New Nikon D4 detailed look

I’ve been tied up for the past nine months and no I did not have a child but there are two new high end offerings from Nikon that I have put on my “if I win the Lottery” list.

Rather than talk about them here I am going to let the review/overview speak for me. One of the key things about the D4 over the D3 models is the use of a new memory card type…the XQD. This is the replacement for aging compact flash format for digital recording.

But enough of what I think…here’s the overview from

Also…I am going to be changing the look of this site. If you have any ideas, please pass them along. Thanks!

A quick word about bokeh

Some people may hear this term used when discussing photographs and wonder how the “bokeh” is being used. Bokeh is a term used to describe the blurring of the background or foreground objects. Photomatters has a good piece explaining it and how to use it. You can view it here:

Would Nikon dump its entry level lines?

Word has it that the Nikon 3000 and 5000 series cameras I’m going to check this out because I cannot believe that Nikon is going to abandon the entry level markets and leave the D90 and D7000 as its lower level line. These cameras sell for $800 and up. The D7000 starts at $1000.

That’s now quite an entry level starting point.

Legitimate comments

I had to say a word about this–the amount of spam that this blog is getting is unreal. I can no longer discern legit posts from spam posts (although I am sure it’s something like 200 spam posts per one legit post).

In any case..this is a notice that in the coming weeks, I will be turning off comments unless someone has a better way to cut off the volume of spam I am getting.

More about online photo storage

Well I told you a couple of months ago that I would give you some additional information regarding online photo storage and there has been a little movement in the market as prices have come down a little bit and services have become easier to use and access. So let’s review my top five online digital photography storage sites.

First let’s review my criteria for selecting someplace to store your images online:

  1. Provides you with tools to upload multiple images off of your PC/Camera at one time
  2. Provides you with access to your images regardless of platform (PC/Phone/etc)
  3. Provides you with quality service around the clock
  4. Provides you the ability to have backups of your image collection
  5. The service does not automatically resize your images or provides you with tools to restore their original size
  6. The service gives you control over who looks at and downloads your images

With that in mind, here are my top 7 online image hosting services. These are in no particular order. I do this because I want you to go to each site and maybe look up one or two of your own and see which ones you will think can work best for your needs.

  1. Adobe starts you with 2GB of storage for free but that’s not this site’s strength. Oh no…this site’s strength is in its editting
    tools. These tools allow you to make basic image edits like remove red eye, crop the image, or make some basic changes. For $20/year, you
    can buy 20GB of space. And you can expect to pay $1/GB for each increase above that.
  2. Flickr’s free account provides you with a monthly upload/download limit which has changed and continues to change. For $25/year you get
    unlimited photo and video storage.
  3. Smugmug is service geared at semi-professional and professional photographers. For $40/$60/$150 a year you can have more control over the
    site that presents your images. All plans have unlimited storage and allow you universal access to your images. The high end plan gives you
    complete control over the page that displays your images plus the way you sell your photographs.
  4. Photobucket is an Internet staple. Free accounts get 500 MB of online storage and you are allowed up to 10GB of downloadable bandwidth per
    month. There is a 1MB size limit per photo so if you use a Canon Mark V with the 77MB raw files, this is not going to be the solution for
    you. However for $25 a year, those limitations are removed and you get to post images up to 4000×3000 plus access to their technical support
  5. Webshots by American Greetings, is a service that comes with the ability to use your images or the predefined images of other photographers
    into your projects. What this means is that there is also a likelihood for others to have access to your images for things like calendars, coffee
    mugs, and the like. They give you a 1000 image limit and then boost that with 100 extra images for every month that you remain a member of
    their free plan. For $20/year, those restrictions are limited but this offering is among the least favorable ones for photographers looking to post
    the thousands of images they generate a year.

Now there are some prominent sites that I left out. I left them out for a reason. Either I am not a fan of their policies or I do not like the software they ask the user to use for their site. However everyone is different and I urge you to research these other sites as well.

If you have any additional questions, just ask.

Bluebonnets of the old West

Bluebonnets in a field

Originally uploaded by jachamp

Here we are with another April and another wildflower season. This is turning out to be a great season with lots of heavy pockets of bluebonnets and these purple things (sorry…not big on names) all over the place.

If you live in S. Central Texas, you probably cannot drive ten minutes without finding a pocket but as a person who loves looking at these things and photographing them…can I ask you for one favor?

Please do not trample the flowers. I am running into large patches where I see up to 1/3 of the flowers schmushed down by whole families who get into the patch trying to take their picture. I know…you want to get the perfect shot of your family but when you do that no one else gets to enjoy them too.

Second…respect other people’s property. When shooting photographs of flower patches, please respect the property that they are located on. Do not get photographs of someone’s house or personal possessions.

If someone, like the homeowner who has this display, has taken the time and care to maintain such a wonderful scene…you should respect their property rights while sharing this beauty with others.

Crab Spider for Thanksgiving


Originally uploaded by jachamp

This shot was taken with my Nikon D40 using my Tamron 70-300mm in macro mode. It tooks many shots to get this right as this web was floating in the breeze. Add to that the fact that I didn’t have my tripod, and you have this soft focus shot that has some wonderful shots around the edges of this crab spider. This shot was one of many I took Thanksgiving afternoon and made for a good dessert treat (and no…I didn’t eat him).

Not quite what I had in mind…

So ARod tested positive for steroids five years ago when it wasn’t a punishable offense in the major leagues. Here’s my thoughts…Alex’s test is only another reminder that the only people our society rewards are cheaters.

If you aren’t cheating, then you aren’t trying and it’s only cheating if you get caught. Those are the mantras our children get to hear daily on the television or radio.

Fourteen year old boys are having Tommy John surgery on their perfectly healthy arms just to give their curve ball a little more snap or add a couple of MPH to their fast ball.

As a society, we need to decide…do we want to reward cheaters or punish them and we need to quit sending a message that we’re shocked or dismayed when we clearly are not.