I bought a drone!

I bought a drone!

Hey, remember me? Haha.. It's been a long time since I've updated on my page. So, what have you been up to? I've been working... And learning to pilot and shoot photography and videos on a drone. Yes... A drone!

I began with s couple small quadcopters trying to get the hang of it in the house. First large drone I purchased was the Yuneec (pronounced Unique) Q500 Typhoon 4K. I bought it mainly because it comes with its own hard carrying case and had a 5.5" device built into the controller, and this would allow me to not use my iPhone 6s Plus, or try to figure out a way to fit my iPad Pro on it. That said... It was a good learning experience, but Yuneec is miles away from DJI in terms of the software. Both have similar features as far as the flight is concerned. But software to interface and control the aircraft is critical. It may sound like something so simple, but there is no way to view images or video of what has been shot on the Yuneec while its in the air. You have to land, take the memory card out and transfer it to s computer to view. Huge downfall. So I sent it back to B&H and ordered the DJI Phantom 3 professional. I really, really, really wanted the DJI Inspire 1, but figured the Phantom 3 Pro would suit me just fine. And it did, until I found myself ordering a ton of stuff for it, including a carrying case that cost me several hundred dollars. So, one night while sitting in bed and about to order the HDMI module for the P3Pro, I said screw it, I'm sending it back to B&H and ordering the Inspire 1..

Fast forward a few weeks and I could not be happier with my decision. The Inspire 1 is an absolute beast in the air. Faster, more nimble, superior build quality. Not to mention it's significantly better handling in winds. The Q500 was horrible in the winds I flew it in, while the Phantom 3 Pro was good.. Inspire 1 is all around phenomenal.. So glad I own one.

Any hoot.. That's what I've been up to. Here's a panorama image I shot of Downtown Dallas today.

 

Until next time, keep it clicking.....

Doug

image.jpg

Gear Doesn't Matter!

Gear Doesn't Matter!

Has someone ever told you, or have you heard someone say that gear doesn't matter? Well I have. And I call BULLSHIT!  While it is true, a great photographer can take any camera and make a great image, while a novice can get his hands on the best cameras available and produce garbage. I get it, and I agree with that... BUT!!

As gear evolves and manufactures innovate, tools continue to get better and better. Sure, sometimes upgrades are incremental offering no new earth shattering new features. But... There are plenty of instances that I as a Canon shooter can recall where new features from 5D to 5D for example, introduce new features that make the upgrade or purchase worth it. Take the 5D MKIII upgrade from the MKII.. The MKII could only auto bracket 3 images, while the MKIII can do 7. Sure, you can manually bracket more, however, many architecture and landscape pro's are looking for the least amount of movement when shooting, and the fewer times you touch the camera the better for ultimate sharpest image. How about the inclusion of the headphone port for monitoring in camera audio? How about clean HDMI out? These upgrades made many pro video shooters do the whip / nae nae. Could they live with out them? Sure.. Does it matter to them? HELL YES IT DOES! Many Sony pro shooters will tell you that the new A7R II is a MUCH better camera with many new features that make it a substantially better camera and  WILL make their jobs easier, and perhaps more enjoyable. 

So I say to you. The next time someone tells you that gear doesn't matter.. Call, BULLSHIT! 

Feel free to sound off in the comments below. And until next time.. Keep it click'n. 

Doug

Why I switched from Lightroom to Capture One

Why I switched from Lightroom to Capture One

I am always seeking the best possible quality for my photography. Be it the newest body, lens or even software to import, edit and process my work. as a long time Lightroom user, I was happy for the most part with the software from version to version. During my Lightroom years, I had even tried Aperture for about a month and a half to test it out, but eventually went right back to Lightroom. After hearing about Capture One for quite some time, seeing well known photographers rave about it, I began to read what they were saying and taking note.. But eventually decided that I had my workflow set, and thought "if it's not broke, don't fix it." 

One day while on Facebook I came across two different posts. One from a photographer I can't remember who it was, posted his top ten reasons why he moved from Lightroom to Capture One Pro. The second by photographer Frank Doorhoff, again, raving about Capture One Pro's superior raw image processing and vastly superior tethered capture. At the bottom of the post, Frank had a coupon code for a percentage off the purchase price. So, with all that and a 60 day fully functioning trial, I decided to download it (version 7 at that time). While it was downloading, I decided to proceed with purchasing the application to make myself vested in it so that I would force myself to give it a ligitimate shot at replacing Lightroom.

After installing it I was a little intimidated as it's a much different interface and workflow than I had become accustomed to. When you first launch the app, you're presented with options of creating a Catalog or Session... Wha, what? Session or Catalog? What to do, what to do.. What I decided to do was create a Catalog for my personal work as they are similar to how Lightroom manages files and folders. And for client shoots, create individual Sessions, as they are more suited for that task.  

After building a Catalog, I imported some of my raw images and began fiddling around with the interface and options. While it was apparent that the processing engine was superior to Lightroom in my eyes, I decided after a couple of days to close it down, and go back to Lightroom as there was a lot to learn and I didn't know if I was up to the task of switching fully at the moment. 

Almost a month had passed and I receive an email from Phase One saying that because I had recently purchased Capture One Pro 7 I was entitled to a FREE upgrade to the newly released version 8. Sweet... I downloaded it, and began to watch the tutorials available on the Phase One website, as well as their YouTube playlist of webinars etc. 

Fast forward to today a year later; I am proud to say that I could not be happier with my decision to dedicate the time to learn Capture One Pro... I'm no longer a Lightroom user. Because everyone loves a top reasons list, let me share my own top five of why I'm a Capture One Pro photographer.

 

5) Fully Customizable Interface:

Unlike Lightroom, Capture One Pro's interface is FULLY customizable. If you don't want a tool, remove it.. Need a tool? Add it.. Don't like where a tool is? Move it.. You have access to multiple customizable workspaces within the app for your chosen task. Or you can create a custom workspace. You can change any or all of the keyboard shortcuts! How cool is that?

4) Color Tools, Especially For Skin And The New 3-Way Color Wheel:

For those who are looking to colorize or grade their imagery, it really doesn't get much better than the color tools that are available in Capture One. From the ability to change the color of a model's shoes, to isolating specific skin tones for adjustment, you have the tools at your fingertips. For all ethnicities.

3) Capture Pilot. Keep Clients Involved But Off Your Back:

While shooting tethered for a client, the ability to setup and hand them an iDevice (iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone) or any other web enabled device to view all of the incoming shots to view, rate and provide feedback on, while you are shooting, but most importantly, not standing behind you on set. Capture Pilot runs as a server in Capture One and you specify whether the session connects with a device running the Capture Pilot app, a web enabled device via a browser or both. The free Capture Pilot app also has an in-app purchase to enable remote triggering of your camera. Several options within Capture One that allow or deny options such as rate, color tag etc.

2) Near Bullet-Proof Tethered Shooting:

If you've ever tethered much in Lightroom, you've dealt with the frustration of dropped connections, session not finding your camera etc. Tethered connections are ROCK SOLID with a multitude of options from remote capture, live view, and the ability to tell the program how to display the next image (copy from last) etc. Phase One's website touts that they support tethered shooting for over 300 cameras from several device manufactures. 

1) Superior RAW Processing Engine:

Take a look at the images below as an example. They were exported from each app (Capture One 8 and Lightroom 5), with no processing or adjustments at 16bit TIFF images. They were then imported into Photoshop, placed together, text overlays were added so you know which came from what program and exported as the JPG images you see below. 

This far superior RAW processing engine along with all of the advanced editing tools provided within the interface, make Capture One a MUCH better app for me and my workflow. When doing post, for me, it's critical to begin with the best "base" you can in order to fulfill your end vision.

So there you are, my story of why and how I switched from Lightroom to Capture One Pro, along with my top five reasons. I could continue to go on about tools like the "loupe tool", or the super useful and cool "focus mask" , but I'll leave it here for now. If you have any questions, comments or need more info/help in regards to Capture One Pro, drop me a comment below.

Until next time, keep it clicking..

-Doug

To blog, or not to blog.....

... That is the question....

I admit that I'm not the best writer out there, or even one that would consider himself a blogger. Having said that, I do recognize the importance of a blog to a corresponding website, so... Here it begins.

So, what does a non-writer, non-blogger write about? For me it's going to be simply the things that I am always talking about with photographers and others in my circle; my interest in photography, filmmaking, gear and making images. Photography is an obsession for me and here within the pages of this blog, I hope to speak about these interests and allow others to read my thoughts and processes.

So... Until the next post, keep it clicking.

-Doug