Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tomorrow!

New domain.

New template.

Still min DOF.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

King size

I got sick yesterday. So I went through my archives and found yet another retarded snap.



For the techies: taken with Canon 1D mkII and EF 85 1.8@f2.2.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

1Ds mkIII and 40D announcements tomorrow?

According to Amazon it sure looks like that! Specs like 21 mpix at 5fps, 3" LCD, integrated self-cleaning sensor unit and a lighter 1200g body (without the batteries) sure sound amazing. Priced at 7.990$. Full specs are available by clicking on the Amazon link.

The price of 40D is 1299.99$, full specs are also available on this link. Another great move from one of the major retailers, putting full specs and the price on their site before the announcement. I'm sure they'll get quite a few more buyers than they would if they waited until the announcement.

If this are the true specifications, Canon will make the competitors life (at least in prosumer class) a lot harder. It will again rise the bar higher, out of competitions reach. We'll see what Nikon will offer on Thursday the 24th, but if the rumoured D3 specifications are correct it will once again leap behind Canon. Good for Canon, bad for Nikon and the consumers, because prices won't start dropping.

Nikon D3 announced!!!

A typical sunday post. Funny, amusing and not serious at all. A poster over at DPR forums posted that, and here's the complete post:



Monday, August 20th, 2007 (Tokyo) — Nikon Corp. of Japan this morning unveiled their newest digital SLR targeted toward professionals, the Nikon D3. But while Nikon maintains that the D3 is a groundbreaking development in the world of digital imaging, photographers and analysts alike seem to be scratching their heads.

"It's a brick, a frickin' brick," said an obviously agitated Tommy Hogan, professional photographer.

"Yes, it's a brick," admitted Nikon President, CEO and COO Michio Kariya. "However, research showed us that we were rapidly losing market share in the professional realm to Canon. Here at Nikon, we're not so prideful that we refuse to admit when we're wrong. If photographers want a camera like Canon offers, we'll build a camera like Canon offers. In this case, the brick was the closest we could come to achieving the ergonomics found in Canon's 5D."

Jerry Yamamoto, Nikon's Chief Designer, had a different take. "Today, it seems that more and more of our customers are using their gear to photograph brick walls. Nikon cameras have always been about transcending the equipment—the camera becoming part of your environment. It's easier to think artistically when you aren't using a tool that seems out of place. The brick design of the D3 is part of a move toward better fusion with the photographer's surroundings."

But the brick design isn't the only feature of the D3 that has left potential customers scratching their heads. The D3 will be Nikon's first digital SLR that prevents the user from changing lenses. "I don't get it," Nikon enthusiast Rory Bjornlett said. "How is that supposed to be a 'feature'?" Kariya had the answer.

"By shipping the D3 with the lens welded to the body, we've eliminated the sensor dust problem. In fact, we guarantee that you will never get dust on the sensor for the life of the camera. And now, you can order exactly the camera you want. Your D3 can be customized with a wide assortment of Nikon and even third-party lenses. Just tell us what you want, and we'll weld it to the camera and ship it to your door within a couple of weeks."

When asked for clarification about third-party lens options, Kariya pointed out that companies like Sigma and Tokina fill niches that Nikon doesn't have the time to bother with. "A few of our more demanding customers have been asking for a fast AF-S prime in the 30-35mm focal range. But this doesn't fit into our long-term plans. There are still three or four more consumer zooms in the 18-70mm focal range that we need to get to market before we can worry about a prime lens that only a few professionals and enthusiasts will ever use. Since Sigma offers such a lens now, we've decided to go ahead and offer it as a customization option for D3 customers. Maybe that will shut them up. This is off the record, right?"

Photographer and writer Rockwell Kenneth, an attendee at Nikon Corporation's D3 media event, was distressed to learn that all D3 lenses will only allow for manual focusing. "Getting rid of autofocus seems like a serious step backward. I can understand the less-is-more mentality, but this? Looks like I'm going to have to stock up on more D40s and 18-200 VRs. It's all you really need, anyway."

Nikon designer Jack Kogaku explained Nikon's reasoning behind removing autofocus. "We're trying to build a camera that can compete with the competition, and it's tough. We had our work cut out for us. Our moment of epiphany came when we received a shipment of Canon EOS 1D Mark IIIs. We quickly realized that manually focusing the D3 was just as fast as autofocusing the Mark III, and about 277% more accurate. Out with the old and in with the new, ya' know? Manual focus is the new black!"

Other improvements include better digital noise performance. "We've heard the complaints about the noise of Nikon cameras versus their Canon counterparts for a couple of years now," Kogaku said. "We've done our very best with the D40, D80, and D200 to provide better noise performance, and while I feel we succeeded, the public apparently disagrees. For this reason, we've completely removed the mirror from the D3. No mirror slap means no noise whatsoever. If you thought the D40 or D80 had low noise, wait 'til you hear this! The silence is deafening."

The removal of the mirror from the D3 means that users must frame the image using one of the two holes in the brick on either side of the lens. This design move by Nikon has also ignited debate over whether the D3 is an SLR at all.

"That's not an SLR, it's a rangefinder," insisted one indignant media correspondent who had flown in from the United States. But a source within Nikon who asked not to be named due to his corporate espionage activities on behalf of Leica disagreed passionately: "If that's a rangefinder, then my name isn't Wolfhausen!"

Missing from the announcement was Nikon's rumored full-frame digital SLR. "Foo-frame? What dat?" asked Nikon spokesman George Takiyama when the rumor was brought up. Several reporters tried to explain the term to Takiyama, at which point he said, "No Engleesh. Speaky Japanese." When a Japanese reporter pressed the issue in Takiyama's native language, he responded in English, "Oh, you never need do dat! No foo-frame 'cause no need foo-frame! We defy laws of pheesics. Canon no can do, so dey need foo-frame."

The D3 comes equipped with a convenient carry handle and hundreds of lens customization options. The camera will begin shipping next week, though widespread availability isn't expected until the end of next year. The estimated retail price of a D3 with a welded, manual focus Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 is $4995.
Filed by Jonathan P.

What's the point of exhibitons?

I'm wondering for quite some time about that. Yeah I know, it should be a promotion for the photographer yada, yada...But can you really get noticed out of that countless exhibitions that are taking place around Slovenia? And with all the photo galleries and photoblogs that you can find on the web?!

A lot of people said I should have my own, independent exhibition. But I've never been fond of the idea. I'm not 100% sure why. Probably because, as you can see, I can't see the full promotional potential in it and on the other hand also because it's quite a project just organising it. You usually have to pay for all the expanses as well (prints, frames, food&drinks...).

Besides that, a decision about which photos are going to be on exhibition and also why, has to be made. What do you want to show people with them. Usually you come out with more than just one option, then you have to decide what's best to show people. I think that's more important than just showing your best photos.

I did participate on a few collective exhibitions and none of them, except one brought me promotion. The one that did, was the exhibition of the best polet covers. This was my last polet cover and also the last polet cover with a nude photo on it. And the only photo that was published on the cover twice. Ok, now we got to the part that brought me some promotion, that was (besides a few photo of me in the newspapers and on the TV) the article about the exhibition and the photo of the polet editor standing besides my photograph, which most of the people liked best.

But is this somehow measurable? I know quite a few photographers that are about my age or younger that had an independent exhibition or two. I don't think any of them got any real promotion, benefit of their exhibitions.

I'm going to wrap it up now. It's not a problem of organisation for me. I already talked about that around six month ago with an owner of a nice, with a tweak or two suitable for exhibitions, pub. Money is not an object as well. It's just that I don't see a clear benefit for me. I think I get more promotion from publishing my photos on magazine covers (and I get some promotion for publishing my photos on the web and in various magazines as well).

So tell me, what do you think about it? Are the exhibitions worth while, generally (for you, me, other photographers...)?

I really want to read your thoughts on that...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

How much is your blog worth?

Have you ever asked yourself that question? I didn't, but I immediately became interested when a friend of mine told me, my blog could be rated. Nowadays that you hear about major multinationals buying sites for millions or even billions of $ (Google bought youtube for 1.65 billion $), it makes you wonder what fraction of that could you possibly make, if there was a remote possibility someone wanted to acquire your blog.

Here's what mine is worth:


My blog is worth $20,323.44.
How much is your blog worth?



You can check out how much your blog is worth here.


.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Lens baby 3G preview

I'm going to write the full review with more samples over on slo-foto.net, so I'm going to show you a few samples, so you can see what's the catch with this funny little lens. It's not only it's rather interesting appearance that draws attention, the results can be pretty interesting too. I confess, I didn't take enough time to master it, so I won't show you any masterpieces. I was to slow at manual focusing and sweet spot adjusting to make any good portraits, I missed all the interesting expressions, failed to capture the model's mood, energy etc. So what are you going to see below, is a visual presentation of what this lens can do. Pretty much an average test and tests usually include pretty boring pics...


Notice how everything white on the photos above and below gets blown to high heaven (eg blown out or as usually named it has a lot of hot spots). Nikon's JPG dynamic range really sucks. And it doesn't matter if it was taken with its flagship camera (D2Xs).In the lower photo the sweet spot is best represented.



If you look carefully and have a decent DOF knowledge, you'll see how this photo differs from those taken with regular lenses. Sneakers would be in the "DOF line" (90 degrees angle according to the lens, both vertically and horizontally)if it was taken with a normal lens. Here you can see what's in focus, eg where the sweet spot is


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Blog monetizing

I've started blogging and also tried to make some money out of it last year, december 15th to be exact. Untill yesterday, my only income was from Google's AdSense (which still represent most of the ads on my site). I did earn over 1.200$ in the last 8 months. Enough to buy me a Canon 30D. But that's just the beginning, my appetite is much bigger, bwahaha. So I decided to sign up to BidVertiser and AdBrite today.

Bidvertiser is a CPC (cost per click) based ad network, similar to Google AdSense. CPC means that you will get payed for all legitimate clicks on the ads that are displayed on your page. It's main advantage over AdSense is its low 10$ payout (via Paypal, meaning also it's not available for Slovenia). You can also get payed by check, you can get payed, when you reach 50$ (Google AdSense has 100$ payout level). You can sign up to BidVertiser by clicking on the banner in the left column, besides this post. EDIT: I've removed both banners (referral and text link ad), since it had performed poorly during the 4 day test period. I know that ad networks should be tested for a month or so, but 57c (I make more money with AdSense in a couple of hours) of revenue in 4 days is a waste of my ad space. Average CPC was only 4c, that's way less than what I make with Google Adsense.

AdBrite has a totally different concept of advertising. It's an internet ad marketplace. Anyone visiting your site can buy an ad directly on your site by clicking “Your Ad Here.” You’ll also be listed in the AdBrite marketplace, and represented by our busy in-house sales staff. You can set the pricing or you can choose the standard 5$ starting price point. That's 150$ per ad monthly and when your traffic increases as well as advertiser's interests revenues are rising progressively.

I'll be testing the following ad networks for a week or two and then report back to you. I think BidVertiser might be a good choice for me, as well as for practically all of the bloggers, who want to earn money with blogging. AdBright might be a bit more tricky and needs a lot of traffic to really work. Because advertisers (people who pay for advertising) are not inclined to pay for their ad placement on low-traffic sites. Only time will tell and time and traffic are the most important factors for succeeding with AdBright advertising.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Moving up to the next blogging level

I've decided to make step up and move my blog on an independent server in the near future and it's going to be wordpress based. That also means I'm going to buy my own domain name. Why have I made a decision like that, you ask? Because I want my blog to look better, to provide a good user experience in not so many words, to make it more pleasant and professional.

The second reason to do it, is to increase my ad revenues. I've been doing pretty well so far, I've earned enough in the past 8 months to buy me a 30D (which I intend to buy in a month or so). With all the improvements I hope to gain on traffic, which leads to more cliks on the ads, that are displayed on my site, which ofcourse leads to higher revenues. I'll try adding a few ad networks and/or affiliate programs. Because like the Dot com mogul John Chow says, monetizing of a blog is way more than slapping on a couple of google ads. That's just the beginning.

When the migration to a url will be complete, I'll try to automatically redirect visitors to my new site. That way you won't have any trouble finding it, or following the links. And I'll still get traffic from numerous sites that are linking to my blog.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Kesh peechka


BLING, BLING! Euro bills get that special glow in her hands...

What a feeling!

Kesh Peechka's greatest joy...

She can never get enough of it...


And at the end, sponsor gets his reward:D



At the end let me just write, that Špela really got into her role. She was great, she has the passion, energy, that's definitely needed for this kind of sessions. And that's what most models lack - passion!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Another lensbaby snapshot&preview of today's session

I'll post more from today's session tomorrow, I've got to run, because a friend of mine is throwing a bday party...

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Lensbaby 3G

I got it yesterday for a 10 day tryout. It's a very nice little lens, with a single glass element and a simple construction. One can be very creative with it. It also takes quite some time to get familiar with the focusing and sweet spot adjusting. I was practising today during coffee time, while I managed to get a few snapshots in focus, most were still OOF. And I thought MF lenses were tricky to use:). I still have a week to go, so I think I'll master the basics during that period and make a few interesting, if not creative, then at least abstract shots.


Both samples are taken at f2. Please overlook the colour imbalance, since it's not important for this samples:


It's sweet to be able to adjust the sweet spot:). But bokeh is awful:



3G is basically a 2G with a focus locking mechanism, which I don't find very useful for people shots. But it sure is useful for still art etc, when you have the time to lock and then fine focus/fine tune the sweet spot. If I was buying it, I'd probably go for the 2G version which is also around 50% cheaper.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Double dilemma

I was just digging through my 1Ds mkII and 5D archive. To see, or perhaps better said, to convince myself that Full frame cameras just have that "must have" advantage for me (yeah I mean DOF and a few minor advantages). I think it's not enough to pay more than 3x the price of Canon 30D+Tamron 17-50 2.8 for Canon 5D+135 f2L+Tamron 28-75 2.8. Ok, that was the first half of dilemma. The other is the photo below. It wasn't good enough for first selection that I already posted on the blog - 1st session with Mina. But now it seems kinda interesting. Especially that look, expression on her face. You know, the kind of women expression, that we men can't seem to resolve sometimes...



And there's one more thing, that I just remember that I was thinking about during and after this session. There's still way too much DOF (at f1.8 ofcourse), when shooting full figure or from waist up. So, to hell with FF and paying over 300% more:).

EDIT 30.7.07 21:50: The photo was slightly altered (crop, sharpening).

Friday, July 27, 2007

Are you a risk taker?

Do you do risky, sometimes stupid things in your life? Or when you're taking photos?

Here's one that would qualify. Taking portraits of the most unpredictable and dangerous big cat in Ljubljana ZOO with a 18 mm lens. She's the only one that I was afraid to cuttle (another risky thing to do, but I can't show you that). Image is ofcourse uncropped (most of you already know that because of visible wide angle distortion):

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Greetings from Siberia

I'm having a great time, a bit chilly though. But I guess that's better then living through a month lasting heat wave;).

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Double rainbow!!!

Hehe, I know you're not used to look at such cheesy shit on my blog, but I'm making an exception today. Besides that it feels right to be cheesy sometimes. Especially now, when I really don't have anything interesting to show you (I haven't had a session for a month or so now).

Anyway here it is:



Oh, it's supposed to be in colour, right?



I don't know if you've noticed, but I've also changed the template. I didn't find any flash templates that work with the new blogger and support google ads at the same time. There were some that work with the new blogger, but all of them hide all the page elements which is fine for all of the categories (labels, blogroll, archive etc) except for the ads, which must be shown on the main side if you want to earn a few bucks now and then. Tell me your thoughts on the colour combination and layout. You can paste a link to a nice template too;).

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Ona cover

My photo was published on the cover of today's Ona cover. The cover is not in the best condition, since it went through so many hands on today's set. And my scanner still sucks (colours are off etc). Anyway here it is, the gorgeous brunette on the cover is Tanja, click and click again to see complete sessions.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Camera manufacturers joined their forces

Every company contributed the best component they have in store and this is what came out:D.

Monday, July 9, 2007

A few photos from saturday's wedding

My mean man Fločo was the hair guy. I guess ya all should know the best hairdresser in town by now (retarded session or by this photo which is one of many on this blog)



When her hair was done, the make up artist started doing her thang



The end result:






Below you can see 2x2 similar photos. I've posted two different versions of each. Personally I can't decide which is best. I'll give both versions to the freshly married couple and let them decide.

Min DOF on weddings too? 4 sure, I'm no sellout:P.









Rok&Pika if you're reading this, I hope you're enjoying yourselves as much as possible. Have fun and cya in August.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A few 1D mkII snapshots

I got Canon 1D mkII for a few days (I wanted to take 1Ds mkII, but an error ocurred yesterday and it wasn't repaired yet), so I took it for a spin, to set it up for saturday's wedding. I wanted FF because it's very usable for a backup with 50 mm lens on it and excellent for the romantic shots, because of thinner DOF. On the other hand, the focal lenght for closeups is better on 1D and you can get closer too (crop). I wanted a FF or a 1.6 crop (usable only as a backup). But neither was available. I'll have to do it with a compromise, I guess.

Anyway, a few pics of my dawgs:


Bad ass muthafucka, ain't he?



He couldn't concentrate on a game of strategy that we were playing because of my shutter pressing frenzy




Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Canon vs Nikon

Now that I'm using both for quite some time, I think I'm qualified to give an opinion. My intention is not to flame any debates whatsoever. Just giving an opinion, that might help someone choosing the right system for his/her needs.

I'll start with Canon, which is the brand of the camera that I own. I've tested the whole lineup, so my opinion will be, more or less, based on the complete lineup, not on a single model. I use Nikon for my job assignments, lately I've been using Nikon almost exclusively. Note that this is entirely and absolutely MY OPINION, I'm not trying to write a review, be objective or politically correct.

Pros:
-excellent sensors, excellent high ISO performance (unbeatable when it comes to 5D and 1D mkIII), high dynamic range
-lots of lenses to choose from, practically all of the lenses come with USM (fast&silent focusing, exceptions are some lenses with micro USM). Mostly reasonably priced. Known for their excellent tele lenses
-Canon is in a league of its own when it comes to pro grade cameras. 1Ds mkII, 5D and 1D mkIII have no real competition
-control wheel on the back of X/XXD series is the best and fastest way to go over menues, for reviewing photos etc
-FF cameras. For all of those who need better DOF control and top notch image quality
-warmer out of the camera colours

Cons:
-flash system works better on Nikon. Not that accurate, prone to underexposing.
-entry level body design
-poor choice of sharp wide angle lenses (below 35 mm)

Nikon:
Pros:
-flash system works better than Canon's, I love the in camera hi-sync setting. So there's no need to switch it on the flash every single time X-sync is exceeded.
-better entry level body design
-better wide angle lenses
-two separate control wheels work great in M mode. On for the control of shutter speed and another for the aperture

Cons:
-the stupidest playback zoom mode I've ever seen (enter button, then you have to hold another and roll the control wheel)
-no AF-S prime lenses. I use 85 1.4 often (editorials, sessions, weddings...) and focusing is often to slow if you need to catch a moment. The good thing about it is that it's not too loud (but not even close to being silent either)
-no FF cameras, only crippled APS-C. That means less variety for the users
-noise control got better with the latest models (except for D2Xs, which is awful at ISO 800, which is the highest ISO setting anyway). But Nikon still doesn't have a good low light camera, with noise levels, that could compare with 5D, 1Ds mkII or 1D mkIII. For all those concert photographers and photo reporters.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Min DOFed big cats

I dug these in my archive. All of the photo below were taken over a year ago. Since I bought Canon EF 85 1.8 I started taking practically all the photos with it. Even big cats portraits. Most people are taking photos of these majestic predators with super tele lenses. I had a different approach. I connected with this cats in a similar way that I do with my models. Ok, don't take this too seriously, you can't verbally communicate with animals. But one can establish a different kind of connection with them. And as a result you can get photos that are a bit different.

Yeah, that was the time that my Canon EF 75-300 USM became obsolete.



Can you see the alertness in his eyes? Yeah we were close, eye to eye.





Another up close and personal. The king himself...





Min Dof leopard





And even closer. He's totally phlegmatic







This one is not min DOF. But it's still taken with 85 1.8. Ain't she a thang of beauty? She's is definitely Miss Ljubljana ZOO.



And remember: every subject can be min DOFed!:P

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Undecided

About this shot. I can't make up my mind. One of those, that I can't put my finger on: is it good or bad...

What do you think? Please be honest, hypocrisy won't get me anywhere.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Minimalistic


I hope you know, what you're looking at;).

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

One more (Nikon can do MIN DOF too)

Tina's photo. I looked at it a few more times and it seemed pretty good to me. So I'm posting it.



I can't let you off the hook, before seeing this one. Nikon can do Min Dof too;). 85 mm, f1.6, ISO 400+1 stop:

Sunday, June 17, 2007

First session with Tina

Today was a first time for many things. Tina had a session for the first time in her life, I shot a session with D200 and 85 1.4 for the first time, that was our first session (doh:D).

I went more or less into details this time, these are more or less beauty photos:




Joining hobbies

My boy S3to took his model plane for a flight today. And we've joined our hobbies. You know, the things we like to do the most in our lives (ok I earn my living with photography, but never the less I still love it). Ofcourse I didn't take in flight photos. Sport photography bores me to death. But I took a couple of snapshots in the field, here's one:



Taken with Nikon D200 and 85 1.4, I warmed the colours quite a bit (500 or 600K), to get a more pleasing end result. At least to me, I'm used to warmer Canon colours. A great combo, I'll shoot a session with it later this afternoon.