Photo Puzzles

Here’s a link to some puzzles made from my photos at Jigidi:

ExpoDisc for Accurate White Balance

I am a big fan of the ExpoDisc, that comes in basically the same sizes as UV filters, albeit, it is thicker. I got mine over-sized for my Canon telephoto lenses – it”s easy just to hold it over the end of the lens, rather than screw it on. Turn off the auto-focus and shoot an image lit as the camera will see the subject i.e. fire the strobes if strobes are in use. The resulting image is a neutral gray (18% gray) that may then be used with any DSLR that allows setting custom white balance based on an in-camera image.


The ExpoDisc Professional Digital White Balance Filter (patent pending) is a custom white balance filter that allows digital photographers to quickly and easily set an accurate custom white balance. Consistently producing excellent results in natural, artificial, and studio lighting, the versatile ExpoDisc even excels in difficult mixed lighting environments.”


Both the design and packaging are excellent!



One note: I found out that using an image to set a custom white balance doesn”t actually alter any particular settings in the camera, it is used as a reference as other images are shot. In other words, don”t delete the image used to set the custom white balance until after all images in that particular light are taken.

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The New Site is Launched!

I have recently redesigned and rebuilt my web site from the ground up. I spent several months researching functionality, looking to build something with high artistic merit, but that also had all the necessary functionality for running and developing the business of a professional photographer. I will leave it to others to determine if I have fully met those goals thus far.

Of course, there remains some design tweaks to be made and I”m still developing some additional functionality i.e. an online reservation calendar and some content. But the basic elements are all there, and I”ll describe them next.

First, I wanted the site to represent the medium – to be visual and have significant visual impact.

I did not want the principal site pages to be overly textual, and indeed, they are not. In fact, the majority of album navigation is achieved by clicking on an image. The home page presents a number of work categories i.e. Portraits, Events, Weddings, Commercial, Modeling and Stock. Lead images from multiple albums associated with each work category are presented as an elegant “flow” of images – the visitor can use arrow keys, mouse thumb wheel, or a mouse to drag a handle on the slider bar to maneuver the image flows. Clicking on any image pulls up a Flash-based slide show. The slide show will play automatically, or the user can hover over the thumbnail ribbon which will pop-up larger thumbnails. A click on a thumbnail will bring that image into full view. Lastly, while only two background images are loaded presently, more are on the way. The background images are either composite or single images that fully represent the work category. They provide a very elegant feel to the site.

Second, I wanted to protect the images I post, and that is accomplished with two different mechanisms.

The images that make up each imageflow are relatively low-res images generated from the original, with reflections. So downloading those images will require further cropping to get rid of the reflection and none of image flow images link to the high-res images unless I so specify.

The fact that the majority of images are presented within a Flash slide show protects them from download except in the case of screen-shots – which of course, would also result in very poor image quality.

Third, I wanted the site to make it easy for a client to buy prints or stock images, without having to implement my own cart.

This is achieved by linking images presented in a slide show to a printing service. Right now, I use I only have one recent shoot linked in this way – a family portrait and party shoot – but clicking on any image in the slide show takes the user to that event on, where all of the high-res images are made available for download or printing, or even putting into albums.

I envision this same mechanism to work for the sale of stock images in exactly the same way, even though in that case, the sales will likely be downloads only.

Forth, I wanted to make it easy for clients and prospective clients to understand my business policies, request shoots on-line, and I wanted to be able to easily publish more content, both text and images.

Right now, only the Modeling Work Category has a related top menu. But all of the work categories will have their own custom menu, where the business end of the site can be accessed. These menus appear anytime a Work Category is selected.

Additionally, the entire site is built on a Content Management System platform. Thus, adding new content is a very easy task and doesn’t require programming.

I would appreciate any feedback people might offer as to the site. And, I hope others will feel free to contact me if they have any questions or desire to work with me in some way. The site, and my business model are designed to support multiple photographers.


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Besides Different Lenses, Why Buy a Great DSLR?



When digital camera pixel counts really started jumping up in 2001, I had an Olympus C920Z point and shoot with a 2.1 megapixel sensor.



In 2002 I bought a Sony DSC-F717, with a 5 megapixel sensor and an excellent 5x optical zoom lens for which I paid around $500.





In December of 2005 I looked at the newly released Canon EOS 5D that offered a full-frame (i.e. equivalent to taking a 35mm film image) body that had a 12.8 megapixel sensor. The asking price was around $5K.




I settled on a Canon EOS 20D that was just under $2K (buy it used today for around $700) which had an 8.2 megapixel sensor that was about 2/3 the size of the full-frame sensor.






But, besides the obvious advantage of being able to swap out lenses, I had a hard time wrapping my head around why a camera with just 3 megapixels more than my Sony should cost more than 3 times as much, 3 years later, when prices on point and shoots comparable to my Sony had dropped by 50%.

The knowledgeable clerk made it really simple for me to understand. In fact, it was the inspiration for my tag line “Apprehending Light!”

He explained that not all pixels are equal. Two cameras with the same number of megapixels that had lesser and greater sized sensors would perform differently.

“Why?” I asked.

“Bigger pixels, more light. More light better images.” came the simple reply.





Today I own an EOS 40D with a 10.1 megapixel sensor and save my 20D as a a back-up camera. The 40D is a great camera and a real workhorse. I love it!









Here”s the ESO 40 Sensor measuring 22.2 x14.8 mm.







Nevertheless, now I walk around with a furled brow wondering how to scrape together the $4K for the new EOS 5Ds Mark II with its full-frame sensor at a whopping 21 megapixels!



Here’s its huge 36 x 24 mm CMOS sensor!

Yeah! While the pixel size on the 5Ds Mark II is the same as on the 20D, the 5Ds sensor is more than twice the size of the original 40D. So I”d still have big pixels, but I”d have a whole lot more of them.

Catch more light!

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