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Photos for OS X (I wish you were Aperture 4.x)

10.10.3, oh how I will miss the Aperture application, Photos for OS X at this point isn’t going to be a good replacement for what Aperture used to do for me. Aperture was innovative and first on the scene with photo organization for professional photographers like myself, I’ve owned it and used it religiously since version 1, which each release the solid features were made better and better.

My heart dropped and hoped all at the same time last summer when I saw “Photos for OS X” demonstrated, I had hopes that it would allow me to use some more powerful features that are now available in Aperture and sync with my iPad, I couldn’t wait for that, hoping that it would be possible to edit photos while on the go.

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Having only worked with “Photos for OS X” a short time, like the rest of the world really, some of the short comings are almost immediately obvious.

1. It’s hard to browse the photos and edit them at the same time. Aperture had a HUD that would allow edits to be applied without using the “Edit” button. The “Edit” button seems to be a hold over from iPhoto, separating the photographer from the photographs with an extra, unnecessary step, the photos are kept safe until you can manage all of the extra clicks needed to get access to perform an edit.

2. No HUD, the HUD was an amazingly useful “feature” in Aperture, allowing me to view photos full screen while applying edits. Photos doesn’t come even close to this feature, which requires that the “EDIT” bar available with pressing of the “Edit” button to stay visible the entire time I’m doing edits against the photographs.

3. Star ratings, a missing feature for anyone who wants to quickly sort down their photographs when only a heart isn’t going to do the job and you don’t have time to find the “tags” menu.

4. Ability to apply tag’s quickly is missing, I guess that Apple thinks my entire life should be organized by date and faces, never mind that I’m a landscape photographer as much as I am anything else.

5. Open in and plugins, I own a copy of HDR Efex and would really love to be able to edit my photographs in this tool but can’t until Apple in their wisdom allows plugins and “Open In” again.

6. Ability to copy and paste edits, as a professional photographer this is key, and a feature that I have become so used to using that it’s not one that I will do without on account that so many tools have them. Sure if you’re a sometimes photographer you can get away with applying edits to photographs one at a time, but with smart phones I don’t know a single person that is a “sometimes” photographer any more. Many people have more photographs on their phones than their grandparents and certainly great-grandparents had in their entire slide collection, the old way of showing and organizing photographs.

to be continued…

Think Tank Photo Bags (after the honeymoon)

Photographers have a hard time moving from equipment that they know, even bags for carrying photographic equipment can be a very hard decision unless you have the time to invest in getting a couple trying them out and then sending them back, or a nice big photo retailer that allows you to try out a wide selection in the store before you buy. I don’t really have either of those options as I wanted the bags that arrived to be the bags that I kept so ensued literally months of research to ensure that I came home with the bags that I needed/wanted to use going forward.

The bag being replaced was a Lowpro Toploader 75 bag which had served me for many years actually, until the zipper broke and it became nearly impossible to get the camera out quickly and stowed quickly often leaving the top flap open with the camera exposed for all to see. I’d buy from them again but wanted to try something new that left me in charge of my equipment in a different way also keeping my gear safe.

The biggest requirement that I had was one determined by my health, I needed a camera storage system that left the camera weight not on my shoulders. I have been suffering for years now from pain associated with how I hold my shoulders while at work and on the side lines of sporting events and while photographing weddings. A person’s shoulders should be allowed to relax, even while photographing events and I believe that I have now achieved that.

Thinktank photo bags has allowed me to design a photo bag storage system that brings with me the essential pieces of gear that I feel I need while keeping it protected and it’s weight not resting on my shoulders. I ended up purchasing Modular Set Component System which really is nearly everything that you could ever need or want so far as bags and holsters for your camera gear. After a couple of weddings and other events I can say that each portion of the set has it’s uses, I have used each portion for different purposes at different events. Don’t forget to get a belt to put the Modular Set Component System on, I purchased the Pro Speed Belt which I believe is why I continue to like the system so much, very comfortable. Originally I thought that I would really only want one setup and configuration and that hasn’t remained true.

Also wanting a bag to carry my camera when I’m not on the job I purchased Digital Holster 30 v 2.0 I don’t know what is version 2.0 about the bag but I can say that I have barely used it since getting the belt pack as well. The digital holster has it’s place in the camera bag arsenal but has some downfalls that I would also like to discuss. For one there simply isn’t enough space in this one bag for the standard objects that I would want to carry. It would take an additional item strapped onto the bag to make it functional. While traveling I like to keep with me one camera and one lens, this isn’t a problem in the Digital Holster. The things that I can’t keep with me in the digital holster include: filters, extra media, extra batteries are almost completely out of the question.

All in all I believe that the bags have been a wonderful change of pace from the bag what was being replaced but it hasn’t worked out exactly how I had planned it, there are many bag manufacturers out there and though many of them could have done the job but Think Tank was my choice and will remain with me for quite some time.

Kane Wedding, Paso Robles, California

Bird and Davis were married on Friday, July 09, 2010 in a ceremony starting at just the right time, the mid-day heat had just broken in Paso Robles, California as their wedding started. Everything came together beautifully with the help of Vina Robles Winery and their beautiful grounds and the correctly chosen accents. The view from facility and their grounds is nothing but the golden rolling hills of California topped with the green patterns of rolling vineyards, a beautiful location for celebrating the start of a life together for Bird and Davis both.

Bird had a hard time allowing me to photograph her wedding as I am her brother and she really wanted me to enjoy their wedding, but realized that I would enjoy the wedding best through the viewfinder of my camera and every photo captured of their big day.

Location: Vina Robles Winery, Paso Robles, California http://www.vinarobles.com/

Florist: Bloom and Grow http://www.bloomngrow.com

Wedding Cake: Two Little Birds Bakery http://www.twolittlebirdsbakery.com

Photography: Kevin Ford http://kjfphoto.com

Watermarking Images

For those of you that have been with Kevin Ford photography for quite some time, you have been through a couple of site revisions and many other changes. I wanted to post concerning one of the newest changes to my photographs to smooth the change for those that may have questions.

Watermarks have now been added to all photographs when being previewed in my “Prints for Sale” area on my website. My print provider has had this option available for quite some time now, however I had not taken advantage of it. In addition to this change I have decided to allow access for people to link to photographs of themselves, for their myspace and facebook profile pages as many of my photographs have already found their way there.

Please note, for those interested in ordering prints, the “Watermarks” will not be imprinted in the delivered photographs and are only in place for those that wish to download my work and post it on their own website or profile. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.

Vacation Preview

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I am currently on vacation and wanted to share some of the photographs that I have taken during our time away from home. Their are many more photographs on their way.

The Traveling Photographer

Unlike traveling with children on the airplane traveling with camera gear is much more easy than even I thought that it would be. Even with the size of my collection of equipment and it’s weight traveling to Oregon for the weekend has been a breeze and I would expect the same on any other travels, no matter the distance. I in fact think that my camera equipment travels better than I do as a six foot plus body really isn’t meant to be in the poorly designed plane seats.

Understanding the rules and regulations of travel with anything is key to traveling well. Pelican and other hard case makers understand the need for professionals of all types to travel with their gear, keep it safe, and arrive with it in hand. To that end Pelican has created a case, with wheels, that is the maximum size that most, and I have to emphasize MOST, airlines will except while traveling. Always check with the airline that you are going to be traveling with to ensure that your method of packing will comply with their regulations. I have linked some regulations pertaining to flying with gear below.

Going anywhere with camera equipment is a balancing game of wants versus needs to capture the experience, if you’re going to the mountains to photograph the tree’s you probably won’t be needing a telephoto lens unless you want just the tops or plan on shooting from one mountain to another. Likewise if you are going out to shoot wild life you won’t need to take your fisheye lens, unless you are out to photograph macro’s of some of the smaller biology in the forest. Take into account anything that could happen where you are going as well, will you be on a boat and will your camera float, or will you be dust storms, sand, or extreme heat. Under each condition your gear will take on different shapes and may have different limitations.

Often as photographers, hobbyist or even professionals at times, we will arrive at a location not knowing what would be best to have along, for situations like this you may find it best to have a small point and shoot that can accomplish a good cross section of the functionality of your gear while offering the size and portability of something that will fit in your pocket, you wouldn’t show up to a wedding with a point and shoot unless it was for a very specific purpose, likewise you wouldn’t go to photograph your third cousins’ twice removed birthday party with a full digital SLR kit unless you were really good friends or were being hired to do so.

Keep it light and keep it simple, that is the best way to travel with photographic related equipment. But always way sure that you have what you feel you may even want and if you find yourself packing anything more that one camera and one lens you may want to consider something with wheels.

Easter Photographs

Any time that there is a chance for people to get dressed up should be a good time to take family photographs, family is and should be very important and the memories should be held on to tightly. Below are some photographs that I was asked to take spur of the moment for some people that attend my church in Kingsburg, of course I was happy to do it and look forward to many more photographic opportunities with our church family.

For those of you wondering I am offering a *Special* on family portraits and other photography packages this year

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Willy & Sarah Family Photograph

Originally I had offered to take infant photographs of Asa, however this didn’t work out so Willy and Sarah allowed me to borrow their time and photograph their new addition in a family portrait. Photographs were taken at Blaine Park, in Visalia California, one of the many parks in Visalia offering many different trees and areas for picnicking, playing with the kids and in my instance taking photographs.

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Many photographers under fair weather conditions like to use the local parks of Visalia for portrait photographs and wedding photographs featuring the wedding party. Blain Park offers shade throughout the day, even on the most hot days the summer some reprieve can be found from the sun.

Many thanks to Forrest Cavale, friend and long time photography partner, for his assistance with the strobes and pushing me to get out of my comfort zone for the photographs. As a note good infant photographs after the first couple of weeks is something that is almost up to the infant themselves as a fussy mood can often turn into a very fussy mood quickly with the application of a photographers flash.

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Coldren Family Photos

Just in time for Christmas, Fall around the Central Valley is a great time for portraits, wither they are family portraits, e-sessions or senior portraits.

The Coldren family allowed me the opportunity to become a part of their family long enough to capture some fun and beautiful moments. They were instantly comfortable and willing to be crazy in front of the camera. Photographs taking can be purchased or downloaded from here or by clicking any one of the many photos that I chose as by favorites.

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