[•] K&F Concept Camera Bag Review

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With a new bag comes a new bag review. For a long long time well 12 years in fact I have used a LowePro version camera bag in the same style as this K&F Concept bag.

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The K&F version has two plastic pads on the base for when you put the bag down on the ground to protect the base and the fabric of the bag including the gear inside which I really like. The outside front has clips for a tripod to hold centre of the bag while walking. Balance in a bag is the single most important feature.

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There are some details I like about the bag including the cute little embroidered tripod symbol. LowePro as a camera bag is a forgotten dream the prices are just sickening when you can purchase this bag for $75 and the build quality I would consider substantially better. The shoulder straps are firm and hold their shape and on the back feels very comfortable. The front pocket holds a Surface Pro tablet with ease.

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The zippers can be undone with one hand so if your a one handed photographer this will definitely cater for you.

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The bones of the bag allow for two decent DSLR’s. In the photo you can see with a little customisation of the support pads you can fit a Fujifilm GFX50s with 32-64mm lens. Up top is a Sony A7II mirrorless for the little projects along with two primes lenses. And other sections hold a dust blower, Lens hood and SD card holder case.

 

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Extras include waterproof dust cover and would you believe a gift zip bag containing a dust blower, spray bottle for lens cleaning and cleaning cloth. Such a thoughtful well presented bag for any photographer.

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Overall Rating 10/10

This is one of the best bang for buck bags around including build quality compared to any other bag on the market.

If you get this bag you will be filled with joy.

Disclosure: I am not funded by this camera gear company. Just a one man band doing the far and in between gear reviews on items I have purchased.

 

Bag Here: https://www.kentfaith.com/camera-backpacks/USKF13.051_professional-dslr-camera-backpack-waterproof-11-81-6-3-16-54-inches

 

Regards,

[•] p 🔺 z r 🔺 h n

 

 

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[•] Getting up early for landscape photography to be defeated by mother nature.

Cathedral Rocks, Kiama Downs, NSW, Australia

[•] Wind swept rocks

Dragging yourself out of bed kicking and screaming at 4am is the most challenging part of photographing morning sunrises. I don’t really kick and scream as I would wake the wife and kids but the old body has seen better days. Put your hands up if you can jump out of bed with a spring in your step. I used to have that special super power but lost that mojo a while back. One thing that does help and nothing better to kick start the heart is a delicious hot coffee and a piece of toast for breakfast.

Once on the road its dark and the thoughts are if the sky is clear from cloud and will there be an epic sunrise. Sunrises are like winning the lotto not that I have won lotto but a beautiful sunrise can make you feel like a winner.

The drive took about an hour south from Sydney to a place called Cathedral Rocks, Kiama on the NSW coast. this location is a hot spot for photographers and pretty much a pilgrimage for any photographer that wants to add a landscape photograph to their portfolio.

Walking south from Jones beach car park I found the tide was high with epic 6 foot waves crashing into the canyon where the cliff edge meets the sea. I had just set up and bam the waves came rolling in. Not cool when you are using two cameras and two tripods I had to pick up and run. Well I couldn’t run I was trapped but held onto the rock face like a mountain goat and thought to myself I’m getting the hell out of here. Both shoes were soaked and the jeans wet just below the knees. At the same time I pictured a rock fisherman yelling help and that’s the moment I knew mother nature had truly beaten me, then again I think I was beaten with a left hook when the wall of cloud covered the sunrise as I drove in to the location but I had to try take a few photographs.

The reason I had two camera’s was I’m testing the Sony A7II a mirrorless camera that can adapt older lenses with an adaptor and surprisingly produces lovely results.

Fun Photography Fact: Professional landscape photographers with a city gallery and large amazing prints spend days and weeks visiting a location to get that perfect photograph. Could you sit out in the wild with a tent and a few cans of baked beans and watch the world go by?.

The photographs taken were outside the dream location of where I would have liked of setup with camera gear but the results posted are different take compared to other photographers. (Feel free to google Cathedral Rocks, Kiama) Even if we fail as a photographer the plan is to take a photograph. And if a story along the way accompanies that one photograph at least we can share it.

 

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[•] Wet footprints in the sand.

Camera: Sony A7II with Canon 20mm FD F4 lens. Shutter: 1/8Sec, Aperture: F11, ISO: 200, Adaptor: Metabones FD-E mount.

Featured Photo: [•] Cathedral Rocks, Camera: Canon 5DIII with Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L lens. Aperture: F11, Shutter: 20Sec, ISO:200

I may of been defeated this time by mother nature but I will return like Rocky Balboa with the gloves off equipped with a medium format camera.

Note: It is dangerous photographing at these locations please advise loved ones where you are going and even better take a friend that can help as a look out. I grew up as a surfer and have a connection with this type of environment and reading the waves takes experience. Even the best of us can find it tricky in dealing with these types of weather conditions.

Regards,

[•] p 🔺 z r 🔺 h n

 

 

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[•] Bitcoin – The Future of Banking?

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Are Banks closing or going insolvent? Last Friday two banks closed in Italy. I recently watched a documentary on the 1929 crash and banks closed with hundreds of thousands of people loosing their life savings just like the citizens in Italy loosing their life savings. Technology is advancing so fast that you can be your own bank and hold your own wealth. Transfers can be easily done via your smart phone and PC and large cities now have Bitcoin ATM’s. The head of the Commonwealth Bank recently conducted a million dollar investigation into Blockchain technology and said “If we don’t evolve we die”.

Do you trust your bank?

In the photo is a Trezor physical digital wallet where you can store your digital Cryptocurrency just like the local bank stores digital currency on their old antiquated systems. The future of banking is here now. Exciting times are ahead for the future of mankind.

This is the new digital currency frontier. Will you embrace it?

I have noticed many people in different industries (even Photographers) around the world now accepting digital cryptocurrency as a form of payment for their services. You no longer have to wait several days for a transfer as a transaction can be instantly done between a two professionals. Many years ago I used to receive monthly payments into my bank account because the company I worked for used to earn the interest on holding my wages before making the transfer. This applies for all the banks where they lend out your deposit to other areas for investment (Mind you bad investments) What if the bank you hold your deposit have miss managed your life savings and have not told you but day after day week after week you keep propping up your bank to one day poof it is all gone.

Thank you to the tech minded people for leading the way and opening our eyes to innovation in payment services and to help cut out the big greedy Donald duck bankers. Say goodbye to the Snake Oil Salesmen at the local bank asking if you want another home loan or credit card that sucks you in at ridiculous interest. Say goodbye to all those hidden fees and $2 dollar fees on cash withdrawals at every ATM. Say hello to the future where you can be independent free and alive.

is it time to become your own bank?.

 

Regards,

[•] p 🔺 z r 🔺 h n

 

 

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[•] Fujifilm GFX50S with Manfrotto 303SPH Panoramic Setup

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Items Required: Manfrotto Tripod, Manfrotto 303SPH Pano Head, Fujifilm Shutter Release Cable, Fujifilm GFX50S Camera with 32-64mm F4 Lens.

Set up with any camera with the Manfrotto 303SPH head is no easy feat but hopefully this write up can help steer you in the right direction to achieve optimal nodal point between the sensor and lens.

The panoramic head has three axis of directions to move the camera into position to find the nodal point.

To find this position will determine whether or not you will get a parallax error in the stitching of the multiple photographs you take to achieve a perfect panoramic .

The first thing to do attach camera quick release place and make sure it is square and tight to the bottom of the camera. Any little bit of movement can throw the setup out. And be mindful not to over tighten as you can thread the camera holding screw which will really mess up your day.

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Once attached to tripod and pano head rotate the camera so that the lens faces downwards towards the ground. On the lens you will see white marking lines these will help align the lens up with the centre of the tripod.

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Another trick is to rotate the entire pano head and look at the setup and see the the lens barrel rotates perfectly without any wobble.

Now that you have the basic horizontal alignment you must now find the nodal point. This can be found by looking through the viewfinder at two posts in front of you and as you rotate the lens see if the two posts especially the first post does not move out of position. (To understand this hold your hand up and point your finger to the sky in front of your face. Now open and close left eye then right eye a couple of times. Notice the position of your finger moves. This is basically what we are trying to do with the camera and eliminate that movement) When you move the angle the camera during rotation keep adjusting and looking at the posts until they stay in position. I find that a push pull trick with the upper plate helps and then tighten off the screw. This can take a few attempts so don’t get too flustered.

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With these basic steps complete the next step is upload the jpeg images and import into Photoshop (File, Automate, Photomerge) Auto and Press OK.

At this stage this will determine a clean stitch with all the photographs taken showing either an error or successful merger.

(Other software is photographing Spherical Panoramics I recommend PTGui)

Future video on YouTube in the works for further help.

 

 

Regards,

[•] p 🔺 z r 🔺 h n

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[•] Travel photography in Vietnam

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Vietnam has many wonderful places to explore with you camera and to name a few off the top of my head would be Hoi An, Saigon and at the top of the list Sapa which is out side Hanoi which is an overnight train ride to the outskirts of the lower mountains.

Travelling up to the mountain by bus is a hair raising experience as the tires perch on the edge of a dirt road overlooking a sheer drop that would end your life. I personally wanted to kiss the ground after returning to sea level as I’m really scared of heights.

Sapa is a beautiful and colourful town thanks to the H’mong and Dzao people from the local hill tribes who head into the town’s market every day to trade their produce. The Terraced Fields where the people work is a sight to see with mountains cut by hand to produce the rice. A photograph really doesn’t do justice to landscapes you see.

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This photo is the start of the day and the locals lock onto tourists they think will buy their trinkets. Walking down to the villages is a beautiful walk and took about 4 hours. A perfect place to take photographs and if only I didn’t leave my tripod in Hanoi because I really missed out on tracking some fabulous panoramic’s.

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Sapa is up there as one of the best travel destinations for photography and can be done with a non pro DSLR. If you are starting out in photography owning the Canon 24-105mm lens is an excellent all rounder and looking back at the photo’s I have taken over the years it really has to be the best lens to get as started.

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Note: Camera: Canon EOS 400D with a lenses EF 24-105mmF4 lense.

 

Regards,

[•] p 🔺 z r 🔺 h n

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Fujifilm GFX 50s RAW Edit Workflow

This process is for those who don’t use Adobe Creative Cloud CC and can’t view the RAW .RAF file. Here are a few Free workarounds to edit your GFX 50s Photographs.

After taking your photograph in RAW and unfortunately for many of us the workflow has added an extra step with the RAF File (.RAF) as it must be converted into a workable file for Lightroom or Photoshop.

Option 1:

Here is an example of the workflow:

  1. Take Photograph
  2. Place the captured files into your desired folders on computer. (i.e RAW Photographs Folder)
  3. Run the DNG Converter Program.
  4. Click Extract button – Select file source RAF File (.RAF) and Select a desired output folder (i.e Photographs Folder)
  5. Click Convert run the process. (New files are placed in file folder ready to edit in Lightroom and Photoshop/Bridge.

DNG Converter

The conversion of RAW original straight out of the camera will now be a DNG File (.dng) and look something like this in the folder: DSCF1000

The Adobe DNG converter can be Downloaded from here:

PC: http://supportdownloads.adobe.com/product.jsp?product=106&platform=Windows

Mac: http://supportdownloads.adobe.com/product.jsp?product=106&platform=Macintosh

Make sure you download the current version to ensure that the program has the camera you are shooting with.

Option 2:

RAW FILE CONVERTER EX 2.0 powered by SILKYPIX (Ver.4.2.6.0) Installer for Windows

http://www.fujifilm.com/support/digital_cameras/software/myfinepix_studio/rfc/

Screenshot (8)

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Fujifilm Raw Conversion with Silkypix Software.
32.9MB File with a small crop. The Orginal was 45.7MB.

Saved with basic editing. See the adjacent screen shots in flickr stream. <—–

1.) Run Silkypix Software on PC or Mac
2.) Open Raw file (Photograph)
3.) Change view and Ctrl + will zoom in to desired viewing for edit.
4.) I added a little Strong Contrast and increased Saturation to 1.5 to make the green pop. Colour Mode was changed to Film Simulation, And Last Film Simulation to: Velvia/Vivid.
5.) File, One Scene Development.
6.) Basic Settings Choose JEPG and the JEPG Compressed to drop down to: The Highest Quality; EXIF Non Conforming. And Click Development(S) Button.

Well Done you now have a finished edited Jpeg ready to share to the world.

[•] Old Helensburgh Metropolitan Railway tunnel.

If conversion is done with Adobe DNG converter the .dng file is larger at 129MB then when edited in Photoshop produced a 29.3MB Jepg.

Option 3: 

Iridient X-Transformer – A high quality Fujifilm RAF to DNG image converter.

Iridient X-Transformer 1.0 beta 3 Software At this stage it is Beta version. I have tested this software and has performed slightly less than Adobes version. If it was a better program I would be interested but because of the short comings could not justify spending $43.59 on more software.

http://www.iridientdigital.com/

Best RAW Converter Results

Adobe RAW converter produces a nicer look to the image compared to the others . 100% crop looks the cleanest in my book. I personally prefer Adobe DNG Converter for the results and the workflow. Adobe has performed better results. The Silkypix RAW Converter is a softer image once converted and too soft for my liking. The Iridient X-Transformer Converter is the lessor performer of all three and I wasn’t a fan of the result.

It will be important to work out what your preferred file conversion is from RAW to Jpeg is minimize the storage of files on Hard Drive.

Regards,

[•] p 🔺 z r 🔺 h n

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You have a chance to win 1 Million Dollars using your camera.

Do you know you have more of a chance to win 1 Million Dollars by taking a photograph with your camera than you would if playing Lotto.

The odds of winning Lotto are 100,000,000 to 1 and the odds of capturing a million dollar photograph are much closer than you think.

I am a very strong believer if you carry your camera with you everyday and an event happens or somebody super famous happens to walk by doing odd you can easily capture a frame with your camera and that split second of luck could bring you a windfall of something big.

Part of this principle is based on the saying the best camera is the one that’s with you but say you get a photo with your smart phone that image is less likely to get a good offer of dollars compared to a digital SLR photograph.

After many years of shooting I still believe that it is possible to take a million dollar photograph (It hasn’t happened yet for me but it might happen to you) and I’ve thought carrying that camera by my side everyday increases those odds.

As far fetched as it sounds to take a million dollar photograph have you ever heard that one photographer sold a picture of a potatoe for a large sum of money.  I’ll admit I have never photographed a potatoe but after hearing that story it is definitely at the top of my list to photograph one or maybe two 😉

Now if the odds of winning Lotto are 100,000,000 to 1 then the odds of taking a million dollar photograph surely has to be 500,000 to 1.

Here is the key to taking a million dollar photograph with 5 simple variations to help calculate your odds. They come down to your actions and a few factors;

1) How often you leave the house.
2) How many photographs you take per year.
3) The type of camera and lens combination you use.
4) Location of where you take the photograph. i.e outback of Timbuktu would decrease the odds Verse someone smack in the middle of a specific city.
5) A blessing of good old Irish Luck.

As funny as this all sounds if you were in Timbuktu you might get a photo of a Yeti and win big or you could be in the city and capture a famous person but at the end of the day just remember having that camera with you everyday could pay off big time or just pay off your camera.

Now where are the potatoes in the pantry.

Oh your still here: Write down below in the comments what you think your odds are.

Matchbox 20

Matchbox 20

 

Regards,

[•] p 🔺 z r 🔺 h n

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