Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 1.0

Adobe has been beta testing Lightroom for quite some time now. It looks like Lightroom is out of beta since Version 1.0 will be available on February 19, 2007 (however, it's for sale right now). This is great news for digital photographers. By most accounts, Lightroom will serve as a complement to Adobe's own ubiquitous Photoshop. This link will take you to the first review we've seen on Version 1.0.

Get Lightroom before April 30, 2007 and save US$100 off the expected retail price of US$299.

You can check out the beta version here.

For those of you who have used, and thoroughly enjoy, Raw Shooter Essentials, or the more fully-functional Raw Shooter Premium, this may be the way to go when you need an upgrade. Pixmantec, maker of Raw Shooter, was purchased by Adobe sometime last year. There will be no further upgrades to Raw Shooter. Sigh.

Adobe's Lightroom looks like it's taken some of Raw Shooter's features and built them in. Plus, you get the added advantage of Photoshop integration. This one belongs in any digital photographer's toolbox.

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Monday, January 29, 2007

New member with a new camera

Welcome ckshark, our newest contributor to the site. You may know him by his two previous posts, Fall Pic1 and Fall Pic2, which were taken with a Canon 5mp point and shoot camera.

Well, now he's got a brand new Canon digital SLR, the 30D, which has been reviewed here and here. In short, Digital Photography Review says,

It's a great camera to shoot with, image quality is excellent and the high sensitivity performance is still notably better than the competition, the EOS 30D inspires confidence and delivers shot after shot.
Now we expect ckshark, aka Clark, to contribute some really outstanding photographs to Photo-dodo. He has a great eye for excellent composition and he's eager to expand his photographic resume.

Welcome, Clark. Here's to some really outstanding contributions in the future!


The title of this post is symbolic of how I feel about this whole endeavor in getting Photo-dodo its own domain. As I spoke about before, I registered photo-dodo.com with GoDaddy and then I chose to host the site with Google. But I made one critical mistake; I used Google Apps for Your Domain (GAFYD), which is a really cool thing in concept, but not so cool when you make a mistake, as I did.

I made the mistake of registering with GAFYD the domain www.photo-dodo.com rather than photo-dodo.com. This caused all sorts of problems. Essentially, Photo-dodo kept going down; I kept getting 404 errors -- "Page not found."

Once I got Google to help me remove www.photo-dodo.com, all has been well. I will keep you posted on any other issues as they arise, but, for now, I think all has been settled.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Photo-dodo has a Squidoo lens!

Check out our new lens on Squidoo. Lenses are a great entry point to Photo-dodo. They give you the nuts and bolts to get a good understanding of a topic, like photography. Then, head on back here for more detailed information.

Just another way for us to gain some more exposure on the 'net.

Photo-dodo on Squidoo

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Web site outages, snafus, and calamities

The last week or so has been exasperating, to say the least. I registered photo-dodo.com, photo-dodo.biz, photo-dodo.info, and photo-dodo.net with GoDaddy.

That was easy.

Then I decided I'd continue using the Blogger weblog publishing tool and use their new "custom domain" feature. Essentially, a blogger can register a domain name and point it to their Blogger.com address (in my case, photo-dodo.blogspot.com).

That was easy, too. However, setting the GoDaddy DNS parameters...oh, boy! To make a really long story short, getting one setting wrong kind of put the FUBAR to it all.

I think I've got it right now. (But I thought I got it right the other 12 times, too!)

I wish to express my sincere apologies to Photo-dodo's readers. I really am sorry that there were so many outages. Hopefully, the pain is over.

Thanks for sticking with us.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

How to be a curious photographer

Nice work over at the digital Photography School on how to be more creative.

How to Be a Curious Photographer

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Adorama is a great resource for photographers

You've no doubt seen the Adorama links and banners on Photo-dodo.com; Adorama is a trusted merchant that not only sells great photography equipment and supplies but also is a fantastic resource for photography knowledge. They have a wealth of resources for hobbyist and professional photographers.

Today, I'd like to talk about a recent experience I had with Adorama. As you might know, especially if you print a lot of your own photographs, today's inkjet printers offer high-quality, low-cost prints. However, ink does run out, and when you go down to the local office supply store or big box electronics megalo-mart, you often pay prices that are, to put it gently, a little on the high side.

So I looked for some better prices online. I have a Canon PIXMA printer, which contains 5 inkwells: Black, photo-Black, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. After experimenting with both Canon inks and so-called "compatible" inks, I can say that by far the best output is generated with genuine Canon ink. Canon's web site offers the inks at the retail price of around $12 per color. I found some merchants offering the inks at around $6 per ink. However, their shipping policies were a little silly: $6 per ink plus $5 or $6 per ink, effectively making the inks as expensive as the manufacturer's retail price.

When I looked at Adorama's web site, I found a little higher retail prices than those at the discount e-stores, but the shipping was much more reasonable: $6.95 per order. Since I run through ink so fast, I generally buy 4-6 ink cartridges of each color at a time. This shipping fee effectively adds only a bit to the cost per cartridge. Adorama lists Canon inks at around $11. Not a huge savings over the manufacturer's price, but every little bit counts.

Adorama's customer service really is second to none. They're on the East Coast and I'm on the West Coast. I ordered my ink on January 5 and got it on January 11. Certainly no speed record was set, but still this is a very reasonable delivery speed.

They offer toll-free ordering and customer service, they buy used equipment, and they have a wealth of helpful links, including FREE photo lessons.

BONUS TIP: Buy from Adorama through Amazon. For my ink order, I actually purchased through Amazon because I was able to get my inks for around $8 each with a flat shipping charge of $7.95. My order of 12 inks came out to a little less than $103, or $8.54 per ink, far less than regular retail. Two other important notes. First, I received genuine Canon ink. As I stated before, this is very important. Second, shopping through Amazon is a truly easy, fast, secure, and enjoyable experience.

Adorama and Amazon make purchasing photo equipment and supplies a wonderful endeavor. Best of all: I didn't have to leave my house.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Fall Pic2

Second pic at Lake of the Springs. This path leads up to the boat launch area. I was practicing framing techniques and leading the eyes through the picture. Shot this and Pic1 with a Canon PowerShot 5mp.

Fall Pic1

Fall pic at Lake of the Springs Resort (Thousand Trails)

How to make a light tent

The folks over at the Digital Photography School have posted a how-to on making an inexpensive light tent. Looks pretty easy to make and the results speak for themselves.