A Life Less Cluttered

December 2020 issue Tech

Earlier this year, I participated in a 40-bag decluttering challenge, filling one giveaway bag daily for 40 days. If you like to hold onto things for a just-in-case scenario, this might sound crazy, and I used to be right there with you. But the clutter was stifling my creativity. That’s why I decided to be intentional about decluttering my home and studio. I wanted space in my life. Space for creativity, for possibilities.Before delving further into the concept of decluttering, maybe it... Continue Reading >

Review: Westcott X-Drop Portable Backdrop

November 2020 issue Tech

Working on location, we often prioritize our gear based on how much we can carry. Westcott’s X-Drop Portable Backdrop System helps lighten the scales by offering a compact, portable backdrop that delivers professional results.For this review, I tested the X-Drop stand and two wrinkle-resistant backdrops. Made from lightweight aluminum and weighing 3.5 pounds, the stand has a tripod-like base that holds three poles. Five telescoping poles with hooks on the end hold the backdrop taut.©... Continue Reading >

Tame Your Studio Equipment Clutter

November 2020 issue Tech

As photographers, we don’t just accumulate digital files, we accumulate gear. I’ve run a studio for 15 years, and the numerous equipment upgrades I’ve made in that time have left me with obsolete batteries, chargers, and cords, not to mention a poorly organized equipment cabinet. How do we tame the clutter?© Betsy FinnOne day, after losing my hot shoe strobe transmitter somewhere in the studio, I decided there had to be a better way. I needed to find an efficient method for finding... Continue Reading >

Review: Sony FE 20mm f/1.8G Lens

October 2020 issue Tech

Sony’s FE 20mm f/1.8 G is an ultrawide-angle full-frame lens made for Sony E-mount cameras. Relatively small and light, this prime lens has excellent optics and autofocus speed.© Courtesy SonyThe sample I evaluated was sharp from center to corners and exceptionally well corrected for both optical and geometric distortions. It was an excellent match for Sony’s current flagship camera, the 60-megapixel a7R IV. Even with erratically moving subjects at close range and large apertures,... Continue Reading >

Handy Camera Plate and Smartphone Adapter

September 2020 issue Tech

Why switch out the quick-release plate when you change capture methods? Mount almost any camera or smartphone to any Arca Swiss-compatible tripod head with Benro’s ArcaSmart 70. The plate switches from a camera mount to a spring-loaded mobile device holder with a simple flip.© Courtesy BenroThe ArcaSmart 70 fits most smart devices from 55mm to 85mm in width (including the phone case if you’re using one). It’s compatible with most Arca-Swiss style ballheads, three-way heads, and... Continue Reading >

DJI Mavic Mini Review: Fun Flyer

8.20.2020 Tech

Most people can’t hide a grin when they hold the DJI Mavic Mini in the palm of their hand because they just can’t believe how light it is. Battery installed, this diminutive drone weighs just over a half pound—249 grams—which means you don’t have to pay to register the drone with the FAA. DJI has done it again. They’ve literally redefined the concept of a take-anywhere aerial camera by designing a feature-rich drone that will fit in the most compact spaces.Key FeaturesLike... Continue Reading >

Review: Exposure Software Offers Efficiency Plus Flexibility

8.20.2020 Tech

When it comes to editing, time is money. Alough efficiency is key, sometimes you need flexibility when it comes to presets and adjustments. That’s where Exposure Software comes in. It helps you make the most of your workflow while allowing flexibility. Exposure Software’s main application is called Exposure X5. If you’re an Adobe user, the interface will look familiar. Exposure boasts a variety of enhancement tools specifically tailored to photography: vignette, grain, bokeh, infrared,... Continue Reading >

Review: Canson’s Infinity Baryta Photographique II

7.15.2020 Tech

Baryta inkjet papers took the fine-art inkjet printing world by storm more than a decade ago. When a paper is labeled a Baryta, it usually means the paper base is coated with barium sulfate, a clay-like material used in traditional silver gelatin photo papers for over 100 years. Baryta papers generally have the contrast, color saturation, and sharpness of RC (resin-coated) papers and fine art watercolor-type inkjet papers. Most Baryta papers have a paper base that feels like paper rather than... Continue Reading >

Product highlight: Epson SureColor Desktop Printers

June 2020 issue Tech

Epson has brought the best of its wide-format printer technology to two new desktop printers: the 13-inch SureColor P700 and the 17-inch SureColor P900. These units are compact compared to previous SureColor P-Series desktop printers while boasting innovations such as 2.4 and 5 Ghz wireless networking. The printer drivers have seen remarkable improvement. New Epson Media Installer software eliminates the frustration of determining settings and profiles. Instead, it’s just one step to... Continue Reading >