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Archive for March, 2015

Mouse Input for Photoshop Lightroom

March 25th, 2015 No comments

Lightroom_Input_Devices_MouseI’m always amazed that photographers can work with a standard mouse. Many photographers using Macs don’t even use a mouse with a right click. I’m not sure how to work without a bunch of Lightroom Shortcuts shortcuts on my mouse.

There are thousands of options for good input devices and many retouchers would say that a Wacom tablet is the only way to go. I do agree with that for actual retouching but in my day to day photography business grind, I’m simultaneously running many programs that don’t work all that well with a stylus. The main issue is flipping back and forth from typing to using the stylus. You have to set down the stylus to use two hands and pick it back up, then find the spot on the pad where you need to be. The answer is to have both a great mouse and a Wacom Tablet.

My current mischief of mice (lol-not a pack, flock or school) all have 12 thumb buttons that can be set up for different shortcuts. It takes a little while to set up the system and get used to it but once you do the productivity is gains are amazing. Below is the info on an inexpensive “Gaming Mouse”. I guess Adobe Lightroom is a game of sorts. This is a bargain copy of the Logitech models we use as well. The Logitech is pricy but the heavy weight, smooth glide and button set up make them top of the line.  This model is for PC only but many of these have software for both Mac and Win.

What really makes these glide is a good gaming mouse pad.  We prefer the hard surface models over the rubber and cloth models.

UtechSmart Venus 50 to 16400 DPI High Precision Laser MMO Gaming Mouse

Rosewill USB 3.0 Drive Enclosure

March 20th, 2015 No comments


I’m repeatedly asked how we manage our massive archive of images and video.  The answer is complicated, but lots and lots of hard drive space is at the core of our DAM system (Digital Asset Management). We’ve been utilizing Rosewill Drive enclosures with different interfaces for many years.  I’ve tried plenty of other enclosures and have had both interface card and power supply failures but the Rosewill enclosures have yet to fail me.

The models I use have nice big cooling fans that are quite and also have fan switches, which are nice if you record audio.  They are also inexpensive (approx. $45) and look pretty slick in the studio.  The current model I use is the RX304-APU3-35B and it has both E-SATA or USB 3.0.  I’ve become a real fan of USB 3.0 and have almost completely abandoned eSATA, Firewire 800 and NAS connections for the simplicity, speed and compatibility of USB 3.0.  I do still use the eSATA from time to time but I find USB 3.0 to be sufficient for most transfers.

What to look for in an external enclosure: #1 A good controller card is essential.  #2 A cool and quite running aluminum case.  #3 a reliable power source.

You can get some more info on all of the Rosewill USB 3.0 enclosures here.


Heavy Duty Grip Swivel

March 17th, 2015 No comments


Our studio has at least 20 umbrella mounts, elbows and light stand swivels in our gaff but they all have the same issue: not enough friction.  When you put anything heavy on them they fall over.  We just purchased six Photoflex “Heavy Duty  Grip Swivels” and these solve this long standing issue.  We are using them on a new universal speedring system that  we’ve developed for combining softboxes with LED lights that don’t have speedring systems (most).

We’ll post some images of our Speed Lighting universal speed ring when it’s done.  Hopefully we can find a manufacturer to pick up the design and bring an easy and versatile speed ring into the lighting industry.

I’ll vouch that this high friction light stand elbow with it’s rubber disc can hold a lot of weight without much torquing of it’s large metal knob.  It’s an essential piece of lighting gaff that should not be overlooked.  This is one of three with basically the same high friction area design.  Novatron and Westcott also make them but I can only vouch for the ruggedness of the Photoflex Heavy Duty Grip Swivel.

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