Posted by: David Vernon | January 22, 2010

Friday Wraps

StillAhh Friday. Here’s to you. And here’s to a couple eclectic things I found on the Internets this week.

Both Zack Arias and David Hobby have put their thinking caps on when it comes to stepping up to bigger strobes. To read Arias is to get some real insight into why more light can do things for you – above and beyond even a big speedlite. It’s more then a journey into what strobes should I buy – it’s an experience in how light changes when it gets bigger and how you can really change the world around you with a little more oomph (lighting word). Hobby also went through some of the contortions as he tried out different light sources in the big strobe arena. I’m linking to his write-up on Alien Bees – but within that are links to his other reviews of strobes. I reference the Alien Bees because I own a couple of them and have been largely satisfied with them as a transition system from flashes into true pro strobes. If you want a little more background – or have a couple thousand bucks sitting idle – take a look at Timothy Armes’ post comparing big lights. The introduction is useful because it gives you detail on important factors to consider in a strobe purchase – and why they’re important.

I have six terms for you: Exposure, Recovery, Fill Light, Blacks, Brightness, and Contrast. For those of you who exist in the world of Adobe Camera Raw (either standalone or in Lightroom), these are your bread and butter for adjusting a raw image. Ever wondered exactly what these things do – or do you just like to wing it by eyeball. Brian Auer writes over on EpicEdits about Photo Editing with Histograms – and shows you real world examples of how these six controls change an image. He’s also got a nice post on How to Read a Histogram. It’s always good to gain some perspective on that topic.

For those of you who remember DTown TV – the brainchild of Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowskiit’s back for season two. Originally branded as the “Show for Nikon shooters”, DTown has come back more camera system agnostic and aimed at general photography instruction. Coming in at 10-15 minutes per episode, the guys cover a lot of good ground on various topics aimed at the beginning to intermediate photographer. Always worth watching though regardless of skill level. For folks who want to be more Photoshop/Lightroom specific, there’s always Photoshop User TV – with Kelby, Kloskowski, and Dave Cross. Same basic format – just aimed specifically at post-processing.

Having watched DTown this morning, I discovered a little thing called PhotoBasics. Run by Westcott, a company that enjoys a good reputation in the photo industry for selling a lot of good lighting gear, PhotoBasics is aimed at the introductory photographer and sells less expensive but still decent lighting systems. Worth a quick look if you’re considering adding some lights to your system.

And I leave you with this quirky little project from California-based shooter Mathieu Young. He sure got some nice images from his little walk. I’m waiting for someone to give this a try in Peoria. In his own words:

“Fascinated by the social and cultural diversity of Los Angeles, I embarked on a four day, 20 mile journey across the city on foot. Pushing a large strobe light, I walked through L.A.’s neighborhoods, asking to photograph everyone whose path I crossed. It was a remarkable experience to step out of the bubble and engage with the city’s changing landscape as it is reflected in the faces of its denizens.”


  1. Excellent article on the basics of looking at a histogram and making RAW edits – essential for anyone using a RAW editor/converter like Adobe Camera Raw or Adobe Lightroom.

    Thanks for sharing that.

  2. I loved that last link! Let’s do it this summer–walk around Peoria and take random people’s pics.

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