How To Shoot Tethered With The a7III In Lightroom Classic CC.

Lightroom Classic CC have been my go to platform for years now. I have done commercial tethered work with my Canon setup in the past without any issues. But I did find myself a little at lost the first time I tried to shoot tethered with my a7III. It seems like the two didn’t want to communicate or at least find one another… So I did some research and found a solution that involve downloading the free Imaging Edge Software. Let me take you step by step.

  1. Get the Imaging Edge software from the Sony a7III page.
  2. Go to Menu/Setup 4 on the a7III and set to USB Connection to PC Remote.
  3. Create a new folder for the photos and make sure it is empty.
  4. Double check that no software is using the a7III. Open Imaging Edge and connect and power on the a7III to the computer using the cable provided to charge the camera.
  5. Once connected to the Remote software go to the menu Remote/setting and click Display Preview with the selected program. Choose Lightroom Classic. It will prevent the Viewer software to open every time you take a photo.
  6. Then go to Remote/Save Folder and choose the folder you created.
  7. Open Lightroom Classic CC and go to File/Auto Import. Click Enable Auto Import. Choose the folder you created as the watch folder and destination folder. Add Metadata if desired.

That’s it you should now be able to see your images you take in Lightroom. The Remote software will be the one to use for taking the images and Lightroom will be the one to review and edit. Hopefully this will save you time!

5. Remote/setting and click Display preview with the selected program.
7. Open Lightroom and go to File/Auto Import.

Godox XPro-S Review- 3 Ways To Use The Trigger

Take a look at all of the specs on the Godox official website.

The Godox XPro-S is a well built and easy to navigate trigger. There’s a lot you can do with it and it can command many flashes and modelling lights at the same time. There are 16 groups and 32 channels to setup your lights and it can control them up to 100 meters away. It supports all flash modes- M, TTL, Multi. This unit is light and a must have to setup a great Godox environment. Take a look at my current Godox setup here. I highly suggest this $80 cdn trigger for anyone looking to expand their lighting capabilities.

Manfrotto XPro A4 Fluid Monopod Review

The Manfrotto XPro A4 Fluid Monopod with fluid tech base is a solid piece of equipment. It is tall, sturdy, and pans very smoothly. It is on the pricier end but worth every penny in my opinion. I used it for shooting wildlife and with my flash as a light on a stick. I am also looking forward to bringing it on more trips and commercial shoots in the near future.

Let’s take a look at the specs. Feel free to take a look at the Manfrotto website for more details.

  • Weight – 1200 g or 42.3 oz
  • Min height – 68 cm or 26.7 in
  • Max height – 192 cm or 75.5 in
  • Safety payload – 8 kg or 17.64 lbs
  • Top attachment – 3/8″ and 1/4″
  • Front tilt – 19 deg to -19 deg

The fluid tech base is a nice addition to this kit. It provides a very controlled way to tilt the monopod and can be removed if desired. I placed my Canon 7d with the Canon 100-400 L lens on it as a test to see if the monopod would bend when using it horizontally fully extended. There was no give and it can be used to get different perspectives safely.

I highly suggest the Manfrotto XPro 4A if you are in the market for a solid monopod.

Picktorial 4 – What’s New?

I was excited to try the Picktorial 4 since I received an email a few weeks ago letting me know it was in the making. I really enjoyed working on some images in the previous version and was impressed with the Digital Asset Management / library and the editing capabilities with some local adjustments. It was at time and still is a solid alternative to Lightroom. This is why I was looking forward to see what type of improvement I could find in Picktorial 4.

There a new pricing model offering 4 different options.

  1. It’s FREE! Well you won’t have access to all of the features…
  2. Pay $69.99 to get the full version. You’ll only get the maintenance updates.
  3. Subscribe to an annual Premium Plan for $4.99/month. You’ll get full access to version 4 maintenance updates and upgrades.
  4. Pay $9.99 monthly and cancel anytime. You’ll get the same advantage as the Premium Plan without the commitment.

I tested version 4.0.0 and 4.0.3 and made a video base on the 4.0.3 version. First let’s say that the software is fast and responsive. There will be some updates in the near future to iron out the bugs. All and all version 4.0.3 is working great and worth trying if you haven’t already.

One area that stands out right away is the work on the library. It is now possible to choose a square or regular thumbnails preview. The customization is getting better. The searching engine is refined and give you a world of possibilities to find specific images. The experience of creating folders, moving images and searching for them is up to par or above the competition.

Batch processing have been introduce for Metadata and Adjustments. It is now possible to enter a caption to hundred of photos in just a few steps. Same thing apply to adjustments made to images. They can now be copy and paste in Batch.

An Assistant Viewer Split Screen options have been added. Just split the screen when looking or editing images. It will allow you to take a close up view of your local adjustments as well as a global fit to screen preview of your image.

I would recommend Picktorial 4 to anyone looking for a fresh alternative to Lightroom or Apple Photos. Give it a try it is FREE!!

Sony A7III – Leaving Canon for Sony!

Well it was a hard decision but I decided to migrate from Canon to Sony. I received a Sony A7III mirror less camera early fall 2018 and let me tell you that I am very pleased so far.  I am still using my full frame Canon lenses at the moment, thanks to the few adapters options available.  So I decided to write about my setup in case you are looking to do the same.

Lens adapter.  There is a few options on the market for Canon users.  I personally purchased a Sigma MC-11 EF mount converter.  It cost me around $300 Canadian for the adapter.  There is more options on the market like the Metabones around $600 Canadian or the cheaper Fotodiox converter.  In any case the Sigma version works great for me and I would recommend the investment if you are looking to buy some time with your Canon lenses. 

Batteries.  The new Sony NPFZ100 battery is very good compare to his predecessor the NPFW50.  It look like they improve the capacity quite a bit.  I personally used my camera to film an event 2 days after I got it and I did not run out of power.  I probably film about 2 hours of footage on a single battery.  I was looking to buy another battery or some third party and quickly changed my mind after looking at the price tag.  Instead I bought a dummy battery and a PowerBank from Anker.  This give me roughly the equivalent of 5 batteries for $50 Cdn!  Review my setup here.

Flash.  Godox is a well trusted affordable flash company.  They produce speedlite for a wide range of camera body including the Sony lineup.  The V860 II-S is one of their most powerful option and only cost $225 cdn.  The V means that the flash comes with a powerful Li-ion rechargeable battery.  The S means it’s for Sony camera and yes it will work with the A7III.  Read about the V860 II-S here.

Monitor. I use the well price 4K Feelworld F6 monitor.  I have been very impressed with how light, bright and well built is the unit.  The best part is you wont break the bank as the monitor is just $250 cdn.  It is pack with features like the Zebra, focus assist and guide lines.  Feelworld my first impression.

Cage.  I went ahead and purchased a SmallRig cage for my A7III.  I will be filming quite a bit with it and wanted to have a comfortable setup.  I really like the built and how I can handle the camera and all of it’s accessories.  More details about the rig here.

Artlist – Get 2 Extra Months With One Year Subscription!

Are you are looking for a good, affordable source of music for your videos?  Well search no more because Artlist is the solution for you!  $199 US for a one year subscription and two extra months if you use this link!!

I decided last year to look for some music I could use on my commercial videos and my Youtube channel.  I have been creating my own music for some time but never had the time to create new songs to fit a project with a tight deadline.  So it was time to dig into Google and look for a another solution.  I found several blogs and reviews and it looked like Artlist and Soundstripe were the best two options in my price range.  After listening and searching both sites I decided to go with Artlist.

The best part about Artlist is that you can use songs downloaded with a valid license on any type of tv/video projects: personal, commercial, Youtube, you name it.  The license can be used indefinitely.  So there you have it, download a song and use it as much as you want for as long as you want!

They have lots of songs, artists, and styles to choose from and there is new music every week.  Looking for a genre of music is easy.  You can choose the style of mood,  video theme,  genre,  instrument or look at other people’s playlists and featured artists in the spotlight category.  Once you find a song you like you can add it to your favorites list and then place the album or artist in your folder and download it.  Artlist will send you an email with download links with different format options.

I decided to subscribe and work with Artlist and I don’t regret my choice at all.  The songs are high quality and the artists are fantastic.  I looked into other companies but I couldn’t find the quality, quantity, or flexibility at this price range.  I hope this information helped answer your questions about Artlist!

Photolemur 3 – Review and Tests

Photolemur 3 is a great all in one AI software that can easily create stunning images in seconds.  It works as a stand alone or plugin in most of your favorite editing software.  Edit a single image at the time or with batches, this software is a time savor.  I created a video were I tested several RAW images ranging from landscape, portrait, city, and interior.  The result were very solid and I am sure the algorithm will continue to evolve in the near future. 

Manny Photo Ideas: Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is located inland in northern Thailand.  It’s a very touristic city that has a lot to offer from adventure tours, a National Park, culinary courses, markets, culture, and beautiful temples.  You’ll find different parks and destinations to explore within a day’s range.  Here are some of my favorite destinations for photography.

Chiang Mai Old City Temples

www.manuelmartelphotography.com

There are many spectacular temples to visit in the old city.  You can walk around in any direction inside the old city walls and find a temple to visit.  Make sure to bring long pants and cover your shoulders so you don’t have to spend extra money to meet the proper dress code.  You should definitely visit the Wat Chedi Luang.  It’s the old temple known for it’s ruined chedi.

www.manuelmartelphotography.com

Chiang Mai Saturday Night and Sunday Market

The Saturday night market is south of the old city wall on Wua Lai road.  It covers several blocks and you’ll be able to find a wide range of things to buy including delicious food.  The Sunday market is situated in the middle of the old city and also covers a few blocks.  I recommend visiting at least one or both if you have time.  There is so much to look at and you’ll find some great deals on unique pieces of art.  I loved the food and enjoyed capturing the food stands and the market in general.

www.manuelmartelphotography.com

www.manuelmartelphotography.com

Trip to Chiang Rai. The Blue and White Temples and Baandam Museum.

Changmaiblog-13

I highly recommend booking a tour to go visit the beautiful Blue and White temples near Chiang Rai.  You don’t need to have a tour guide to visit them but booking a tour will bring you there early enough to beat the crowd.  The Blue temple, Wat Rong Suea Ten, distinguished by its vivid blue coloring & elaborate carvings is a small site and it’s an absolutely stunning building.  The visit doesn’t take long as there isn’t much else than the temple to photograph.  Be sure to go around and look at all of the great details.

The White Temple,  Wat Rong Khun, is a contemporary, unconventional, privately-owned art exhibit in the style of a Buddhist temple.  It is absolutely stunning and has lots to offer.  The sad part is that you are not allowed to take photos inside the temple.  There are murals with super heroes painted on the walls making this temple unique.  The rest of the site is also very interesting with the wishing well and wishing trees,  beautiful buildings, and super heroe’s heads hanging from some of the trees.

www.manuelmartelphotography.com

The Baandam Museum, also known as the Black House, is the former residence of the famous Thai artist Thawan Duchanee.  He liked black because all colours mixed create black.  So you guessed it, this is why every building is black.  Also, there are lots of great artifacts, furniture and carvings to photograph.  Make sure to take your time during your visit. A good tip is to ask how much time you’ll spend at each stop when booking tours.

Doi Inthanon National Park

www.manuelmartelphotography.com

Doi Inthanon National Park nicknamed “the roof of Thailand” is the tallest peak in the country.  There is a lot to visit including the King’s and Queen’s Pagodas near the summit, great waterfalls, the Karen village, and a varied climatic ecosystem.  Some of the villages are very interesting to visit and you can find some nice handmade scarfs or clothing to buy.  Make sure to take your time when visiting the park.  I booked a tour and was rushed at every stop.  Renting a car/bike or hiring a driver might be a better alternative.  Bring your tripod, telephoto and wide angle lens to the park.

www.manuelmartelphotography.com

www.manuelmartelphotography.com

The Elephant Nature Park

www.manuelmartelphotography.com

There is no better way to responsibly photograph elephants than visiting the Elephant Nature Park.  The park take elephants that were in the tourism industry, logging industry, or were abandoned and or wounded.  Each elephant is paired with a local Mahout, a worker that is assigned to a specific elephant and who remains with them for life in most cases.  I stayed over night at the park and was able to enjoy my time with these magnificent animals.  It was a feel good visit and I left with tons of very great photographs.  There is a number of these types of parks around Chiang Mai- just make sure to do your research before booking a tour to make sure they are truly about conservation and what is best for the animals.

 

The Final Word

Chiang Mai is a great city surrounded by mountains and rivers.  There is so much to do and for most of us, so little time.  I would suggest making Chiang Mai a hub for day or overnight trips.  It is an affordable place to stay and there is no shortage of tour companies.  You’ll want to take in some Thai cuisine lessons as well.  There is nothing like learning about the exotic ingredients and learning how to cook and get to eat some of the best Thai food you will ever have.  Chiang Mai is one of my favorite cities in the world and I will visit again one day for sure.

 

Picktorial 3. A new and fresh editing software.

Editing photos is an art form that requires skill and complicated software, right? Well you might want to rethink this idea. There is a new player in town and it’s name is Picktorial 3.

This new RAW editing software brings a fresh look to post processing in a very saturated market.  Picktorial 3 has lots of advanced features that are easy to use so no one will have any excuses not to use them.  Features like luminosity mask and colour mask are two examples of complicated techniques that until now has been reserved for advanced processing skills.  This software works as a stand alone product but also works in all of it’s glory in MAC Photos.  Let’s dig a little deeper into some of the details.

One great aspect of Picktorial is that it is a fast working software.  You can see the result of any changes without delays.  It is slick looking and there is no need to navigate between windows or search for tools as it is all-in-one nice and clean looking, single-space window.  It is very easy to import folders or photos when used as a stand alone application and also works seamlessly with MAC Photos.

There is a lot of great editing features from basic exposure to brushes and overlays.  Some features have a lot of depth that separate them from the competition.  Let’s start by talking about the crop & rotate tool.  There is an option to choose certain size ratios including Facebook cover and feed.  This alone will please a lot of people for sure.  Then there are features like the Sharpen tool that can be used with a brush or on the overall image.  It offers incredible flexibility and control over the look of every detail in the photo. Another great option is the Smooth tool.  It can be used in editing photos from a photo shoot with models for example, and you can smooth anybody’s face like a pro in 2 minutes.

Don’t think for two seconds that you’ll get bored with this app.  The deeper you look, more function you’ll find.  There is a whole world of blending modes you can use.  The standard blending menu is present, but what makes Picktorial that much better is the option to work with very easy-to-use Luminosity and Color Masks.  I haven’t used a more slick looking Luminosity Mask feature yet, and I will say that I primarily use Luminosity Mask over HDR 90% of the time.  Until finding Picktorial, I was creating my own masks and used panels in Photoshop, but I was only able to that after many hours of watching tutorials…  Now there is no more need to spend lots of time or money learning these techniques because the people at Picktorial just delivered the first friendly user Luminosity Mask slider.  The Colour Mask is equally impressive.  It is very easy to make adjustments to an area that has a certain color cast and preserve the rest of the image.  This will help a lot of people who shoot with different color tones like sunsets or interior shoots with a blue and orange light.

Picktorial won’t let you down when it comes to finishing and exporting the images.  There is a very interesting selection of vignettes and borders to choose from and no need to find another app for adding your watermark.  After the final touches, you just have to choose if you want to send it back to your MAC Photos, save it on your computer or sending it online to Facebook, Flickr or any of the other options available.

Here it is, a fun and easy way to edit photos at a very interesting price tag.  Take look at the Picktorial website.  I firmly believe that Picktorial is a great addition for anyone using MAC Photos and any body looking to have an all-in-one retouching software for MAC.