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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

In Focus: January/February 2012


TOUGH DRIVE
Back up files while still out in the field using the rugged CRU-DataPort/WiebeTech ToughTech Duo. It guards against data loss by writing the same information in real time to both of its 2.5-inch 750 GB notebook drives. With a small 3.5x6.3x1.3-inch footprint, the high-performance portable device is designed with a durable aluminum chassis for withstanding vibration and shock. With no internal fan, it's optimized for heat dissipation with internal thermometers that show the drives' operating temperature on the status LCD. The two-line LCD also provides RAID status, disk health and disk temperature updates. Estimated Street Price: $597. Contact: CRU-DataPort, www.cru-dataport.com.

PRINT PROTECTION
Give your prints an extra safety layer with Museo's Enhance clear coat solution. It protects against UV exposure, abrasion, marring, chemicals and water damage. The liquid laminate comes in matte, satin or gloss finishes to protect water-resistant canvases such as the new Museo Artistry Canvas. The 375gsm polyester and cotton blend stretch canvas is designed for long-term, fade-resistant fine-art or photo reproductions when printed with pigment inks. When paired with the clear coat solution, the canvas features improved stretch qualities, protection and a 100-plus-year archival rating. Estimated Street Price: Varies. Contact: Museo, (800) 343-0818, www.museofineart.com.


HYBRID SERIES
From shoulder bag to belt pack, each model in the Think Tank Photo Speed Convertible Series features a belt that tucks away into the sides of the bag to reduce bulk. Nonslip material is incorporated into a fully padded shoulder strap for supporting the bag when using it as a belt pack. A flip-top lid folds away from the body for quick access to gear. The smallest is the Speed Demon V2.0, and it carries a standard-sized DSLR with a standard zoom attached and another lens. The largest in the series is the Speed Racer V2.0, which holds a pro-sized DSLR with a zoom attached and a 70-200mm ƒ/2.8 lens. Estimated Street Price: $139 to $179. Contact: Think Tank Photo, (866) 558-4465, www.thinktankphoto.com.

CLEAR IT UP
Each correction tool in Athentech's Perfectly Clear plug-in functions independently so you can make corrections to one part of an image without affecting the rest of it. The program corrects for exposure, depth, clarity, tint, color vibrancy, color fidelity, vividness, red-eye, skin tone, light diffusion, noise and dynamic range. You can create your own presets, and before and after views help you fine-tune images more effectively. There are versions for Photoshop and Lightroom, as well as iPad and iPhone apps. Estimated Street Price: $199 (Photoshop/Lightroom); $6 (iPad); $3 (iPhone). Contact: Athentech, www.athentech.com.

REMOTE CONTROL
Having the ability to fire a flash remotely from a distance is sometimes the only way to capture high-quality wildlife shots. The Flashpoint X-Series Remote Flash Trigger Kit is an affordable and sturdy solution with 16 channels and a maximum range of nearly 600 feet. The receiver can be mounted on a tripod screw or a hot-shoe (with the supplied adapter). It attaches to a strobe with a 3.5mm mini or ¼-inch mono plug cable and runs off of two AAA batteries. The transmitter is powered by a single AAA battery and mounts to your camera's hot-shoe. Estimated Street Price: $99. Contact: Flashpoint, (800) 223-2500, www.adorama.com.


BOOKS ’N SUCH
A Totally Biased Close-Up and Macro Photography Book by Rob Sheppard is an e-book offering the basics on how to improve your close-up and macro photography. Filled with inspirational nature photographs, the book can be viewed on any color e-book reader or on any computer with a free e-reader app. It's available from digital retailers, including Amazon.com's Kindle Store, the Barnes & Noble Nook Store and the Apple iBookstore.

The Passionate Photographer: Ten Steps Toward Becoming Great (Voices That Matter) by Steve Simon (New Riders, 2011; ISBN: 978-0-321-71989-8). Translating thoughts and feelings into strong images can be difficult. Simon helps you close the gap in this practical guide by revealing 10 steps every photographer needs to become great at their passion.

Focus On Lighting Photos: Focus on the Fundamentals (Focus On Series) by Fil Hunter and Robin Reid (Focal Press, 2011; ISBN: 978-0-240-81711-8). Learn how to take shots in certain settings and times, such as lighting for specific seasons, backlighting, water lighting, available light at midday and more.

Black and White Digital Photography Photo Workshop by Chris Bucher (Wiley, 2011; ISBN: 978-0-470-42193-2). This guide helps you master the art of black-and-white photography by exploring integral concepts such as contrast and lighting. The book focuses on the rules of photography and how they apply differently in black-and-white.

The Photoshop Darkroom 2: Creative Digital Transformations by Harold Davis and Phyllis Davis (Focal Press, 2011; ISBN: 978-0-240-81531-2). By keeping in mind what type of postprocessing you'll do before you shoot, you can create more compelling images. Compositing, working with layers, HDR and other topics are covered.

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