Picture Soup Blog

The online destination for your [photo] imagination.

Posts Tagged ‘professional photographers

Product Review: Foto Fashionista’s My Foto Vest for Ladies

with 3 comments

By Diane Berkenfeld

I am a woman with a camera—a professional photographer.

When shooting personal projects or working on location, I don’t always want to carry a camera bag, nor do I always want to have a gear belt full of pouches that resembles Batman or Robin’s utility belts. Thanks to fellow photographer Marla Holden, I won’t have to do that anymore. That’s because Marla decided to design a photo vest for women.

The vests fit a woman’s shape, unlike the baggy, oversized photojournalist’s vests that have been available for men for years. Marla’s company, Foto Fashionista, offers female photographers a more fashionable choice for carrying necessities while shooting, the My Foto Vest, in four styles: Nantucket Stripe, Casual Friday Khaki, Saturday Blue Jeans, and Midnight Denim. The vests are made of comfortable cotton materials, and are machine washable. They’re available in small, medium, large and x-large.

One of the great features of My Foto Vest is that the back is made of a stretchable lace, so it breathes. A zipper lets you wear the vest closed or open. On the inside of the vest, you’ll find pockets that are made of a stretchy neoprene-like material. The right side features five pockets, one for a pen, and four more to hold accessories. The left side has two pockets for accessories, with three smaller pockets to hold media cards higher up near your shoulder.

Pockets are stretchable. The My Foto Vest is comfortable to wear even when you've got the pockets full and the vest zippered closed.

Photo accessories, such as a light meter, flash, lens caps, filters, white balance devices (i.e. Spydercube), extra batteries, and more will easily fit in the pockets. So will a cellphone, keys, ID and money, or a small wallet. I like that when wearing a Foto Fashionista vest, I don’t have to stuff everything in my pant’s pockets. This is important, because, except for denim jeans, not all pants have pockets that are large enough, or shaped correctly to safely hold much of anything. I would like to be able to fit a lens in the vest, and wasn’t able to with the lenses than I own. The material that makes up the pockets is stretchy, but I couldn’t get the lenses to pass through the seams at the top of the pockets—which also speaks to the durability of the vests’ construction.

I like the ability to keep my full media cards on me. I don’t normally put shot cards in my gear bag in the event that it disappears on a shoot. My camera gear is replaceable, but the photographs I’ve taken aren’t.

Overall, I found the vest could replace a small purse, which I would find helpful on its own. If I was going out shooting with only one lens, I would definitely wear the vest instead of carrying a small camera bag. Being able to easily and comfortably carry accessories I use all the time is great. Because I shoot events, I would definitely like to see a more formal looking vest in black. Marla has said she’s working on a formal design for photographers to wear while shooting events, and I can’t wait to try it out.

MSRP of the My Foto Vest is $139.99. For more information, go to www.fotofashionista.com.


Product/Service Review: Your Photo on Canvas/Pro

with 7 comments

By Diane Berkenfeld

WPPI was the location for the debut of a new-to-the-photo-industry canvas printing company, who’s parent company has been in business for over 20 years, providing artists with high quality giclée and canvas printing—Your Photo on Canvas (www.yourphotooncanvas.com).

The company has a consumer facing retail website and also a pro website section where professional photographers are able to order canvas gallery wraps at wholesale prices. Pros receive custom branded product and packaging, an online order history, ICC color profiling, and quick turnaround with shipping in 2-4 days, with low, flat rate ground shipping ($9.95 per order).

The website’s pro area (www.yourphotooncanvas.com/pro) has an easy to use uploader for images and your logo. You upload your logo and the company outputs it to the back of each of the canvases you order, which is a great marketing tool for your studio. Canvas sizes range from 8×10 through 40×60 in a wide variety of shapes/sizes. Another great feature of the site is that the price list includes both the wholesale and MSRP of each size, so its easy for you to mark up your work to an appropriate amount.

Each canvas is coated with a UV protective layer that is specifically designed for the company’s combination of canvas and inks, ensuring the longevity of each print.

Image files only need to be 150 DPI, as the company has found that resolution combined with the latest RIPs allows them to produce extremely sharp prints. The file uploading system allows you to choose your image to wrap around the stretcher bars, 1.5-inches deep, or for you to choose a black border for the sides of the gallery wrap. When uploading files, the website shows you a visual of your image, so you can choose exactly what part of the image will print on the front of the gallery wrap, so you can make sure the cropping is correct before ordering.

The company also offers an affiliate program for businesses that want to offer such services to their customers.

My Photo on Canvas

diane berkenfeld picture-soup blog photo

Original image Ⓒ Diane Berkenfeld

Diane Berkenfeld picturesoup blog photo on wall

An image of the canvas hanging on the wall. Although the color of the canvas print is exact to the image file, the ambient lighting has added an overall slight red cast. Photo Ⓒ Diane Berkenfeld.

To be honest, I actually had an image printed via the company’s consumer facing side but the quality of the output is the same whether you’re a consumer or a professional photographer—high quality, crisp, vibrant, sharp canvas gallery wraps. When I received my canvas and opened the box, I found it to be packaged well, with a claw hanger already attached to the rear of the wrap, ready for hanging. The image looked absolutely beautiful [if I do say so myself].

I was definitely impressed with the quality and will likely be using the pro services to output canvas gallery wraps for my clients’ images.

For more information on Your Photo on Canvas, go to the website www.yourphotooncanvas.com/pro.

Adobe Unveils Highly Anticipated Creative Suite 5 Family

with 10 comments

By Diane Berkenfeld

Today is the day photographers, graphic designers, webmasters and illustrators have been waiting for—the day Adobe announced the latest version of its Creative Suite. New versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and brand new web components for generating content without the need to write code were unveiled. More than 250 new features have been integrated into the Adobe Creative Suite 5 Master Collection.

Adobe offers all 15 software titles that make up the CS5 Master Collection individually, as well as in collections designed to incorporate those programs that photographers would need, or graphic designers or web designers. These are: Creative Suite 5 Master Collection [everything but the kitchen sink —Ed.], Creative Suite 5 Design Premium, Creative Suite 5 Design Standard, Creative Suite 5 Web Premium and Creative Suite 5 Production Premium.

Adobe’s website www.adobe.com has a helpful product chooser, to help you figure out which product is right for your needs based on what you need to do, or what products you need to utilize. Check it out if you’re not sure which collection is right for you.

The fifteen different titles, available individually are: Photoshop CS5, Illustrator CS5, InDesign CS5, Acrobat 9 Pro, Flash Catalyst CS5, Flash Professional CS5, Flash Builder 4, Dreamweaver CS5, Contribute CS5, Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, After Effects CS5, Soundbooth CS5, Adobe OnLocation CS5, Adobe Bridge CS5, Adobe Device Central CS5 and Adobe Dynamic Link.

What’s New!

With 250 new features we can’t list them all here, but here’s a taste of what you can expect:

– InDesign CS5 powers the transition to digital publishing with new interactive documents and enhanced eReader device support;

– New stroke options in Illustrator CS5 allow users to create strokes of variable widths and precisely adjust the width at any point along the stroke;

– Dreamweaver CS5 now supports popular content management systems Drupal, Joomla! and WordPress, allowing designers to get accurate views of dynamic Web content from within Dreamweaver;

– Using Flash Professional CS5, designers and developers can create, test and deliver Web content across mobile platforms and devices such as smartphones, tablets, netbooks, smartbooks and other consumer electronics.

Since Picture-soup.com is devoted primarily to photographers, lets take a deeper look at what’s new in the latest version of Photoshop:

– Photoshop CS5 Extended offers improved edge detecting technology and masking in less time;

– Users will also be able to remove an image element and immediately replace the missing pixels with Content-Aware Fill;

– Native 64-bit support for both Mac and Windows;

– Next-generation high dynamic range (HDR) capabilities. When combining multiple exposures into a single HDR image, Photoshop CS5 preserves the full tonal range of a scene. The new HDR Pro offers exceptional ghost artifact removal and greater tone mapping and adjustment control. With HDR toning, users can emulate the striking look of an HDR image with any single-exposure image;

– A new Mixer Brush that blends an infinite combination of colors onto a single paintbrush tip, and Bristle Tips that offer lifelike brush strokes;

– Puppet Warp gives lets you precisely reposition or warp any image element, such as straightening a bent arm in a photo or manipulating the landscape to generate a new perspective;

– More than 30 features and enhancements were requested directly by the Photoshop community, and have been added to this release. These features directly impact the everyday workflow but may not always be at the top of the development list for a new release. These features include automatic image straightening, rule-of-thirds crop tool, color picker and the ability to save 16-bit images as JPEGs. A new customizable Adobe Mini Bridge panel is also available directly in the software for faster file browsing and management.

– Photoshop CS5 Extended includes everything in Photoshop CS5 plus tools for editing 3D and motion-based content.

Estimated Street Prices & Availability

Adobe Creative Suite 5 and its associated point products are scheduled to ship within 30 days.

Estimated street prices:

– Adobe Photoshop CS5 is $699 and $999 for Photoshop CS5 Extended.

– Adobe Creative Suite 5 Master Collection – $2,599

– Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium – $1,899

– Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Standard – $1,299

– Adobe Creative Suite 5 Web Premium – $1,799

– Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production Premium – $1,699

Tiered upgrade pricing from previous versions is also available. For more detailed information about features, upgrade policies, pricing and international versions, go to www.adobe.com/creativesuite.

We’ll be posting reviews as soon as we receive our copies! Stay tuned.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦ ADOBE BEGINS SHIPPING CREATIVE SUITE 5 – AS OF APRIL 30♦ ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦♦ ♦