Well, it has been about 15 days since I have returned from a killer landscape workshop that I led in Namibia. While I was gone, lots of things changed in my photo world. While it is always fun to return to Seattle and discover what little things changed, but man, change was everywhere around me upon my return. The big changes included:
1. Nik Software is now available for $149.00 for the entire suite. Normally HDR or Viveza would cost this much alone. I use Nik products in just about every image that I process. I would suggest that you get it now, as we have no idea what Google will do with the product line. You can get this software here.
2. Nikon released a new, and much needed, 80-400mm Zoom. Still at an f-stop of 4.5-5.6, it sports a much faster focusing system, and Nano-crystal lens coating, making this a great safari lens for those that can’t justify the much more expensive 200-400mm.
3. Nikon released the D7100, which returns another full stop or two more sensitive than the D7000. Built as a pro-consumer body, this is a great camera for those interested in a 1.5 crop sensor.
4. Posterious died with short notice. Posterious, the posting service that I used to post to my blog from the bush, was absorbed by Twitter about a year ago. With 5 days notice, they folded their doors and left me searching for alternatives to support live blogging from the bush while I’m out on safari.
5. The Hasselblad H5D series is now shipping to the US. After tons of trouble with the H4D series, this new release is the one that I have been waiting for. Better lens / body connections, new menu systems and weather-proofing make this a solid medium format camera that will last well into the future. I cant wait to get my hands on one.
6. Last and certainly the least, is the big Adobe announcement for LR5. If the past trend of releases continues to be true, we might see a LR5 release by the end of June or July. Looking at the LR5 Beta, the big improvements include:
- Very powerful advance healing bush that allows for non-circular click and drag corrections
- New Radial Filter for off-center vignetting and elliptical local adjustments
- Upright in the Lens Corrections to automatically straighten photos and fix perspective
- Smart Previews supporting off-line editing of photos
- Grid and guide overlays for library, develop, and tethered captured
- PNG file support
- True fullscreen mode
- Page numbering and layout saving in the Book Module
- Videos can be included in slideshows
- Windows HiDPI support
- New smart collections criteria
I hope to release the final details on the Mountain Gorilla and Massai Mara safari (scheduled for early March), a June trip to Botswana, and Iceland in August, just as soon as I possibly can. If you are on my mailing list, you will receive advance notice of these safaris before they are posted on the web. As usual, space will be limited across all safaris, so start thinking about your desires.
I’ll post a few notes from Namibia before I depart for Tanzania again on the 12th of May, including Martini Madness. Meanwhile, I’m on the road heading to Atlanta to see my youngest daughter graduate with her second Masters. Rumor has it that she will soon be employed with a top notch consulting company in Washington DC.
Cheers and happy photo’ing