Creating a Consistent Color Space Workflow Across Adobe Applications

Creating a Consistent Color Space Workflow from Lightroom through Photoshop from William Palank on Vimeo.

1) I give a bit of a rudimentary dfinition of the 3 major RGB color spaces.
2) Why I have decided that ProPhoto is my choice (but Adobe RGB isn’t too bad).
3) How to set the Color Preferences in Lightroom, ACR, and Photoshop.

If you want to skip the Color Space definitions and get to the meat.
Changing Preferences in :
Lightroom 5:14
ACR 6:11
Photoshop CS, CC 7:17

Read more.. Friday, July 26th, 2013

Laptop Stand for Tethered Studio Shooting.

If you’re a photographer like me, you constantly see new equipment and innovations reaching the marketplace where you think, “Fantastic idea but way to expensive”.
I became interested in adding a Laptop Stand to my knew PhotoStudio for Tethered Shooting after seeing such devices while walking through Camera Stores and researching different Blogs. Having recently added a wireless Epson Projector to my repertoire for giving Presentations, I thought it would make a great device to hold a laptop as I prefer standing up when giving Presentations.

Two such companies that seemed to be favored were Tether Tools, touted by Scott Kelby and friends, and Tech Tables which I saw on the showroom floors at both Calumet San Francisco and Camera West in Walnut Creek.

While playing around with the one at Calumet, it literally started falling apart. Secondarily, playing with the handle on the device allows the table to drop-down completely forward which means that even with a lip or strap, my expensive Mac Book Pro with Retina Screen is going to hit the ground and shatter into a million pieces. Let’s just say that the equipment inspired zero confidence with this photographer!
The Tether Tools “table” on the website and on the B& H website looks way to flimsy, not to mention the expense factor, $180-$250 for the table alone (no tripod or accouterments).

Between the companies, one might look at the Tech Tables product for the availability of a complete kit for around $390. On Tech Tools website, one must run around and try to figure out how to complete a kit. By the end of my visit there I think I had 7 pages open in Safari, was approaching $600 and still wasn’t sure if the thing was complete enough for tethering.

Realspace Laptop Cart

Enter Office Depot, (yes you read that right) and the Realspace Mobile Laptop Cart (pictured in my Studio above). Obviously Office Depot is not specifically known for any wide array of fine photographic products. It was actually suggested as a source by one of the Calumet staff that I should visit a store only 5 blocks away and see what they had to offer. I was completely surprised that they had EXACTLY what I wanted and MORE. Not to mention it was on sale and I walked out with the complete box for $79 + tax. Well obviously you get an inferior product at that price right? An emphatic WRONG! This baby rocks, and more importantly it is completely stable with my MacBook Pro aboard. I’ll tell you about the one product I added from Tether Tools for about $17 from B&H in a moment.

As you can probably see by my first image, this baby has a nice wheeled support system and it is possible to lock down all the wheels. It is impossible to tip the table forward, in fact it stops at dead level for any forward tilt of the table. You can tip the table towards you and it has a nice sound lip to prevent your laptop from splashing on the floor. I did add the Secure Strap from Tether Tools which I bought at B&H and it fits perfectly with the table and my 15 inch laptop. Also, there is a nice lip mounted on the forward and back side of the table to prevent accidental ejection of your laptop.

Secure Strap from Tether Tools

There is also a sliding Mouse Platform that conforms for right handers, left handers, and disappears altogether. Saweet…… If I don’t need it, I slide it in. However, I am thinking about getting this product from Tether Tools, the Peel and Place Mouse Pad, to give a little extra grip to the wireless mouse I may or may not use. What I love is that it gives me options. If the thickness of the Mouse Pad does not allow me to slide the Mouse Platform within the table, I’m only out 11 bucks, then I’ll simply have a small mouse pad at the ready.

Mouse Table

Here’s the bonus you get with the Office Depot Product. A FAN. Yes, you set your laptop on the device which has a fan driven by one of your USB ports. The other expensive guys didn’t even think of this, nor did I. Well at the complete price listed above, that fan must hum like a Pratt and Whitney jet Engine lifting a Boeing 747 for an International Flight, right? Wrong again. It’s silent, I mean completely silent. So much so that I had to lift up my MBP, plug and unplug the USB to tell if it was spinning. In other words I could only tell visually and not by the sound. So for those of you users still with the 1st-3rd Generation MacBook Pros that can cook an egg on the bottom of your machines, you know what I’m talking about. Plus, I have found that when fans kick on during presentations on these laptops they can be noticeable in smaller, quieter rooms. This could circumvent the need for your laptop to kick it’s fan on at all. If none of this is of interest, you can remove the fan portion of the table and be left with a nice solid surface for your laptop as well.

Fan with USB Connector

Table sans USB Fan

The last really useful thing I see on this unit that the other guys didn’t address is a depression on one of the legs so that you can mount a surge protector. I mean these guys at Realspace thought of almost everything. I bought my Surge Protector for less than $15 at Best Buy, then attached it on the leg for about $5 worth of Velcro from a Hardware Store.
I want to mention that none of the add-ons I completed my kit with would have been free from any of the other vendors.

Surge Protector Depression

Finally, a non-useful item (me thinks), but it is included for free and I can make it disappear, is a Cup Holder. Putting a cup of liquid near a laptop on a small shelf is about equal to having yours truly ;) shoot off dangerous illegal Chinese Fireworks (Bottle Rockets held in my hand) on the Fourth of July that I bought in a dark, dank cellar of Chinatown, from a shop and guy that looked like the scene from “Gremlins”. (More on that at another time).
However, the really expensive company wants to sell you one for an additional $30, almost a third of the price of my complete kit! Tether Tools Cup Holder .

Cup Holder

So to wrap things up, I feel that the Realspace Mobile Laptop Cart makes an excellent choice for your Studio Equipment Arsenal (if not the best) for your Tethering and Presentation needs.

Till next time….

Read more.. Friday, July 12th, 2013

Looking Into the iPad 2, WiFi Wireless transfer from the Leica m240 to the iPad 2.

Well, after my first video, lots of doubters doubted the authenticity as to whether my WiFi set-up was actually downloading files to my iPad 2. I made an open call that I could call up my videographer and show proof if any of these loathsome creatures would be care to place money in my Pay-Pal Account to hire him again. As expected, no takers. So i had to do a shaky job by myself. Please read the description on the Vimeo Page. I do not work the Support for the WiFi Company, please download the User Manuals and good luck. I won’t be able to answer questions if you have problems with the software.

Looking Into the iPad 2, WiFi File Transfer from Leica M240 to iPad 2. from William Palank on Vimeo.

Read more.. Friday, March 15th, 2013

Behind the Scenes Shoot with Leica M240 with WiFi Card

I was lucky enough to receive the new Leica M240 about a week and a half ago and through hours and hours of working with the camera, Mac Pro, iPad 2, specific iPad App, and the Apple SD to iPad Card Reader, was able to get it to work flawlessly, transferring JPEG Basic images to the iPad at about 3-4 seconds per image. here’s a behind the scenes video we shot.

BTS Leica M240 Lingerie shoot wirelessly through WiFi SD to iPad 2. from William Palank on Vimeo.

Read more.. Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Music on the Go!

Before leaving on my recent trip to Ethiopia, fully knowing I would be spending about two weeks in the bush, many nights at campsites. I wanted to put together a music system with which I could share my Playlists with my guides and any locals that might want to sit around the campfire, have a glass of wine and share stories.

Just before leaving I was lucky enough to be at the Apple Store where they had just got a new product by the most popular maker of discreet Bluetooth headsets for the iPhone, Jawbone. Their newest product is a small portable speaker system that can connect via analogue cable to your iPodnano, shuffle, or smartphone. Not only that, but it is blue tooth friendly with such devices as an iPhone or iPad. Testing it out in my house with multiple walls I could connect my iPhone and iPad and walk more than thirty feet away. Well enough, the name of the device is the Jambox. It’s also rated up to 85 db.

Just to give you an idea of it’s small size I took a picture  next to my iPhone and connected via the analogue connector (which is supplied) to my iPodnano. (Below)

Jambox with Nano

It also comes with a very slim-fit durable neoprene like case with magnetic flaps to keep the doors shut (below).

Case

To round out my system I bought a pair of the Klipsch in-ear headphones. It comes with a nice felt bag in to which I can also keep my analogue connector, iPodnano, as well as the ear phones. Just to keep my traveling music bundle as small and portable as possible.

Klipsch felt bag

All in all, I found it to be an excellent as well as durable system. The charging time for the Jambox is less than 1 hour and gives up to 6 hours of playtime before a new charge is needed. You can adjust the volume from your music device and/or the top of the Jambox with a simple + and – raised buttons. I think this is a must get item for any of our travelers that miss the high quality of their music systems at home. At around US $200, it may not be the cheapest alternative out there but it could be the best based on sound quality, size and ergonomics.

Read more.. Sunday, July 10th, 2011

Padding Inserts

One of my favorite line of bags to travel with my Leica M-system as of late is the fairly new line of Retrospective Bags from Santa Rosa Camera Accessory maker Think Tank. My newest acquisition is their smallest in the series, the Retrospective 5. Perfect for an M9 with lens along with two additional M-lenses. However, the weak link in this particular bag line is the padding and the very thin dividers that are provided. maybe 3mm thick at the widest.

Useless Dividers

So what I did with my larger Retrospective 10 (Pinestone) is take the thick and plush inserts provided with my Artisan and Artists “Oskar One Day Bag”, which I wasn’t using and put it in the Retrospective Bag (see below).

Unfortunately, this particular insert is way to big for the much smaller Retrospective 5.

While reading the Leica User Forum I was informed of a fairly new line of products from bag maker Crumpler in a Thread started by Forum member MarkP. The Australian Camera Bag maker has recently introduced the Haven line, a kind of sack with well padded inserts in sizes Small, Medium and Large.

San Francisco actually has a Crumpler Boutique about two blocks from my gym at the Four Seasons, so I brought my Retro 5 in for a quick fitting. I found that the Medium or (M) size was perfect for the bag. I could easily get the M9 with lens attached along with two other M-lenses in the bag (below).

Empty Retrospective 5

Camera on Top

Sack Closed

Once you pull the sack string tight, the Retrospective Bag easily closes with it’s velcro fasteners.

Haven Closed, Front View

Retrospective 5 Closed

Here’s a shot of the Haven outside the Think tank Bag with multiple elastic pockets for SD Cards and extra batteries.

Haven Sack

Now you might think, “Why is this guy obsessing over dividers in his bag?” Good question! I like to think of the padding in my bag as sort of an insurance policy. Sure you might of thought ahead and packed all your gear nice and tight so that you can carry it into the aircraft cabin, but if something gets broken or misaligned along the way, well…… their aren’t a lot of Leica stores or camera repair shops in the Lower Omo, Ethiopia (actually NONE).

I just put this system together and haven’t really field tested it but I think Crumpler has come up with a great product at a fairly reasonable price ($50 US). As a warning, i just want to state that both people working at the boutique that these items are selling out as quick as they come in. They come in neon green or orange. I would have preferred the orange but they have no idea when the next shipment is coming in. “A Bird in the Hand….”

Read more.. Friday, July 8th, 2011

Ethiopia Images

Can be found here:

Ethiopia (Click)

Read more.. Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

Packing Video 2

Please watch recent post “Packing Video 1″ first.

Just a note: all “Prescription Medications” go in my carry-on along with at least one pair of underwear.

Read more.. Monday, February 7th, 2011

Packing Video 1

Here is the link to the Tumi Bag (click on the word “Tumi”, it is a hyperlink). The dimensions are on the website.

Link to Eagle Creek (hyperlink) cube products. In the US, The Container Store carries a large selection of the Eagle Creek products as does Edward’s Luggage.

Anyway, if you guys want me to do the followup video, which has two other great Eagle Creek Products, I’ll need 5 comments on the blog (spam not included).

Here’s a direct link to the video on Vimeo in case anyone is having problems viewing it on the Blog.

Read more.. Sunday, February 6th, 2011

Travel Tip: International Connections

If you travel internationally at all, you might find your camera bag and/or luggage filled with a multitude of electrical plug adapters especially if there are numerous countries on your itinerary. As illustrated in the image above, not an easy organizational feat by any means. That is until now….

Under the Christmas tree just recently, I found a gift from my lovely wife, a wonderful device from Tumi. (OK, OK, I left plenty of hints with a Tumi brochure with the above item circled and a printed MapQuest search with the location of the nearest Tumi store).

Anyway, the item is listed as a “USB Cellphone Charger Kit” but does much more.  It acts as a USB Charger and electrical adaptor. It will handle 110-220 V and the four different plug configurations it provides are advertised to work in over 150 countries, all within one compact kit with beautifully constructed carrying case.

It comes standard with a multitude of tip-adapters that will most likely fit most popular cell phone brands to date and also a self retracting USB chord and automobile cigarette lighter adapter.

The above kit as described sells for roughly $95 USD. I you feel the removable USB portion is not for you, there is another Tumi electric adapter (only) with it’s own case that sells for about $50. You can bet that I will be making room for this functional little device in my international carry-on  from now on.

Read more.. Sunday, January 16th, 2011