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Eric Karr Photography - BUS: 806.773.7605 | SMS: 806.445.2335

Lubbock's Premier Photographer - Family / Children / Seniors / School / Fashion / Glamor / Sports

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Eric Karr – Kailee in Sweater.

Eric Karr - Kailee11232015-3

 
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Lightroom Mobile for Android is now free to use

Published on December 7, 2015 by in News

In October, Adobe released Lightroom 2.0 for iOS which, unlike previous versions, can be used as a stand-alone app on your Apple mobile device, without a paid subscription to the company's Creative Cloud services. Apparently customer response to the move has been very positive and Adobe has decided to do the same with the Android version of the app. Read more

 
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New Gear: COOPH Rain Jacket Carries Camera Gear in Style

Published on December 7, 2015 by in News
COOPH Rain Jacket For Photographers

I first encountered COOPH and its collection of photographer-oriented clothing at Photokina last year. The company still hasn’t achieved wide distribution here in the States, but it does make some of the most stylish photo-oriented clothes on the market.

Its latest product is called the Rain Jacket, and it looks very much like a typical piece of outerwear. The shell is completely waterproof, but it has a variety of zippers to allow for easy access to gear. There are also access zippers to allow you to get into your pants pocket easily. The inside has a large mesh pocket that's big enough to hold an extra lens, some camera accessories, or even a tablet. The outside has two large pockets at the bottom for extra capacity.

COOPH Rain Jacket For Photographers

One thing I really like is the extendable hood, which juts out like the brim of a hat to keep water from falling onto your face and the back of your camera. Trying to see through a rainy viewfinder or review images on a drip-covered screen are some of my least favorite things about shooting in the rain, and this could help a lot.

If you want to pick one up in the U.S., you can get it from one of the participating Leica stores listed on COOPH's site. You can order online in Europe, where it costs a cool 398 Euro. So, while it may not be the most practical option for American shooters just yet, I do hope COOPH eventually gets wider distribution in the USA. I’ve liked almost everything I have seen from the company, and stylish photography clothes can be tough to come by. Need proof? Do a search for “photography vests” and bask in the functional-yet-hideous results.

Official Site

 
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FYI: Lightroom Mobile Is Now Totally Free for Both iOS and Android Users

Published on December 7, 2015 by in News
Lightroom Mobile Main

Lightroom Mobile Main

It can be a little tricky to keep up with Adobe’s suite of mobile photo apps because of staggered platform releases and the sheer volume of apps they have available. But now, one of their most popular applications, Lightroom Mobile, is totally free for iOS and Android users, even if you don’t have a Creative Cloud account.

iOS users have had the benefit of free Lightroom Mobile since October, and according to a statement from Adobe today, that $0 price tag has been predictably popular with the user-base. Now, Android users have the same opportunity.

It’s a move that makes a lot of sense for Adobe, especially since Android is much more advanced when it comes to smartphone devices that actually capture raw files in the DNG format. That gives Lightroom Mobile a little room to flex its photo editing muscles.

It’s also likely a great gateway for folks who aren’t currently using the Lightroom platform on their computers. I would guess the promise of tight integration between mobile and desktop editing is a great way to get users into the Creative Cloud for Photographers plan.

You can download Lightroom for Android 1.4 right now from the Google Play store.

 
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How the Baseball Hall of Fame Is Trying to Preserve Classic Photographs

Published on December 7, 2015 by in News
Baseball Hall of Fame Photo Conservation Effort

Before and After: A stabilized Charles Conlon photo of Hall of Famer Kiki Cuyler. BL-1516-68WT (Charles M. Conlon / National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

Even if you're a huge baseball fan, the name Charles M. Conlon is probably still not a familiar one. But, he's responsible for some truly amazing and enduring photographs taken during some of baseball's golden years. There's currently a large-scale effort to restore some of his recovered work for display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Relatively recently, roughly 8,000 of Conlon's negatives were rescued from improper storage and they're currently being restored as part of the Hall's Digital Archive Project. Some of the photos are more than 100 years old and others have evidence of editing techniques that haven't been used in decades.

I'm not the biggest baseball fan, but I'm a total sucker for images that do such a fantastic job of encapsulating a different period in time. From the images made available so far, it's clear that Conlon had an incredible eye and a photographic sensibility that created truly awesome photos.

The restoration process is very expensive and they suggest that the images cost between $500 and $1,000 each to restore depending on how much degradation has taken place. Obviously not every image is severely degraded and some likely aren't worth the extensive restoration work if they're duplicates or obvious throw-aways, but the whole project is donor-supported, so if you want to make a donation, you can do so here.

Click here to read more about the conservation project.

 
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Canon 35mm F1.4L II: a photojournalist’s perspective

Published on December 7, 2015 by in News

By Jordan Stead

I prefer prime lenses to zooms because I can already see the frame before I raise the camera to my eye. After you've shot with a lens for a long time you get used to it. After looking through a 35mm lens for so long, I can visualize the field of view instinctively. And 35mm suits the way that I shoot. It's challenging, and at the same time, a very versatile focal length. 

The original Canon EF 35mm F1.4L USM, wide open at F1.4. (Photo: Jordan Stead, seattlepi.com)

A tendency when I'm using zooms is to shoot at the widest end most of the time. I always try to put myself as close to something as I possibly can, and so I end up zooming out as much as I possibly can. By being fixed at 35mm, it's not super wide, it's not tight, but it can be both simply by stepping back or stepping forward. It forces me to think about composition, it makes me work harder, and it makes me think more about layering.

The author with a typical camera and lens outfit for a two-photographer team shooting professional sports. More specifically, Super Bowl 49. Several camera bodies, several long sports lenses, and at least one 35mm F2 prime.

Photo: Josh Trujillo, seattlepi.com

I remember buying my original Canon EF 35mm F1.4L from a strange man in a California parking lot during an internship years ago. I can safely say that shooting with it as extensively as I did enabled me to build my personal vision as a photographer. It's been a staple in many photographers' bags since the 1990's, and it's by no means a bad lens following the release of the Mark II.

The original Mark I offers good sharpness, robust build quality, and despite the fact that it isn't technically weather resistant, I can guarantee you it actually is very weather resistant in normal use. Even bodily fluid resistant. And somewhat drop resistant. The durability of that era of L-series lens is impressive.

Using a 35mm and want a 50mm or 85mm field of view? Step in and think layering instead of zooming. Shot on the original Canon EF 35mm F1.4L USM at F4.5. (Photo: Jordan Stead, seattlepi.com)

There are a couple of downsides to the original EF 35mm F1.4, but only if you're pixel peeping. Corner sharpness isn't outstanding: It tends to have kind of a smear to it, which I don't actually mind too much. I've always enjoyed a little natural vignetting, because it tends to draw your eye more to the center of the frame, but there are times when the chromatic aberration can be pretty bad. If you're shooting something like a lot of backlit trees, or a portrait of somebody with blond hair, backlit, your photograph will contain some wild Christmas colors. 

Shot on the original Canon EF 35mm F1.4L USM at F4. (Photo: Jordan Stead, seattlepi.com)

After years and years of heavy use, my original 35L was repaired three or four different times, due to being abused in just about every possible way. It had been dropped many times, slammed against something while dangling off my shoulder while running, soaked through with snow, rain and probably a fair amount of beer, too. At the end of its life, it would only work when shot wide open at F1.4. I do recall the autofocus switch assembly popping completely out of the lens body at one point with a long trail of electronics dangling out after. I pushed the guts back into the body, gaffer taped it over, and kept on shooting.

Canon EF 35mm F1.4L II USM

Price: $1,799 USD

Aperture range: F1.4-F22

Nine rounded aperture blades

Two Aspherical Elements, One UD Element

Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics

Weather-sealed design

Once my original 35L turned to dust, I found myself unwilling to spend $1,300 to replace it. Canon's non L-series EF 35mm F2 IS was getting outstanding reviews across the board and it was much smaller and lighter than the F1.4 version. The 35mm F2 doesn't have a big red ring on it, so it's a little subtler (and cheaper), and comes with image stabilization. I've discovered now, having shot with the 35mm F2 for over a year, that IS on short glass can be truly amazing – especially when panning or shooting in low light and keeping ISO low.

Can you tell the difference between F1.4 and F2? If you can't - or don't care - opt for the cheaper, lighter, IS-equipped Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM, used here at F2. (Photo: Jordan Stead, seattlepi.com)

With IS, you can get away with a 0.5 second exposure if you are super, super still. That's something you'd be hard pressed to be able to get away with on a non-IS lens, including the old 35mm F1.4. Then there's the price. For so much less than the F1.4, you're still getting solid build quality, with stabilization, and all you're really losing in return is a stop of light. But you definitely don't get that particular, dreamy F1.4 look, unless you're close enough to a subject to throw their background significantly out of focus.

Having now shot a lot with the new EF 35mm F1.4L II, the first thing that stood out to me was the size; nearly the same as the Canon 24-70 F2.8 Mark II! Then again, compare it against the Sigma 35mm Art F1.4 and it's around the same bulk.

It's almost not worth talking about the image quality. I figured if the Sigma Art was as good as everyone says it is (and it is), then for $1,800, Canon had to have at least matched if not exceeded it. I was confident that the quality was going to be outstanding, and it is. The 35mm F1.4L II is eye-searingly sharp. Colors are amazing, bokeh is beautiful and the lack of CA is unmatched. I've never worried about CA a whole lot, but it was apparent when shooting the 35L II in a challenging environment (such as a backlit, daylight scene), it definitely holds its own better than both its predecessor and cheaper F2 sibling.

Canon EF 35mm F1.4L II USM: if sharp is what you want, sharp is what you'll get. Taken at F1.6. (Photo: Jordan Stead, Red Box Pictures)

What I've come to really enjoy about the Mark II is the focus accuracy and speed. The Mark I is great, I've had tons and tons of good luck with it, but the Mark II is just so fast and so accurate, especially when paired with a body like the EOS-1D X. Considering when you first get a prime and all you want to do is shoot it wide open for a month, you judge it harshly on whether the focus is landing correctly, especially when you know your technique is up to snuff. It was great to go into my edit and see I was having a much better hit rate at F1.4. And it's not just because of the relatively low 18MP resolution of the EOS-1D X, I've had similar results with the EOS 5DS R and 5D Mark III.

The fear is that I'll probably buy a Mark II version for myself now. The 35mm F2 is just so convenient, and I really do appreciate the weight, but it can't quite beat the image quality and autofocus performance of the 35L II. 

"F1.4 and be there?" Not the best advice (nor how the saying goes), but the Canon EF 35mm F1.4L II USM sure makes shooting wide open more fun - and rewarding. Taken at F1.4. (Photo: Jordan Stead, Red Box Pictures)

Putting this new lens on my camera has made me enjoy shooting at F1.4 more and, in turn, worry less about CA. Compared to the original 35mm F1.4 there are many advantages across the board. I really have nothing bad to say about the Mark II besides its hefty size, but that's just the standard at this point for 35mm F1.4s, anyway.

With the inevitability of more high-megapixel bodies on the way, it is important to consider that you're not necessarily buying a lens like the Mark II just for right now: you're buying it for the future. With cameras like the 5DS R, older lenses - even L-series lenses - can mostly still deliver decent results, but the 35mm F1.4L II is a step up in terms of sharpness, color and CA control. If a high-megapixel body is something you're considering in the future, you're going to want to pick up this lens.

 
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Full Frame DSLR for Less than $300!

Published on December 6, 2015 by in News
Full-frame can be had for less than $300 but will it live up to modern day standards?
 
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Readers’ Showcase: Giuseppe Milo

Published on December 6, 2015 by in News

Readers' Showcase: Giuseppe Milo

The foggy bridge - Dublin, Ireland. Photo by Giuseppe Milo

Giuseppe Milo credits his interest in landscape and architectural photography with helping to shape a series of street photos he calls 'Faceless.' His fascination with the interaction between humans and the built environment are a common thread through the series, a project he calls 'endless' with new additions every week. Take a look at a selection of his photos and learn more about his history with photography. You can see more of his work at his website and Flickr

Would you like to be featured in an upcoming Readers' Showcase? Let us know! Be sure to include your DPR user name and a link to your online portfolio.

Readers' Showcase: Giuseppe Milo

Advanced selfie - Chicago, United States. Photo by Giuseppe Milo

Tell us where you're from and what your history with photography is.

I'm from the Amalfi coast, Italy, but I've been living in Ireland since 2010. It's in Dublin that I started to take more pictures and study photography. I've always loved photography and initially I spent a lot of money on gear; then I realized that buying books and reading articles would have been more helpful so I started doing that. In 2012 I became addicted to street photography which is the genre I like the most.

Readers' Showcase: Giuseppe Milo

Dancing in the water - Valletta, Malta. Photo by Giuseppe Milo

What do you shoot with now?

For the past 2 years I've been shooting with a Sony a7. When I shoot on the street I generally use a Sony FE 35mm F2.8 lens. 35mm is my favorite focal length. I love this combo because both the camera and the lens are very compact and light and the image quality produced is amazing. I also own a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III which I like as well, but the image quality is not comparable with the a7.

Readers' Showcase: Giuseppe Milo

Another working day - Chicago, United States. Photo by Giuseppe Milo

How did your 'Faceless' series start and how has it evolved?

A few weeks ago I was looking at my street pictures and I realized I was very passionate about silhouettes and images of people who are not recognizable. This is maybe because I'm not really interested in people in the pictures I take but I'm more interested in the composition, the light, the interaction between man and environment.

Readers' Showcase: Giuseppe Milo

Bryggen - Bergen, NorwayPhoto by Giuseppe Milo

(cont.) I don't really like to shoot people randomly and look for expressions or characters. I want to communicate a feeling with every picture I take so I always pay attention to composition and light, natural contrast, balance. Faceless is still evolving: it's actually an endless project, so you can check my website weekly for new pictures.

Readers' Showcase: Giuseppe Milo

Raining - Chicago, United States. Photo by Giuseppe Milo

How do you think your approach to street photography differs to others'?

Most street photographers are interested in expressions, funny moments, people interaction. I started photography shooting landscapes, so maybe that's the reason why I'm more interested in compositional elements. I also try to give my pictures a cinematic look: this is why I've chosen to use the 16:9 format for most of my pictures. This is the way I like street photography. I think everyone has to find his personal style and I guess I found mine.

Readers' Showcase: Giuseppe Milo

Stairs - Lisbon, Portugal. Photo by Giuseppe Milo

What have the challenges been in creating a book for your project? 

Creating the book was actually a very straightforward process. Both my wife and Lightroom have helped me a lot but the most important thing about the book creation was that I had a clear idea of what I wanted to achieve: I just had to create the layout. 

Readers' Showcase: Giuseppe Milo

The path - Dublin, Ireland. Photo by Giuseppe Milo

What advice would you give another photographer interested in self-publishing a book?

Use Lightroom and Blurb. It makes book creation very easy, and you can also choose to sell your book on Amazon. I think there are other options but my experience was very good. I like Lightroom, so it was fun to work on my book with the same software I use for editing my pictures.

Readers' Showcase: Giuseppe Milo

Opera house - Oslo, Norway. Photo by Giuseppe Milo

What are some of your favorite locations to shoot?

Everywhere there is a good light and contrast. I don't mind the location if there is a fantastic light. Otherwise, if light is not very good, I try to pick a location that allows me to create a good composition. I like architectural photography as well, and that's why some of my street shots are a mix of the two genres. I also like to explore new places. I happen to travel often for various reasons, so I can always change the location of my pictures.

Readers' Showcase: Giuseppe Milo

The photographer - Dublin, Ireland. Photo by Giuseppe Milo

What's the best advice you've received as a photographer?

Learn how to see the light. Light makes a big difference in creating a beautiful or an average picture. I've also learned to spend money on books and education. When you've learned enough, pick the camera you like to shoot with. Photography is about light, composition and balance, not about the gear. The moment I realized this myself, I really started to take better pictures.

 
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Behind the camera: Beauty photographer Lindsay Adler

Published on December 5, 2015 by in News

Lindsay Adler started her career as a portrait photographer very early. As a teenager, she took her classmates' senior portraits, and later found that shooting portraits through each summer during college would help offset the costs of the school year. She's now an author, educator and a leading fashion and studio photographer based in New York. We sat down with her recently to find out more about her early career, success and her evolving views on her own so-called 'failures.'

 
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Wacom Intuos Photo Graphics Tablet Offers an Affordable Alternative to the Mouse

Published on December 5, 2015 by in News

Have you ever felt that the mouse, which traces its history to the 1960’s, might not be the best tool for today’s digital photo editing needs? Many people (and not just professional retouchers mind you) have found that using a graphics tablet instead of a mouse is an easier and healthier way to interact with software. Long-term mouse use, as many veteran office workers can attest, can lead to wrist pain and eventually carpal tunnel syndrome. Whereas the mouse relies on finger and wrist movement, graphics tablets like those made West-coast manufacturer Wacom, use gestural arm movements.

The tablet systems that Wacom has become well-known for imitate the movements of drawing or writing with pen and paper. Because most of us grew up drawing this way, as opposed to with a mouse, it is not only a more natural and physically less taxing way to use a computer, but also one that can be easier when doing precise work like cutting paths in Photoshop.

While there are a number of tablets on the market, for the uninitiated, trying one out can be daunting and expensive. If you are thinking about giving graphic tablets a shot, but have cold feet about the cost (some Wacom devices fetch upwards of $1000), the Intuos Photo offers a low-cost entry-point. Launched just a few weeks ago, the Photo tablet will only set you back $99.55 (street), and has many of the features of the brand’s more expensive “Pro” series line.

This handsome square-ish device won’t crowd your desk space at just over 8 inches wide and connects to your Mac or PC via USB (though wireless connectivity can be had with a $40 accessory). It has four programmable buttons that can be set to perform specific functions in different programs, say “flagging” in Lightroom or zooming in Photoshop. The lightweight pen that comes with the Intuos Photo also has programmable buttons and can be stored handily in small tab at the top of the tablet.

The “active area” that records the movements of the pen can be set to map to one screen or two, depending on your monitor set-up. Though this space is only 3.7 x 6 inches, it’s virtually the same size as its more expensive high-end cousin, the Intuos Pro Small which has an active area of 3.9 x 6.2 inches. Additionally, you can put the Photo into a trackpad mode, turning it into a multi-touch interface device that feels luxurious compared to the cramped pads of most laptops.

It may take some users an hour or more to get used to using a pen instead of a mouse. Once you’ve got the hang of it though, many things that were once arduous become easy. Photo-illustration and image compositing aficionados may find that making selections and outlining paths is worlds easier when unshackled from the mouse.

Those already on board with graphics tablets might want to try out one of the new hybrid devices that occasionally appear on the market. Wacom’s new Bamboo Spark ($159.95, street), while not a photo-editing tool, allows you to write or draw on actual paper while simultaneously recording a digital rendition that’s sent to an app on your smart device.

 
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