For those who sometimes like to shoot from a car window, the Puffin Pad is designed to support a camera and lens in exactly that scenario. It’s a lightweight alternative to a beanbag with a slot that fits over the car window and allows the camera to tilt up or down. Constructed of automotive foam, the Puffin Pad weighs just 3.4 ounces and measures 7x5x5 inches. When the window retracts into the door, it saddles most car doors. You can use it on other surfaces, as well, such as a fence post. Turn the pad over and it nestles smaller lenses and a camera body in your car or camera bag. Estimated Street Price: $29. Contact: Puffin Pad, (407) 207-8198, www.puffinpad.com.
Based on your location, the LightTrac app for Apple’s iPad gives you information on where to find the best light at any time of day and from anywhere. You can pull up a location, and the app shows you either a map or satellite view from Google Maps. Three lines on the map show you the angle of the sun at sunrise, sunset and the displayed time. In the latest version, there’s support for tracking the moon’s angle and elevation, too. This can be a useful way to scout locations before heading to a shoot because the sun’s azimuth and elevation changes throughout the year depending on where you’re located. Estimated Street Price: $6. Contact: Apple, itunes.apple.com.
Get plenty of power when shooting with your off-camera flash using the Quantum Turbo Blade. The battery is compact and attaches to the base of your DSLR, or you can mount it on a tripod or light stand with a flash attached. The high-capacity Blade delivers fast recycling at 1/10 of a second in TTL or 1.5 seconds for full-power shoe-mount flashes, and allows 400 to 2,000 shots per charge. The unit adds 1.4 inches of height and weighs less than 15 ounces. The fuel gauge lights indicate remaining battery capacity or charging status, and the battery is rechargeable up to hundreds of times. Estimated Street Price: $444. Contact: Quantum Instruments, (631) 656-7400, www.qtm.com.
HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE
Enhance tonal range or add subtle or hyperrealistic effects to your nature imagery using HDR Expose from Unified Color Technologies. This application replaces the company’s flagship program, HDR PhotoStudio. New features include an interactive HDR histogram, digital color readout, multiple ghost-reduction options, plug-ins for Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture, and a more intuitive user interface. Color, brightness and contrast all can be adjusted while maintaining a 32-bit workflow without tone mapping. List Price: $149. Contact: Unified Color Technologies, (650) 952-8886, www.unifiedcolor.com.
Eliminate dust from your camera sensor more effectively with the Arctic Butterfly 724 (Super Bright). The brush now has two bright LEDs that illuminate the sensor during cleaning. This reduces the possibility of fiber being dragged accidentally against the surrounding cavity, reducing the possibility of smear from contaminated fibers. A three-stage power switch allows you to use the brush with the light on or off. The engine, which is responsible for spinning the brush to both clear and prepare the bristles for cleaning, has been modified to better maintain a constant speed. Estimated Street Price: $110. Contact: VisibleDust, (877) 999-9404, www.visibledust.com.