Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dell i7 Quad Core Studio XPS 435MT Thermaltake TR2 600w Power Supply

It seems I have been doing a lot of Upgrading on my Dell i7 Quad Core XPS with two(2) 7,200 Hard Drives.

First let me save you some money :).  
IF,   your  Dell computer does not boot up ... the Fans do not  turn (or just wiggle, like they might be struggling to turn on) ... the green ON button might blink green a little ... and your computer is  over 2 years old.   First thing you should "TRY" is  changing the Power Supply to a New one.

Over the years ,  I have had  over  5 Dell computers  ... and if  they have no problems in the first few months  ...  basically the only problem you are "Sure" to have is the Power Supply dying on you.  And if you are a Business user you can almost bet it will not boot  within 2 years.  (or should I say , right after the warrantee runs out lol).

6 months ago I had a hard time finding a replacement Power Supply for the Dell XPS 435MT ... besides the lame Dell one with only a 1 year warrantee.  Now, when I Google you can find all kinds of cheap ones.  * I was looking for  a  good one with a LONG Warrentee.

fyi: MY Dell i7:  Win7 PRO 64bit , 24gb tri-channel memory ... two  Fast 7,200 SATA Hard Drives  with 64mb cache Barracuda XT , just upgrading my Data drive to the 3TB  version (more on that in a future blog , after I have run it for a while in PS CS5/LR) ... and will swap out my OS (C:) drive to a 256gb SSD drive ... run four USB stuff plugged in , and have a eSATA/USB  3.5/Laptop  HD reader (so, at times I run 3 Hard Drives and a External NAS HD) (though I need to say, this DELL in Win7 64-bit does NOT have the eSATA external port working, it's basically Dead, with no solutions on the web , yet) ... BlueRay/DVD Burner , APC UPS linked via USB ... AND  I never turn my computer off. 
Have been buying a  lot at Best Buy  (because it's close to me, and cheap)  ... picked up the Thermaltake TR2 600W  for  $95  , which also has a 5 year warrantee.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Thermaltake+-+600W+TR2+ATX+Power+Supply/9827268.p?id=1218179699692&skuId=9827268&st=thermaltake 600w TR2&cp=1&lp=1
There is a lot of PLUGS  ... My personal preference would be a  "Modular" Plug design.  So the Case is cleaner and you ONLY use the number of Plugs you NEED.  In a small XPS case it helps with the Air Flow. (though, many times I will have the case open)

* What is important to know is (and I wish someone had told me) ...  That this  Thermaltake TR2 600W Power Supply works "Easily"  with the Dell 435MT.  Basically Plug and Play.

All I had to do is take out the OLD , put in the NEW  ... plug in  (wrap and find a place for all the extra plugs/wires)  ... Boot up and it works!   NO Compatibility issues.

I have been running this TR2 600W  Day and Night for the past 3 months.   I even shut down at least 3 different times to make sure it could boot up again.  Even in a small office it is quiet.  imho. Cool  (at 600w , what I am running is probably not a strain for this PS)

Love this Thermaltake Power Supply TR2 600w ... but like I said ... wish  Best Buy had "this one" in a Modular design. 

p.s.  ANYONE  that has got this Dell 435MT  with Win7  PRO 64-bit ...  that  has there eSATA "External" port  working ... please let me know HOW?
Maybe a  32bit (Vista driver) ?    and how would it perform.    and can it revive a dead eSATA external port.
*** 1/27/2012 UPDATE:     I finally got my eSATA "External" port working again ,  IN  Win7 PRO 64-bit.
So, now I know ... it's NOT  Win7 64-bit  or PRO that's the issue (as some have said on some forums).
How did i find out?   I bought a new 256gb  Crucial SSD drive (It is the single thing you can do to make LRv3.6 and PS CS5 run faster , noticably so ... particularly LRv3.6 ... more on that on a future blog, and a future SSD disk cache, which will kill the need for RAID on your data drive, and will be faster)  ....   
Well  I decided to Clean install my OS on the C: SSD , BUT  to start with my Original  DELL  VISTA Home 64-bit  install disks (which has all the original DELL drivers).    I made sure I had the dead eSATA  external port hooked up to my "turned ON"  eSATA  Reader. 
Well,  as soon as the VISTA install was finished.  I noticed the  eSATA external Reader/drive was reading my drive in it!!!
Then, through out the installs ,  Win7  Home 64-bit , then Win7 PRO 64-bit  ... on each step the eSATA external port continued to work!
imho,  it's interesting that if you did not run the eSATA external port  before Win7 64-bit ... Win7 will NOT  see it and will not install the Driver for it.  Strange.
So, NOW  I have a really FAST  eSATA external port for my   eSATA  reader that I can plug in any eSATA "BARE"  internal Hard Drive (2.5" or 3.5")  and use it for back up, or to transfer files over that I need from my "Users" directory, some I needed when doing a clean install.  
Particularly  LR files  (there is so much work there that I did not want to redo, like Saved Import settings, Default import by Camera/ISO settings, Pre-sets etc)

Hope this helps someone,
Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Joby Gorillapod Focus / Ballhead X combo & BlackRapid RS-4 camera strap.

Joby Gorillapod Focus / Ballhead X combo  & BlackRapid RS-4 camera strap.

While on my recent trip to New York , I made my  First trip to B&H Photo.
When you buy  On-Line,  you never feel the need to actually visit the store.  But, because of all the raves on line / camera forums  … I had to put It on my must do’s on this trip.

The store is HUGE!    And the best  Camera/Photography store I have ever seen.   And as a X-Buyer I could not help doing some of the math on what their sales volume must be “just” on the IN-STORE sales.  If, you add up how many Salespeople (probably not all B&H) , Cashiers , stockpeople etc.  it takes a village to run that store.   And it is like a factory.  The sales volume at B&H must be scary.  And this is probably why there stock is  Fresh.
A side note:  I have never seen so much promotion in a store (all over the store)  for a  Camera  System (Nikon 1)  “quite like” what was in B&H.   Wall billboards , & Kiosk’s everywhere.   A  V1 and J1 on “each” of the 4 sides of the Nikon  bank.   They also did  a very “Costco” thing , by putting  some Nikon 1  Kiosks with salesperson in some locations where you would not expect.

So, while I was there … of course,  I  had to impulse buy something lol.

1)      Joby Gorillapod Focus with Ballhead X  $ 112 :

Have not bought a Gorillapod till now.  Love this one!   

A  PRO quality Gorillapod. This is a solid piece of Kit.

The “Gorillapod Focus” in Black/Gray is the first one I have seen that does not look like a toy. And is solid enough to hold a D700 with a 70-200mm f2.8 VRII  lens , this was a surprise to me! ( I mount directly on the rotating Lens mount) So, a 24-70 f2.8 is no problem.  You can put it on a table and it stands by itself.  You can put it on a rolled down window.  Or a  Rail or Pole.   Imho, a great  small Travel tripod, that you “could” use for product as well (more or less).   But, the cool thing for me is I can use it to mount my sb900 in some different places “easier”.  This dual ability makes it a keeper in my travel bag.

The Ballhead X is surprisingly Solid / Good  for the price, and would not have any problem also using it on a regular TriPod.   The quick release is a nice feature,  but what makes it GREAT is that you can use an RRS “L” bracket with it!  And a lot of other plates and Acc.  from others.  AND the head allows for 360 deg. Panning and has markings for it.   Wow!  Joby really thought this one out.

2)      Own the Blackrapid Double strap and love it. So, this purchase was a no brainer. BlackRapid RS-4 camera strap (single) $53.

Bought it because I only brought one camera D700 + 24-70mm f2.8 lens to NYC. This strap does have a Zip pocket for biz cards ,

and will hold the BR Joey J2 Pocket acc. $ 21  http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/664879-REG/Black_Rapid_RMJ_2BB_JOEY_J2_Pocket_Medium.html
Fyi: this pocket is large enough to hold the large 4.5 inch Samsung Galaxy S II (without any case)

Used this BR RS-4 strap to walk around all over NYC  with the D700 + 24-70 f2.8 hanging from it , UNDER my  ¾  length Overcoat.   It really worked for me.  And was great for street shooting.

Hope this helps someone,

Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Best Working Photographer Shoes (boot) for Hawaii

Red Wing Men's Hiking #8691 in Black, Review

After killing two of my favorite  Ferragamo dress shoes at  wedding beach shoots,  I started to hunt for the “Best”  Working Photographer Shoes.

And I finally found one  … the  Red Wing WaterProof Work shoe that looks like a Hiking MID Boot  in Black (NO aluminum Toe). It is actually a new style  , # 8691 Men’s Hiker $ 180.00 + $ 8.00 to ship to Hawaii  : http://www.redwingshoes.com/red-wing-shoe/8691-red-wing-shoes/8691-red-wing-mens-hiker-black

It also comes in a  true work boot style with aluminum toe  … but that is another style number.

For me, this shoe  had to be:

1)      Comfortable.  It always surprises me how much time in a Photogs  life is spent standing and “waiting”.   And if shooting Events, Sports : Add Walking , and semi-running.

2)      Waterproof.  This has floated high on my list.  In Hawaii,  you will end up at the beach doing a shoot.  And maybe even walking across rocks.   For sure a beach Wedding.   And you don’t want to  look like a total  wimp,  by screaming and/or running  like a baby when you are surprised by a large wave on shore.  Or cry out loud when your  $400 shoes gets wet.  (tearing up a little is understandable)

3)      Durability.  This kinda  relates to the  Rocks at the beach thing , above.   Beach rock is very hard on shoes.    And it’s nice when a work shoe lasts , to add value.

4)      MID.   it needs to be a  slightly higher  MID boot design so  SAND from the beach does not go into the shoe when walking on the Beach.   I did not realize how important a feature that was until I started shooting Weddings on a beach, and saw another  Wedding photog with Hiking MID boots on.    

5)      Black.  Most  hiking boots are brown.   In order to disguise  this WaterProof Hiking boot as a dress shoe it has got to be at least BLACK, preferably all black.

The Red Wing  #8691 Men’s Hiker  in Black  meets all requirements!

Have been wearing it for over a week now.   Shot a number of events (with a lot of standing and walking)  … it is so comfortable, even my  Nike  running shoes and my Rockports  will sit on the shelf unused from now on.  The shoe holds my heal snuggly like a good running shoe and even has a wide base like a running shoe.  A moderate arch support (the Merrell  Pulse II Waterproof is slightly more comfortable, with more arch support),  and though I bought it in Normal (D) the width and toe space is roomy , I  do what I normally do, and bought a half size larger , for airlines travel  (Normal width, they call it D … note: the Hawaii Red Wing store only carries Wide and in this style only Brown , so I had to special order in D / Black … it only cost $8.00 more and took only one week to get to my home)   In fact on a upcoming trip to New York City  (a city of walking)  I plan to ONLY bring this Red Wing Hiker (no dress shoes).  (well, along with my fav slipper  Reef Mick Fanning -02 :  http://www.amazon.com/Reef-Mens-Fanning-02-Sandal/dp/B001PTHDF0)

Fyi: the shoe is made like a TANK!   And the sole is like truck tires.  But, it also has a slightly bouncy/Airy feel  (similar to my Doc Martins, but more comfortable, durable and better looking …  those Doc Martins are only for  yard duty now).   Have a   “Beach Home” Wedding on the North Shore to do this week  … so, it’s  SAND , Rock,  WaterProof ability will be tested.
* 9/23/2011 update:  Did that North Shore wedding ... and of course as I was shooting them walking down the beach I got hit "good" by a wave.  Talking pants all the way up to my knee wet (lined wool pants).  The Red Wing #8691 never really felt wet on the inside (like any of my previous shoes would).  AND it kept the sand out.  And did not feel uncomfortable the rest of the night (even after the wave hit me, I did not take the shoe off that night).   The sand and water pretty much fell off by the end of the night (terminator style), and it did not have a wet feeling inside. My pant was wet , but it did not feel like the inside of the shoe was really wet (though my socks did get wet).     After getting hit by the wave, it did destract me enough that I forgot to take a  bride "single" shot at the beach (hate when that happens). :)  ...   I don't think anyone really noticed I was wearing a hiking boot until I layed down on the floor to take a shot, and a Bridesmaid "exclaimed" out loud ,  he is wearing really heavy duty  Hiking Boots! ... LOL ,  you will only know why when you actually see this shoe, from the bottom. *
Shot this week a  “Business Dress”  Event at “The Modern Honolulu”  (formally the Edition Hotel) , and  “The Plaza Club” in Downtown  with this  Red Wing #8691  with  a black wool dress pant     it  seemed to disguise well as a dress shoe    No one  kicked me out for  not having a dress shoe on (or looked at my shoe strangely)  , LOL.
10/28/11  ...  found out on a trip  ... that this shoe , even though it does NOT have a aluminum Toe  ... does have metal in it  ... it set off a alarm when I walked thru a metal detector.
* Also, found out that if you go to the RED Wing store (in Aiea) and have your foot measured ... the size is pretty true.   When the store measured my foot I was a  Regular width which I special ordered (the store only stocked Wide)  ... But, I also bought my normal  1/2 size larger  ... so it would be easier to take on and off at the Airport. (and if my foot swelled on a trip)
This "might" have been a mistake with this shoe because it  probably would have fit perfectly if I bought my correct "measured" size.  I think this heavy shoe actually had a pretty good fit at my "correct" size.
*** This has become my BEST Work shoe  EVER !
Next test will be  Nov. in New York  (maybe in the snow) :).

This all Black shoe can be worn with  wool pants or Jeans.   Nice!

I have found the Perfect   Photographers  Work Shoe/Boot !   The WaterProof  Red Wing Hiker # 8691 in Black.

I plan to wear this shoe “Everywhere”    and will probably end up wearing less  Dress shoes in the future.

11/30/11 Update:  Just came back from a  10 day New York trip ...  30-40 degree cold, Rain , NYC sidewalks and roads , puddles   ... 
* This Waterproof  (and slightly heavy)  8691   really  shined on this trip. and it was the ONLY shoe I took in this trip.  
I am talking over  100 NYC blocks of walking  and two  rainy days that was not higher than 40 deg. ... walking quickly thru puddles, bad roads and sidewalks. 
This shoe PASSED with flying colors !  
Can you tell this is now my favoite shoe "Ever".       Now, I am wondering if I will ever bother to buy another Feragamo , ever.   (I might try a  Merrel Pulse II  if they ever do a black   lol)

Hope this helps someone,
Ross D. Hamamura
The Tourist of Light

Monday, September 5, 2011

Flash Strip Softbox , on the Cheap (as of this date , at least)

First,  this is a GREAT Value!  could not find anything better at this price. and I do NOT regreat my purchase.
Would recommend buying it, but you also need to know the rest of the story.

After a long search, I bought two(2) of these,   us$79.99 + ship each.
Even AB (Paul Buff strip box is $119 and it does not have a a Bracket for Flash, or Grid)
It arrived pretty quick , and the shipping to Hawaii added about $30 each.

VALUE is how I would describe this.
1) The Soft box looks pretty durable
2) It comes with a Grid!  and inside diffuser ... and bag
3) The Flash bracket seems pretty heavy duty for a "strobist" Flash solution ... and it seems you could probably load your studio strobes on it.

The BUT:
1) It looks more like a Strobe set up that was altered for Flash ... now depending on your point of veiw this could be good or bad.  imho, it is NOT as "Elegant" of a Flash/Strobist solution as my FourSquare Flash Softbox ... in fact my Four(4) Flash Softbox solution is "way" Lighter than this one(1) Flash strip softbox ... and Faster and easier to Set UP.  and the FourSquare Packs for Travel a lot smaller, WAY smaller.

* For what I wanted to use this for , it is a bit of a problem ...  a FourSquare , Two Flash Strip Box would be less than half the weight and size , IF they had one. (but there FourSquare Grid is way too expensive, imho)

2) The Speedlite bracket L on this is designed WRONG !  and at "first" you will not get WHY they included a picture of the Speedlite bracket "T" ... but, when you start using it with the "L" bracket with this Strip Softbox .. you realize quickly that this "L" design was a mistake!

So, YES  I bought two(2) of the Speedlite bracket "T" and extra $30 Free ship ...  * at about $130 total I still concider this a VALUE. TOTAL is:  $79.99 for the original Strip box , Grid and L flash bracket , add $30 each for shipping , then add another $30 for the "extra" T flash bracket (which I like better) ..  That gives you a TOTAL cost of  $ $139.99 each for this (and you have an extra L bracket).

Want to know why I bought the "T" bracket even when the "L" bracket is OK?

* Well, When you set up the Strip Softbox Vertical (which I will probably do most of the time) the L bracket does not easily allow you to keep the Flash vertical with it.  Not a big deal really cuz you can work around this ... but, it is bad enough that there is a Hot Spot in the center that with one flash is hard enough to avoid.
* But, that's not all ... you cannot move the Flash  Deeper into the Strip Softbox  ... after a while you start to realize there is benifits to this :) ... and you get pi$$ed that the picture of the "T" bracket solves this.

I think the Hot Spot can be helped a bit by putting on a Diffusion dome on your Flash ... and moving the Flash more inside the Softbox , then the Silver Reflector on the sides can help bounce the light around more and not have it in such a strait path to the center of the box.

It also helps if you have a sb900 where you can flip the Wide angle diffuer down and have the sb900 automatically go to a 17mm wide zoom , combine this with the dome and it really evens out the light on this 36" strip box.  Or as best that can be expected with one Flash

* The other benifit of paying extra for the additional "T" bracket is ...  the  Softbox "Swivel"  will work as it should ,  keeping the the strip and the flash , vertical with each other

* now this whole bowens softbox screw on bracken , T bracket ... starts to get heavy , and less "strobist-y"  ...  probably best as a studio set up , vs a Travel, On-the-Go ,  GUN and RUN Strbist Set UP.
BUT, it is the Cheapest , Flash Strip Softbox solution I have found , so far.  
Well,  at least until  Foursquare can make a two(2) Flash Strip Softbox

p.s.  Did I say that this Strip Softbox comes with a GRID ?  :)

Hope this helps someone, looking for a Flash Strip Softbox.

*** anyone wants to buy two(2) New / Unused  Speedlite bracket "L" ??? 
email me  ...   If I get  $20  each on these I will be happy.

Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light  :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Fashion Photographer, Guillermo Velez - STUDIO Workshop JUNE 18th , BEACH Workshop JUNE 19th (two separate workshops)

6/15/11  Update:  For those that want to know ...  Yes,  I will be there helping my friend, the beautiful and talented photographer  Tracy Wright Covo ,  to  asst.  Guillermo  at the Workshop.  
On both workshops.

6/2/2011  Update:  It was reveiled to me today  the  Pictures of the Confirmed Models  for the Workshop  ... and who will be asst.  and doing Makeup.
Here is the  info:
Note:  Studio workshop will have 3 Models ... and the next day Beach/Swimsuit will have 2 Models

The Below  Model information tells you which days the Models will be there.
Also has the  Stylist  and MakeUp  artist info.

One of the goals for the day should be,  to add to your portfolio. :)

Guillermo Velez will have  TWO(2)  Separate  Workshops in Hawaii.

1)  STUDIO Workshop on  JUNE 18th  SATURDAY

2)  BEACH Workshop on JUNE 19th  SUNDAY

Just got a  new Flyer  for  the  6/19/11 SUNDAY  new added BEACH Lighting Workshop

Interesting,   there is now a second separate workshop on SUNDAY, a   Beach / Swim   Workshop.   Nice !
I am just saying ...  it's Hawaii after all  :).

The STUDIO Lighting Workshop is still on JUNE 18th SATURDAY  ... it is a Separate Workshop

Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light


4/24/11 Update on the Workshop ... above/side are two flyers I will be printing (at Costco, luster :) ... ) and bringing to the Monday 4/25/11 EOH (Eyes of Hawaii Photography Club meeting, at KCC) ... for those that want to see a print of the Model Guillermo Valez will be bringing with him.
Pics of her are in the two(2) flyers.

* When I get pics and info on the Local Hawaii Model that will be the "other" model at the workshop ... I will post it. :)

* Note: on the Bottom/Right of the PDF there is a BUY NOW button that will allow you to pay via charge card.
Click on the link to register and reserve your spot (PDF)http://www.gvphotos.com/WORKSHOP2011.pdf

Another way to make payment and register is by going to his website and click under workshops for the PDF there. www.GVphotos.com

Or, you can email him: info@GVphotos.com

Those of you that have been wanting a Studio Lighting workshop/shoot with "Real" Models? Well, this is it.

Hope this helps,
Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light

(from past blog)

Fashion Phototographer Guillermo Velez is having a workshop in Honolulu, Hawaii on 6/18/11 10am - 6pm
Complete with two(2) Models (one Guillermo will bring with him, the other from Honolulu) and a Make Up Artist.
With Studio Lighting gear provided by Hawaii Photo Rental.
* Location is most likely going to be 1013 Integrated

4/15/11 update: here is some pics of the main Model he will be bringing with him for the Workshop.

Look at the flyer and his web Link to get more info ...
* This should be interesting !!!

All you have to do is look at Guillermo's site http://www.gvphotos.com/ to know it should be on another level of what might have been done before.

Those of you that have been wanting a Studio Lighting workshop/shoot with "Real" Models? Well, this is it.

Hope this helps,
Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Most Flashes fired by one person, Guinness World Record attempt

So, I got this email from Radio Poppers. :)   (below)

And you might be asking ... why post it ?

Well, the funny thing is   ...  in the past week  another High School (Moanaloa High has purchased already, for there lighting class, both the RP JrX and the LP160 flashes) and a  local photog  has asked me about the Radio Poppers.

Being a proud owner of both  Radio Popper JrX and the LP160  Flash  (also own the RP PX TTL triggers)   ... I can tell you , from experiance  ... that this combo will  have  "NO Problem"  triggering  Every Time. :)

AND it's not a very expensive combo.

Now if  MPE  can  just develope a   LumoPRO  LP160  that the Radio Popper JrX  can control the "Power Level"  remotely  ...  that , would be really Cool.
Hint:  they told me they are working on it  :)


"The most flashes fired by one person to create a photograph"

In less then 72 hours at After Dark Cincinnati, photographer Jason Groupp will be attempting the world record for "The most flashes fired by one person to create a photograph." How many flashes? Well that is top secret. But we can tell you the flashes used will be LumoPro LP 160s provided by Midwest Photo Exchange, and to ensure every flash fires, each one will be triggered with the RadioPopper JrX.
Attendees of After Dark Cincinnati will be able to purchase World Record Edition RadioPopper JrX Receivers with custom "World Record Edition" badging in gold leaf.

It is a public event with tons of activities so come be a part of all the action on Sunday, May 8th. Following the world record excitement there will be a shindig with live music and the official awarding of the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS certificate. Check out all the details here. See you there!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Update, on 6/18/11 Guillermo Velez Lighting Workshop Honolulu, Hawaii

4/24/11   Update  on the Workshop  ...  above/side are two flyers  I will be printing (at Costco, luster :) ... )  and bringing to the  Monday  4/25/11  EOH (Eyes of Hawaii Photography Club meeting, at KCC) ... for those that want to see a print of the  Model     Guillermo Valez will be bringing with him.
Pics of her  are in the two(2) flyers.

* When I get  pics and info on the   Local  Hawaii Model that will be the  "other" model at the workshop  ...  I will post it. :)  

* Note: on the Bottom/Right of the PDF there is a  BUY NOW  button that will allow you to pay via charge card.
Click on the link to register and reserve your spot  (PDF)

Another way to make payment and register is by going to his website and click under workshops for the PDF there.  www.GVphotos.com

Or, you can email him:  info@GVphotos.com

Those of you that have been wanting a Studio Lighting workshop/shoot with "Real" Models? Well, this is it.

Hope this helps,
Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light

   (from past blog)

Fashion Phototographer Guillermo Velez is having a workshop in Honolulu, Hawaii on 6/18/11 10am - 6pm
Complete with two(2) Models (one Guillermo will bring with him, the other from Honolulu) and a Make Up Artist.
With Studio Lighting gear provided by Hawaii Photo Rental.
* Location is most likely going to be 1013 Integrated

4/15/11 update: here is some pics of the main Model he will be bringing with him for the Workshop.

Look at the flyer and his web Link to get more info ...
* This should be interesting !!!

All you have to do is look at Guillermo's site http://www.gvphotos.com/ to know it should be on another level of what might have been done before.

Those of you that have been wanting a Studio Lighting workshop/shoot with "Real" Models? Well, this is it.

Hope this helps,
Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Nikon D700, blueSLR remote trigger and geolocation system 

Yes, I plan on finally buying a iPhone  ...  when the  iPhone v5  ships sometime in June 2011.

So, what is cool about the  BlueSLR    http://usd.blueslr.com/   ... is that  when paired with a  iPhone and D700  it  will allow you to trigger a D700 at aprox 200 feet , AND tag your RAW D700 files in camera with GPS information.  for aprox.  $149.00  .. and a free iPhone app.  (you need to run both)

As soon as I get a iPhone 5  ... this will be my next purchase  :).

Here's a link to Rob Golbraith's  review:

IF, you are like me ...    whenever I have my D700  I have my Mobile phone (which will be a iPhone 5)   ...  so, with this combo, which I will already have with me + blueSLR ...
All my older remote triggers will go the way of the Dinosaur (and film) ... PLUS, I will have GPS geolocation tagging on my D700 (D800) files.

p.s.  for the iPhone  ... I am also going to get a  "Light Meter" app  ... how cool is that !

Hope this helps,
Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light

WeTransfer.com for Large 2gig file SENDs .. for FREE

This Large File Send/Transfer site is too good to not share. :)
WeTransfer.com   https://wetransfer.com/

It allows you to SEND/TRANSFER  to someone  Large  files up to 2gig FREE ... Yes, that's 2 gig!
I am a heavy user of YouSendIt.com   ...  but, it's crazy not to try/USE this.

Don't even mind there Advertising model they are using  ... Hey, if they can provide a  Great Service (for FREE)  AND  make some money ,  More Power to Them !

If you need to provide  large files (ZIP)  to your customers  FAST  (and easy)  ...  you got to love this (and the web).  :)   ...  Oh,  did I mention it's for FREE !

4/24/11   Have been using this for  a  few  over  1 gig ZIP file transfers ...  and so far, it is working like a charm !
When you are going over 1 gig , it does take a while  (even when using a cable web connect)  ... so, if you have to sent to more than one(1) email address ... Make sure you list them ALL :).

Too bad on this FREE  service  ... it does not  store a  email Address list for you , (or a group send list) ... or I did not easily see it.   ... but, it is FREE ! :)   

* What is COOL  though  ... when your  client downloads the file ... you are sent a email letting you know.   Nice !

Hope this helps someone,
Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Guillermo Velez Studio Lighting Workshop 6/18/11

Fashion Phototographer  Guillermo Velez  is having a workshop in Honolulu, Hawaii  on 6/18/11  10am - 6pm
Complete with two(2) Models (one Guillermo will bring with him, the other from Honolulu) and a Make Up Artist.
With Studio Lighting gear provided by Hawaii Photo Rental.
* Location is most likely going to be 1013 Integrated

4/15/11  update:   here is some pics of  the main Model he  will be bringing with him  for the Workshop.

Look at the flyer and his web Link  to get more info  ...   
* This should be interesting !!!

All you have to do is look at  Guillermo's site  http://www.gvphotos.com/   to know it should be on another level of what might have been done before.

Those of you that have been wanting a  Studio Lighting workshop/shoot with "Real" Models?   Well, this is it.

Hope this helps,
Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Virus via email attachment ZIP ... bude.exe

I got a "different" kind of email from what I "thought" was  DHL-USA.
It said it was to tracking information for a package sent to me.
Being that I do use DHL  ... I thought nothing of it. 
But, it was strange that it was in a ZIP file   (many business owners don't know how to handle a ZIP).
Now, the RED flag  should have been ... there was a  exe file inside ... bude.exe
What was interesing was that it installed itself at this path

and was Hidden on the  files Running List in  Win7 PRO.

Well, I  knew it was trouble when it tried to go outside my  Firewall to the Internet.

Short story  ...  I reported the virus   ...  my AntiVirus on a Quick scan did not detect it!
After I reported the  issue ... a UPdate was done ... and when I scanned it "then" caught it.

It seems to look for  User info and Passwords ... and probably  sends it back.
I noticed my  IE  had no UserNames  stored.       So, I would have to re-type everything.
What is interesting is ...  I did not notice it was running ... and  a scan did not catch it at first.
Started getting  "more"  SPAM  after I  went thru a site  asking survey questions in order to get a  Free or Discounted iPad  ... I know , I know ... what a mistake. :)  ... I should know better.
Hope this helps,
Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Loved this post on composition by Alain Briot LINK:

15 Thoughts on Composition

by Alain Briot

It is one of those things you read, that expresses better what you feel.
and helps you clarify for yourself what you are doing.
* I never believed that a Great photograph ever really represented what is real.
It's how you saw it  ... Show that.

Also loved this statement about composition:
"transforming the natural chaos into an organized image.

– It involves creating order out of chaos"

Ross Hamamura
"The Tourist of Light"

"Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
Albert Einstein

1 - Composition is the strongest way of seeing
– This is Edward Weston's definition of composition. – It is still my favorite definition of composition.

2 - Composition is not just the placement of objects in the frame

– Composition also involves using color, contrast and light .

– Composition includes post processing in the raw converter and in Photoshop.

3 - The goal of composition is to express your vision and your emotional response to the scene

– The goal of Fine Art Composition is not to create a documentary representation of the scene.

– Nor is it to create a photograph that is only technically perfect .

– The goal is to create an image that is superior, both expressively and technically.

4 - What the camera captures is objective. What the artist sees and feels is subjective

– Take stock of your emotional response to the scene in front of you.

– Record those emotions in writing or in audio.

– Use light, color, contrast, composition and cropping to reproduce these emotions visually.

– Work on this both in the field and in the studio.

5 - Think first about light

– A photograph is only as good as the light you use.

– The subject is less important than the light that illuminates this subject.

– The best subject in bad light does not make for a good photograph.

6 - Use foreground-background relationships

– Find a great foreground and place it in front of a great background.

– Make sure your foreground is large enough to play an important role in the composition.

7 - Contrast opposites elements

– Human beings think and see in terms of opposites .

– Therefore this is something everyone can relate to.

Opposite examples include:

- Static / moving

- Young / old

- Large / small

- Organic / man made

8 - Composing a photograph is not about redoing what someone else has done before

– If tempted to redo an image you have seen, just buy the postcard, the book or the poster.

– You cannot be someone else, therefore you cannot take the same photographs as someone else.

– You will waste time trying to do so.

– Instead, start to create your own images right away.

9 - Being inspired by and redoing someone else's work are two different things

– You can certainly be inspired by the work of other photographers.

– We have all been inspired by the work of other artists and photographers.

– This is an inherent aspect of the artistic process.

10 - No amount of technology can make up for a lack of inspiration

– Cameras and other gears are technical.

– Inspiration is artistic.

– The two exist on different planes.

– Achieving a Personal style in Fine Art means working as an artist not just as a technician.

11 - People, not cameras, compose photographs

– Certainly, a camera is a necessity.

– However, your camera cannot compose a photograph anymore than your car can drive itself.

12 - "Correct" is whatever works when the goal is to create fine art

– There is no such thing as Other right thing in art.

– What is Art ? is a question to which there are many answers.

– We therefore have to answer this question for ourselves.

– We are also bound to disagree with others because fine art is a polarized activity.

13 - Straight fine art prints are a myth

– All fine art prints are a modification of the image recorded by the camera.

– The composition of the image you started in the field is continued in the studio .

– This is done through image optimization because colors, contrast, borders, image format, etc. are all part of composition.

14 - The "right" color balance is the strongest way of seeing color

– There is no such thing as the "right" color balance in Fine Art.

– This is because color is one of the ways you express your emotional response to the scene.

– For this reason, the "right" color balance for a specific image will differ from one photographer to the next.

15 - The finest compositions are those you never saw until you created them

– Recreating a composition you saw before is easy.

– Creating a brand new composition, one you have never seen before, is difficult.

– This is because doing so requires transforming the natural chaos into an organized image.

– It involves creating order out of chaos, as Elliott Porter said.

AGAIN this is from:


15 Thoughts on Composition
by Alain Briot

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Alan Wong Pork Chops

Tonight I was blown away by Alan Wong's  Pork Chop.
Ok, it's: 
Apple Chutney and Macadamia Nut Crusted Apple Curry Glazed Kurobuta "Berkshire" Pork Chop, with Kabocha Pumpkin and Mascarpone Cheese Puree  ... $30.00

Sorry I messed up the plating with a shrimp I was tasting ... "Baked Shrimp" , Red Onion Butter, Local Saimin Noodles, and Garnishes.   It was very good.   ... $26.00

But, the Pork Chop was a WOW !  ... and it was a pretty good size too. :)
Yes, I ordered rice with it.

I also had the Poke & Sashimi  "starter"  ...  it was probably the BEST  Sashimi  I have had in years!
Thick slices ... and really, really Fresh.   ... $16.00

This  past  4 days has been crazy good eating!  :)
Probably had something from many of  the TOP restaurants.

and had a pretty good fish Lunch at the Convention center.
Sorry, this pic was "before" the secret sauce was put on lol.

and then there was this bun "thingy" ...

And then this shot.
What's the big deal about this? you ask
Shot with the new Nikon 24mm f1.4  @  f1.4   ... that's all   :)

* and then there was  Food from these Resturants at the Honolulu Festival  GALA
It was great food!  Seriously.

3660 on the Rise


The Cheesecake Factory

La Palme D’or Patisserie

Mariposa at Neiman Marcus

Morimoto Waikiki

Nobu Waikiki

The Original Roy’s Hawaii Kai

Ruth’s Chris Steak House

some pics of the food shown here:

Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light

Sunday, February 13, 2011

WSSM 2011 Senior Frogs Party, A Different Valentines Day :)

For some strange reason it was a long shooting day yesterday, Valentines Day. (or should I say, Valentines day "Party" day)

Shooting a young band at three locations ... and on the way to the third location ... they (the Band) gets busted for a Safety Check violation. lol
Isn't it a little "cliche"  when a band drives around in a  "piece of $hit" car?
So, we arrive at the last location that "had" nice light at sunset.  I really wanted to shoot this natural light (the sun had dropped and the street lights was already on).

Well,  what is interesting about my last shot was ... I did it at iso6400 , handheld at 1/30, 80mm, f2.8  ... I had lighting (my portable strobist stuff), so I did not have to shoot Natural light/high ISO.  But, I had made up my mind I was going to do this all ambiant ... and here it is.
Only in LR , shot RAW  ... NO  Noise reduction at all  ... so any grain in the shot, is what is there on the D700 at iso6400.
What was nice is ... I probably would have "added" grain , after the shot  ... but instead ,  I did it with iso6400, no NR at all.

Here is the shot:

Here's the bust:
Note:  notice the officer "Texting"  while his partner is  checking the reg and papers :) ... "Seriously?", really?.     Wonder if he was checking out the bands Facebook page?    maybe he was Friend-ing them. :)

Here's a shot from that location  lol:
talking right at the spot of the bust ...

After this shoot.  It was on to a Party by WSSM (Women's Surf Style Magazine)  at Senor Frogs in Waikiki.
"Valentines Day" themed Party.
It's a tough job ... but, someone had to do it.  lol

* Now, imagine  the RAP song "Black and Yellow"  blasting from the speakers ... standing room only ... and then you got the feeling. :)

It was a long day ... and that party was going past 2am  ... but  FUN.
Like I said before,   It's a tough job,  and someone had to do it  :)

Ross Hamamura
The Tourist of Light

Friday, February 11, 2011

How to program a Button to do Handheld HDR, on a Nikon D700/D3

Nikon D700/D3, How to program a Button to do Handheld HDR

I am not sure why it was so hard to find some instructions on how to do this.
fyi I even emailed Nikon, and on there Service site they told me it could not be done (they probably did not understand what I wanted to do)

* FIRST,  I need to say ... basically all you are doing is assigning  BKT to the FUNC button.

Here is a short List of Menu changes to make it simple:

* b2) 1 step
* e6) Flash/speed
* e7)  MTR-Under-Over
* f6) Preview button press: BKT
   f6) Preview + command dials: BKT
*Set release to Ch
* Press INFO/Preview button and turn dial to 5F
* Set exposure in A mode  , I also like to set the ISO
* Focus
* Hold Release button down until it stops firing.

* If more than five shots are required, press the FUNC button to change 5 to 9.

NOW the LONG verson:
imho,  programs like  PS CS5 combined with LR v3.3 is making it easier to create HDR images.

So, now what you need is your camera (in my case a Nikon D700) to be able to fire off  at least three exposures ... EV0, EV-2, EV+2  ,  a Normal exposure, a 2 stop under , and a 2 stop over file.
and to do it as Quickly and easily as possible.  To eliminate as much movement while doing the shot.

The idea of doing it Handheld is to press one button and have it fire off the shots as quickly as possible.

Here's how it is done:

1)  what I like to do is make sure to set the ISO value ... and make sure at "that ISO value" the -2 EV shot is not tooo slow of a shutter and is something I can handhold. 

* I normally will use Aperture Priority and have the  "Shutter value"  change on the bracket.

So, selecting a ISO value is finding that balance of  Noise and Shutter handhold ability.

2)  Depending on how much time I have to set up the shot ...  might  lock my  AF so the AF point does not change.   but, most of the time I do not.  imho, it's easy enough to make sure my AF point is over a subject that is big enough and will not move. :)

OK,  now on setting up the D700/D3

3)  Set ... Menu - e5  Auto Bracketing set - AE only
Basically set up to bracket exposure

4)  Now to assign the Bracketing to the FUNC button ... on the D700 it would be the bottom button up front on the right.
Set .... Menu - f5   Assign FUNC. button - set "both" LINES * top FUNC. button press to BKT Bracketing burst  .... and the * bottom  FUNC. button + dials to BKT Auto bracketing

5)  I "also" like to set f1 change  to Both  ... with allows me to turn the shutter switch to the right to both turn on the LCD light and to show INFO on the LCD.
OR you can simply look at the top LCD.

6)  So, if you  look at the Top LCD , AND then press the   FUNC button .. you can roll the Back wheel to set How many Frames you will shoot on a Bracket (set to 5),  and use the Front wheel to set the  EV value (set to 1) , unfortunately Nikon only lets you  bracket at 1 stop increments.
To end up with at least one file at EV-2 and one file EV+2  ... you actually need 5 shots at 1 EV increments.

So, set the Bracket at 5 frames at 1 EV increments ... this will give you  "EV0" , EV-1 , "EV-2" , EV+1 , "EV+2"  ...   but, imho you need only the three files  EV0, EV-2, EV+2  (I delete the other two)

7)  this last step is not necessary ,  BUT if you "don't"  want to have to count off  5 shots , and have the camera STOP after 5 shots for you ... change the top/left dial to "S"  Single shot.

Even at this "S" Single Shot setting , the Nikon D700 will fire off 5 frames at the Highest Rate possible ... when you hold down the shutter.

side note:
Someone discovered that if you set the e5 Auto bracketing set to "flash only" , and then have the PopUP flash DOWN, you will fire them "even" faster , which is aprox.  6 frames per second , without a grip.  Yes, this is faster than the 5fps that the D700 is supposed to do "without" a grip.  Nice!   a FW bug that works in your favor.

NOW  ... if you followed me so far ...  :)

ALL you need to do now  ... when you are walking around  ... and want to fire off 5 frames Bracketed:

* Half press to lock your AF , press & hold the FUNC button  , then full shutter =  The D700 will then fire off 5 frames at full speed and stop , Bracketed.

Now how coool is that !

p.s. After you are DONE shooting HDR,  Don't forget to change back ... FUNC button 5 f (5 frames) to 0 ( zero frames )  on  BKT.
Press the FUNC button and Back Wheel  roll to 0.

What if you want to  HDR bracket properly on a Tripod.
Well,  you can add these functions ...  (I ADD it to the MY Menu so I can find it fast).

* d9  Exposure Delay mode  ...  which delays the shutter until 1 second after the mirror is raised.
(just remember to turn this OFF after your HDR shot on a tripod)
* Interval timer shooting  ... found on the shooting menu  ...   You can set this a 1 sec  ..  and 1x5 shots ( 1 set , 5 shots )  ...  so, it will basically fire after you take your hand off it.

Hope this helps someone,
Ross Hamamura    http://www.rdhphoto.net/
The Tourist of Light