about the Nook HD + were put to rest by the Nexus 10.  The browser (Chrome, of course) has yet to crash on me, and the gallery application on the 10 is great (and supports folders!), and if I wanted something more robust, there are far more Google apps than Nook apps that would fit the bill.

Being straight from Google, the Nexus 10 (and 7) will receive any Android updates as soon as they’re available from Google, which is very handy.  Anyone other “flavors” of Android are likely to be delayed to make sure they work with their spin on it (like the Nook, and a plethora of other devices).  There’s also more customization for the Nexus 10, which I have found that I like very much.  Even more if you run a 3rd party launcher like Go Launcher, or Nova Launcher.

Google Play app installs graph (image provided by cNet).

Google Play app installs graph
(image provided by cNet).

Regarding the PDF reader issues I had with the Nook HD +, I was expecting a lot from the Nexus 10.  The stock reader was “okay” at best, which was disappointing… but then I went straight for Adobe’s Reader, which is totally free (and in my opinion, should come stock on every device).  Strangely enough, that app is far better on the Nexus 10 than the Nook HD +… which I found to be awfully curious.  I have also never had any issues with the Google Play store, and everything downloads and installs in a flash, which is very nice.  Definitely none of the issues I had with the Nook, which is a very good thing.

Okay, so, the Nexus 10 was $399 while the Nook HD + was $269, I understand there’s a pretty significant difference there, and that is probably enough to sway some people.  However, the extra $130 was worth it to me to have a lightning-fast tablet, with tons of customization, apps, books, magazines, etc., all on an  AMAZING display.  It had just about everything I wanted right out of the box… and what it didn’t have, I was able to download from the Google Play store, for free.

It really is an amazing piece of hardware, and the software is equally amazing, depending on the developer.  This thing is amazing; enough said.  5/5 stars.

And by the way, anyone who has a Nexus 4, 7, or 10, don’t forget your free content provided by Google.

Scott Kelby’s “Crush The Competition”.

For those of you who don’t know, Scott Kelby is a pretty busy guy.  He’s a photographer, author, publisher, and teacher.  His KelbyTraining.com website is an amazing resource for photography tips, lighting how-to’s, photoshop and Lightroom tutorials, and a ton more.  There is a lot of information on his site, and I highly recommend that you check it out.

This past June (2012), Scott did a talk at a Google+ conference that helps photographers look at composition in a new way (pun intended).  The video is posted below.  It’s an hour long, but well worth the investment of your time.