Happy New Year!
2015 was a busy year for me! Here’s a quick recap of news you may have missed.
My Favorite Images From 2015
I’ve put together a gallery at my portfolio of some of my favorite shots from the past year.
New eBooks and Videos
I published two new eBooks, bringing the total up to 13!
I also produced several new training video tutorials, mostly focusing on Adobe Lightroom, but I also covered other topics like HDR and infrared, too. Each video includes a printable PDF notes package.
- Lightroom Brushes & Gradients
- Lightroom Sharpening Tutorial
- HDR with Lightroom CC
- Digital Infrared Processing with Lightroom & Photoshop
- Mastering Monochrome with Silver Efex Pro 2
Field Workshops & Photo Safaris
My field season started in March, in Washington, DC. From there, I conducted birding workshops at the Florida Space Coast, and in South Texas. In June, I made my annual trip to South Dakota’s Badlands National Park. In July, we photographed wildflowers in Colorado before heading to Chicago for an urban photo workshop in August. I also did an urban workshop in Miami Beach, which was totally fun! I ended the year back in Florida for birds in the Everglades. <exhale>
Online Photo Classes and Mentoring
Throughout the year, I managed to reach photographers from all over the world via online training classes on Lightroom, Photoshop, HDR, and infrared photography. I also added several seminars to my YouTube channel. Many of you reached out to me for private tutoring sessions online, too!
Gear: What’s in the Bag?
I’ve slowly revised my kit. Right now, my primary camera is the Nikon D810, backed up by a Nikon D750. I’ve found that the D810 excels in just about every situation I’ve used it for, including bird photography. I also started going with a lighter kit for urban photo safaris. I’ll use the Nikon 24-120mm f/4 VR and the 28-300 f.3.5-5.6 VR coupled with my wide 16-35mm f/4 VR lens. I also purchased the new 200-500 f/5.6 AFS G VR Nikkor and I was impressed!
My infrared kit is currently a Fujifilm X-E1 (590/Super Color Conversion). I use it with the 14mm and 23mm Fuji primes, and with Nikon lenses via a Metabones adapter. Since purchasing the Nikon D750 earlier this year, my Fuji X-T1 gets far less use. I’m considering converting it to infrared, too. As much as I’d love an IR D810, the size and weight trade-offs are too much for me right now, so I’m sticking with the smaller Fuji mirrorless cameras.
The Computer I’d Never Thought I’d Buy
I was way overdue for a desktop computer upgrade in 2015. I’ve been a Mac Pro user since, well, forever. In October, Apple announced a revised iMac lineup, and I purchased the 27″ retina model (full review). I’ve been incredibly pleased with it so far and the retina display with wide gamut is amazing. If you’re a Mac person, I highly recommend the new iMacs, especially with the ability to upgrade them to 64GB RAM.
My Go To Software
My current photo workflow is based on the following software products:
- Image import and triage using Photo Mechanic (tutorial)
- Image management and RAW processing with Adobe Lightroom CC
- Additional processing with Adobe Photoshop CC and plug-ins
- Nik Collection Suite (I use Color Efex Pro 4 and Silver Efex Pro 2 all the time)
- MacPhun Creative Kit (Mac-only, but it has some really good tools, like Intensify and Snapheal)
- Aurora HDR (Macphun) is a new program that has a lot of great features for HDR photographers who use Macs
- Flypaper Textures for creating texture overlays
I’ve used other software, but by and large these are my go-to tools; the ones I use for the overwhelming majority of my images.