Quickly import, organize, manage and showcase large volumes of your digital photographs using Adobe Lightroom. With powerful workflow tools and a streamlined user interface, Lightroom processes your images nondestructively in RAW, JPEG and TIFF. All of the tasks you see in the main interface—Library, Develop, Slideshow, Print and Web—are designed to act as independent modules so you have full, intuitive control. Tools include a precision white-balance selection option, tone curve adjustment for making midtone, shadow and highlight modifications, and search presets for quicker image retrieval. Lightroom is compatible with Photoshop CS2 and Elements, and works with Macintosh- and Windows-based systems. List Price: $199 (introductory price); $299 (standard). Contact: Adobe Systems, (800) 833-6687, www.adobe.com.
Give your landscape and wildlife photos some help with the Tamron AF18-250mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) macro lens. An expanded focal-length range lets you take a variety of wide-angle to telephoto shots. The lens has a 13.9x zoom ratio and weighs 15.2 ounces, and is part of Tamron’s Digitally Integrated series designed for exclusive use with digital SLRs that have APS-C-sized image sensors. List Price: $499. Contact: Tamron, (631) 858-8400, www.tamron.com.
Improve your print quality and consistency with Datacolor ColorVision PrintFIX PRO 2.0. The upgraded printer profiling software features advanced presets for selecting prebuilt or custom sets of profile settings with specific combinations of highlight and shadow tint, and detail and neutrality settings. A new curves function lets you adjust the entire profile rather than individual images. A gray axis algorithm with enhanced color data improves the quality of tinted and black-and-white prints.
List Price: $549. Contact: Datacolor ColorVision, (800) 554-8688, www.colorvision.com.
Make quick work of organizing and processing your images with the latest version of Apple’s Aperture software. Version 1.5 is full of new features that include a more flexible way of managing images. You can now store images in the Aperture library, in your own folder setup or on external hard drives and disks. Powerful new tools let you adjust hue, saturation and luminance on a color-by-color basis. Metadata presets automatically add copyright, credit and caption information. List Price: $299 (update is free to existing users). Contact: Apple, (800) MY-APPLE, www.apple.com.
Don’t let this lightweight shell fool you. The Faster & Lighter Shell from Columbia Sportswear is just the right jacket for braving wet spring weather. With a sleek, minimalist design, the 100-percent nylon Omni-Tech jacket is waterproof, breathable and ideal for high-energy activities. The jacket comes in cayenne, jet, sail red and sulfur. List Price: $179. Contact: Columbia Sportswear, (800) 547-8066, www.columbia.com.
Check for time and direction on your wrist with the Suunto X9i watch. Equipped with GPS, a compass, chronograph, altimeter and barometer, you won’t lose track of your whereabouts. The watch is water-resistant down to 100 feet, and comes with a PC connector and software that analyzes your performance. Estimated Street Price: $499. Contact: Suunto, (800) 543-9124, www.suunto.com.
Set Up Camp
Take shelter during the rainy season in the Ultralight tent series from Kelty. At less than five pounds, an innovative upgraded design cuts the weight without sacrificing living space, strength and stability. Features include nylon ripstop tent walls, taped seams, sidewall vents, mesh ceilings and internal storage pockets. List Price: $225 to $300. Contact: Kelty, (800) 423-2320, www.kelty.com.
When you’re out in the dark, light up with the Surefire U2 Ultra flashlight. This high-intensity
LED light provides six different levels of output, from a long-running low beam to a brilliant white tactical-level high beam nearly seven times brighter than a two-D-cell flashlight. Other features include a rugged and weatherproof aluminum body, compact size and a 10-year battery shelf life. List Price: $279. Contact: Surefire, (800) 828-8809, www.surefire.com.
Enhance your view with the DCF ED line of binoculars from Pentax. The specs feature extra-low-dispersion glass with multilayer optical coatings to deliver clear, vivid images. The durable, lightweight body is made from a magnesium alloy resistant to shock and impact. A hard coating on the lenses prevents scratches and marks. They’re also waterproof and can be submerged under water to a depth of 3.3 feet. List Price: Under $300. Contact: Pentax, (800) 877-0155, www.pentaximaging.com.
Keep your flash work up to speed with the Metz Mecablitz 58 AF-1, a compact wireless flash unit with USB interface. You can update the flash unit’s software by simply hooking it up to your home PC and installing updates posted online, instead of sending it off to your camera manufacturer. Other features include latest-generation multi-zone AF metering technology, a built-in wide-angle diffuser for 18mm focal lengths and an easy-to-read LCD. Two models are available. List Price: $359 (Canon); $330 (Nikon). Contact: Bogen Imaging, (201) 818-9500, www.bogenimaging.us.
Display your photos, either at work or home, with the Accolade DUET Ultra Portable Projection Screen from Epson. The DUET expands horizontally, rather than vertically, to either 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratios, and projects images up to 80 inches (diagonal). It can hang on a wall or stand freely on an included retractable stand. Setup takes about 30 seconds, and the screen breaks down into a compact unit for easy transport. List Price: $249. Contact: Epson America, (800) GO-EPSON, www.epson.com.
Find your photo gear fast when carrying it in the Lowepro SlingShot 300 AW backpack. You can fill up the 300 AW with your D-SLR and attached zoom lens, five to six additional lenses, flash units, memory cards and accessories. The bag rotates or “slings” around from your shoulder, providing an even quicker way to get to your stuff. A built-in waist belt is designed to balance out the bag’s weight, reducing strain on your back. List Price: $124. Contact: Lowepro, (800) 800-LOWE, www.lowepro.com.
Explore the deep depths of the sea with your camera fully protected in the Ewa-Marine U-BXP underwater housing. Compose your shot through an optical glass port while safely using your camera to a depth of 155 feet. The U-BXP is designed to allow you full use of the camera’s controls when boating, swimming, canoeing, snorkeling or diving. Only lenses with a maximum filter thread of 72mm can be used with the U-BXP. List Price: $450. Contact: R.T.S. Inc., (631) 242-6801, www.rtsphoto.com.
Create a coffee-table book of your nature photography using MpixPRESS. Easy-to-use software from Mpix helps you put together a perfectly designed book. You can create hardcover, 8.5x11-inch books with up to 50 pages and softcover books with up to 52 pages. Softcovers are available in three sizes—8x10, 8.5x8.5 and 5.5x5.5 inches. Prices vary by size and style. A hardcover book with 20 pages is $30. Additional pages cost 50 cents per page. Contact: MpixPRESS, www.mpix.com.
Choose from one of several new Induro aluminum ballheads designed to fully support your camera. The DM series offers manual drag control, dovetailed quick release and smooth, independent panning. The SA series single-action ballheads are also designed for smooth movement and stable positioning. They feature a dual quick-release locking system and compact, lightweight body. Estimated Street Price: TBA. Contact: Induro, (914) 347-3300, www.indurogear.com.
Correct distortions in your fisheye lens images using the Fisheye-Hemi plug-in from Image Trends. The Photoshop plug-in filter preserves more of the original resolution, displays the intended composition and framing as shown in the viewfinder, and straightens vertical lines. It’s optimized to be fully automatic with full-frame hemispheric fisheye-lens images. The latest version includes three plug-ins that support a wider range of camera and lens combinations. List Price: $29. Contact: Image Trends, (512) 637-7300, www.imagetrendsinc.com.
|Books 'N Such
The Art of Bird Photography II by Arthur Morris (Birds As Art, www.birdsasart.com). This CD-only how-to guide covers all aspects of photographing birds, from equipment and techniques to capturing those winged creatures in your backyard, on safari or on the tundra. Each image in the book includes technical data and instructive captions.
The Underwater Photographer, Third Edition: Digital and Traditional Techniques by Martin Edge (Focal Press, 2006; ISBN: 0-240-51988-4). This all-inclusive primer has been updated to provide in-depth coverage on the latest digital techniques and equipment for underwater photography. Find out how to best use your subject matter, lighting and the environment to take great photos.
Escalante: The Best Kind of Nothing (Desert Places) by Brooke Williams and Chris Noble
2007 Photographer’s Market: Where & How to Sell Your Photographs by Donna Poehner and Erika O’Connell (Writers Digest Books, 2006; ISBN: 1-58297-428-4). Use this one-stop resource for freelance photographers to find out the right markets for your work and how to run a profitable business, submit photos, sell through galleries, etc.
Lake Superior Secrets: Photographs & Reflections by Bruce Montagne (Ann Arbor Media Group, 2005; ISBN: 1-58726-293-2). Montagne explored this region for more than a decade, covering 2,500 miles of shoreline by foot, kayak and snowshoe. The result is pages full of beautiful color photographs revealing one of this country’s Great Lakes.
White Nature by Vincent Munier (Natural Wonder Press, 2006; ISBN:1-905377-04-5). Taken during his recent travels around the Arctic Circle, in Canada and on the island of Hokkaido, Japan, Munier’s stunning photographs show readers the wonder of winter. Eagles, swans, foxes and the frozen, snowbound habitats of many other animals take center stage.
The Panorama=Q and Panorama=Q Pro plates by Novoflex operate smoothly on a 360-degree scale, helping you take perfect panoramic shots. The plates can be used in any position and operate in 10-degree increments. The Panorama=Q Pro uses a series of eight preset click-stop positions so you can capture a scene from a variety of angles. The plates feature an integrated spirit level for accurate horizontal alignment and can be mounted between a tripod and ballhead or a ballhead and camera. List Price: $275 (Q); $745 (Q Pro). Contact: HP Marketing Corp., (800) 735-4373, www.hpmarketingcorp.com.
Protect your equipment from harsh weather and other hazards by transporting it in the Hardigg iM3075 Storm Case. Built using Hardigg’s durable resin material, the iM3075 safeguards your photo gear from mechanical shock, vibration, severe impact, water and dust while layers of cubed foam inside provide security and easy access. The heavy-duty case has a 29.8x20.8x17.8-inch interior, making plenty of room for your equipment. Estimated Street Price: $405 (no foam); $435 (with foam); $625 (with padded dividers). Contact: Hardigg Cases, (800) 542-7344, www.stormcase.com.
Keep your D-SLR’s image sensor dust-free when you’re in the field with the Brush-on-the-Fly Kit from Copper Hill Images. The kit features SensorSweep, a one-size-fits-all brush with a ½-inch static-charged head that works on camera sensors of all sizes. For added convenience, the kit comes with a battery-operated blower so you don’t have to hassle with canned air or other types of blowers when traveling. List Price: $31. Contact: Copper Hill Images, www.copperhillimages.com.
Take A Seat
Get those low-angle shots with the help of Walkstool. Take a comfortable, seated position on this light and compact stool when shooting from down low. Telescopic legs can be extended or collapsed, and rubber feet help reduce sinking into soft surfaces. Three sizes are available—18, 22 and 26 inches. List Price: $79 (18); $89 (22); $99 (26). Contact: BKA Photo, (847) 821-0450, www.bkaphoto.com.
Support your camera with the lightweight Calumet 7100 tripod. Ideal for traveling, the aluminum tripod weighs just 4.5 pounds, folds down to about 21 inches and ranges in height from nine to 49 inches. It features a three-way pan/tilt head with a ¼-20 quick-release plate and four-section legs. This is one of Calumet’s new 7000 series tripods. All models feature convenient quick-release leg locks and three-position leg angle adjustments. List Price: $69. Contact: Calumet, (800) CALUMET, www.calumetphoto.com.
Speed and convenience make the Energizer Dock & Go Charger an ideal travel accessory. The device comes with two portable charging pods, each holding four AA or AAA rechargeable (NiMH) batteries. It can charge up to eight batteries in sequence or four in a pod while the other pod is in use. Typical charging time is 2.2 to 3 hours for a set of rechargeable AA batteries, depending on capacity, and 2.5 to 3 hours for a set of AAA batteries. List Price: $34. Contact: Energizer, (800) 383-7323, www.energizer.com.
Protect your camera from harsh weather and sun flare with the Probrella. Lined with a silver reflective coating, you also can use it as a bounce flash umbrella to enlarge and diffuse your light source, reducing harsh shadows. Probrella has a mounting system that connects directly to the tripod socket of your camera and can be adjusted to almost any position, thanks to a 360-degree ball socket and slide system. List Price: $34. Contact: OmegaSatter, (410) 374-3250, www.omegasatter.com.
Tabblo is a next-generation online photo-sharing service that lets you do more than just share photos. Equipped with powerful editing tools and professional-quality templates, you can design creative posters, postcards and albums. You also can invite others to add their own images and commentary to your album, telling the whole story of a vacation, reunion or other event. Tabblo offers free, unlimited storage, and poster-sized prints are available for less than $10. Contact: Tabblo, www.tabblo.com.