Colorado Fall Colors 2014 Workshop Schedule

Our fall workshops are coming up again this year, so after working out some accommodation and schedule details, we have decided to post a portion of the 2014 Photography Life workshop schedule – Colorado Fall Colors, which will take place on September 26-28 in San Juan Mountains of Colorado in Ridgway / Telluride area. We have reworked the workshop program for this year and we are happy to say that this workshop will bring the best experience in terms of not only learning the art of landscape photography, but also vacationing in one of the most picturesque locations in the world.

San Juan Mountain Snowy Vista

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Best of 4th of July Savings

We would like to congratulate our readers from the USA with the Independence Day! Fourth of July is a big day not just because you get to see beautiful fireworks (see my article on photographing fireworks) and enjoy a day off celebrating and remembering the sacrifices of the founders of this great country, but also because you get a great opportunity to save. Below are some of the best deals that we found for you.

4th of July Savings

Let’s kick off with the best deal of the day – the Canon EOS Rebel T3 with 18-55mm IS II lens is $299 ($150 off). That’s a pretty solid DSLR with a lens for $300!

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Behind the Scenes: Ladies of Downton Abbey

Though I am not a very big fan of watching movie series and soap operas, Downton Abbey series is the one that I enjoy watching. Historic movies, documentaries, and photographs are my favorite genre.

downton-abbey-harpers-bazaar-august

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Which To Upgrade? Gear Or Skill?

You must forgive my ramblings on this age-old debate. And for many of us, it may seem like the chicken and egg quandary. Should I get a better camera to make me a better photographer? Or has my skill evolved to the point whether I need a better camera to fully realise my potential? If someone hands me an airplane do I automatically become a pilot? Or do I need to go to flight school first?

1 Emerald Lake Alaska

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X-Rite i1Display Pro Flash Sale, Expires Tonight at 8:30 PM EST!

Our friends at B&H Photo Video earlier today informed us that the X-Rite i1Display Pro monitor / projector calibration and profiling tool is on a flash sale, at almost half off, expiring tonight! At $139.95 ($110 off the original price of $249.95), this is an insane deal that we wanted to share with our readers. I wish this deal was available at the time when I bought mine, because I paid the full price. For those that do not know about the X-Rite i1Display Pro, it is the best device calibration tool on the market today. I previously have used the Datacolor Spyder 3 Pro calibration system and I ended up switching to the X-Rite, because it is better, more accurate and less buggy (more on that in our upcoming review).

X-Rite i1Display Pro

It does not matter what monitor you have, whether it has a cheap TN panel or a high-end professional IPS panel – calibration is something you should do on every device that you are planning to display your photographs on. The difference between a non-calibrated and a hardware-calibrated screen is night and day, so I urge every photographer to do it. Even if you do not print, you should always have a calibrated monitor. The X-Rite i1Display Pro works both on PCs and Macs. I ran the software on my Windows 8.1 PCs and the drivers work very well.

You can purchase this tool by clicking the above image, or you can click this link, which will take you to B&H Photo Video online store. Once again, this deal will expire at 8:30 PM Eastern Time tonight!

Sensor Gel Stick for Sony Cameras

After months of waiting for the manufacturer to modify the chemical properties of the Sensor Gel Stick so that it works perfectly well with the new Sony cameras and heavy testing, we are happy to announce that we will soon be shipping the Sony version of the product to our customers. I have received a couple of sample units last week and I am happy to say that the product worked very well with the Sony A6000 and A7R mirrorless cameras. The manufacturer assured us that the Sony version will work with ALL Sony cameras without problems, but just to be sure, we did perform our own tests and found no problems! If you own a Sony mirrorless camera and would like to use the Sensor Gel Stick, you can now pre-order it from our store.

Sensor Gel Stick for Sony

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A Few Thoughts on Brand Loyalty

I am sure by now you are all very tired of hearing about the Nikon D600. And I think it is about time we wrapped it up for the last time. This article has been maturing inside my head for a while now and the latest events in the interchangeable lens camera market, along with a couple of scandals that appeared on the news, have only pushed it forward. Only a short while ago I read a comment under the “Nikon D610 Does Not Have a Dust Issue” article left by one of our readers who quoted a response he received from Nikon Europe Support about Nikon D600 dust accumulation problems. Here is the response:

Nikon D600

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Google Drive Price Drop – A Tipping Point For Photographers

Although cloud storage prices have been continued to drop at impressive rates, they have remained out of reach for many serious amateurs and professional photographers who have accumulated years’ worth of image files. This has been particularly true for the purists among us who religiously shoot RAW and tend to create huge multi-layer Photoshop files. Improvements in DSLR sensor technology have also pushed file sizes upwards as well, with the majority of DSLRs now capable of producing 16MP to 36MP images.

I have always considered a cost effective rate for 1TB to be the juncture at which serious amateurs and professional photographers would consider backing-up their photo archives to the cloud. Google’s dramatic cloud storage price drop this week has finally reached this tipping point. As of today, storing 1TB of image files on Google Drive will cost $9.99/month. This is a huge announcement that will ripple across the photography community and cause many people to change their back-up strategy.

GoogleDrivePricing

1) The Economics of Google Drive

$120/year (rounded) for storing 1TB of your images in the cloud may sound a bit expensive compared to a one-time purchase of a 1TB back-up drive for $70-$100. But you have to consider that one good flood, fire, hurricane, burglary, or power surge may wipe out both your primary and secondary drives. As I write this, I am staring at 5 external hard drives on my desktop. While hard drive technology has been getting more reliable over the years, I have found that on average, I have one hard drive go bad per year. And although my stepsons have a great time destroying the defunct drives with sledge hammers, I rarely look forward to restoring back-ups, buying additional drives, and other related challenges that can chew up quite a bit of time.

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Photography Life Forums are now Open!

For the past couple of months, we have been working hard on creating a community-based site, where our readers could share their work, engage with others and advance their photography skills. We are happy to announce our first milestone – our community forums! For now we created sections related to Nature and Wildlife, Landscape, Portrait, Wedding, Street and Architecture, Macro and Sports Photography and going forward as we grow, we will be expanding to even more sections and sub-sections, work on creating interest groups, etc. For those that want to Buy and Sell their gear, there is now a dedicated section where our readers could create “want to buy”, “for sale” and “for exchange” threads to trade photography gear.

Photography Life Forums

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Nikon and Canon Rebates

Thanks to the tax season in the USA, manufacturers like Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Olympus and Panasonic have been aggressively pushing their sales, offering great rebates for cameras, lenses and accessories. So if you are looking for a good deal, now is a good opportunity to save some money (I do not expect to see good rebates / savings until the end of the year). Let’s start with Nikon. The good news is, Nikon has extended its lens savings program until March 29, 2014 and is now offering more rebates for those that are looking for camera + lens combo savings. These combo savings include such cameras as Nikon D3100, D3200, D5200, D5300, D7000, D7100. D610, D800/D800E and Df. Most of these cameras currently already have instant rebates and if you combine them with some lenses, you can save up to $680 off. Unfortunately, the lens selection is pretty small and mostly includes DX lenses. There is only one FX lens offered (70-300mm VR), from which you can slice off another $200, bringing the price down to under $400. You can access the rebates through the “Buy together and Save” link.

Nikon Lens Rebates

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