Flash Photography

Yongnuo Flash

I seem to get a lot of emails each week asking me about flash photography. Some of the questions concern what types of flash to buy? What kind of triggers should I get? Are all flashes created equal?

Let me first start by telling you that not all flashes are created equal. Some are brighter, some are hotter, some use batteries faster then others. But at the end of the day they all do one thing pretty well, they put light onto the subject that you are shooting.

Sometime ago I bought a Nikon flash for about $200.00. I knew I wanted a really good dependable flash for my wedding business. When I started taking senior pictures I knew I needed another flash. I didn’t have another $200.00 so I started looking for a flash that would be dependable. I turned to Yongnuo and picked up a YN560-II. This little guy cost me about $65.00 and is very dependable. I can use it as a slave from my Nikon flash or as a stand alone unit on a stand.

I also picked up a second light stand from E-Bay for about $20.00 and now have a great portable lighting kit. My kit now contains (1 Nikon SB600, 1 Yongnuo YN560-II, 2 Light Weight light stands with brackets and two large white umbrellas). I carry this kit to all of my photo shoots.

One last thing I would tell you to look at when buying any type of flash. Look into flash triggers. I picked up a set of Yongnuo YN-622N. These little guys will do TTL and manual triggering. Also very low cost.

One thing I can say about any lighting. Buy something. I think a photographer without some kind of lighting is like a painter without any brushes.

Online Office Applications

365 and Google Apps

If there is one thing that I have found out over my years of computers is that the file you want never seems to be reachable. While that is all changing with the help of a little catch phase “The Cloud”.

Many schools are turning to either Google Apps or Office 365. These online services allow you to work on documents, spreadsheets and presentations where ever and from what ever computer or device you might be working on.

Look back to not that long ago we all carried flash drive or thumb drives. Did you ever get the sick feeling when you are suppose to present and your trusty flash drive is laying at home on your end table? Well no more. Now that we can log onto a site and have access to our working documents from where ever you have an Internet connection. Life just got a little easier and have 24/7 access to your work.

Deciding which one to use is really a personal choice. If you have been using Microsoft Office for years you might want to choose Office 365. If you are someone like me that can adapt and learn new things then choose Google Apps. Or some people might choose to use both.

And remember both of these work on IOS and Android devices. This means when you are in a taxi or on a bus you can make those last minute touches on your work before getting to work.

The bottom line is for you to cut your ties with your computer and move over to the world of “THE CLOUD!”

 

Larger Phones Less Tablets?

Large Phones

I have the opportunity to get a shinny new iPhone 6 under the Verizon Edge plan. My first thought is that I know I want to get the 64 Gig. I have a 5C now with 16 Gig and it always seems full. As I have been looking at others who have the new iPhone I have been asking if I should get the Plus 5.5″?

The first person I talked to told me “YES!” She says that she never uses her iPad any longer. She tells me she can watch movies on it and read books. The next person I talked to said, “NO!” He said that he can’t use one hand to text while driving. Okay well not an issue. I don’t text when I drive and if I have to respond I use Siri. My daughter got a larger LG phone and she loves it.

My over all thoughts is that these larger phones and replacing the tablets. Normally if I take a class or sit in a meeting I bring my phone in my pocket and I bring either my iPad or Windows 8 tablet or laptop. It might be nice to just have my phone. I have started looking for some kind of keyboard for the iPhone 6 but then it would be just another item to carry. We will get more into touch typing another time.

So what do you think? Do you have one of these larger phones? If so maybe you can comment and give the readers your thoughts. And I do get one of these little monsters I will do a blog post using it. Then we can maybe find out if it will be my tablet replacement?

Syncing Folders and Files Across Clouds

Automator

 

I was thinking this morning, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to sync or upload your files or folders to the cloud without having to go into each service or folder to do so? Let’s face it. If you are like me you might have more then one cloud based storage service. Google Drive, Drop Box, iCloud or OneDrive, you might even have some that I don’t. But if you have any of these what do you use them for? The second part of my issue is that I have files and folders all over the place. My thought this morning was this. How could I save all of these folders and files to all of the cloud services at one time? I found a quick and simple answer in using Automator. Now I know you might be asking what is this Automator? It is a Mac program that allows you to automate curtain tasks. Playing with it for a few minutes I was able to write a work flow that allows me to drop a file or folder onto the small Automator app I built and my files or folders send directly to Drop Box, Google Drive and One Drive. What will be my next step?

I want to work on a Windows application that will do the same thing as this little Automator workflow. But let’s face it. With all of the FREE cloud storages in the world why would you not have your files and folders backing up somewhere? I will keep everyone up to date and let you know what I can come up with.

New 10.1″ Next Book

NextBook

I was searching some black Friday deals the other day and I came across this little charmer. Meet the 10.1″ Next Book. I picked this up from Wal-Mart. I know I always say you should not buy your computer gear from the same place as your toilet paper or your car oil. But then I  saw the price and thought why not. This little tablet runs a full version of Windows 8.1 Pro. It also comes with Office 13 and Office 365 for one year!. I am still getting use to the keyboard but I don’t think it will take to long.

I will be putting this tablet and keyboard through the paces and see what shakes loose. I will attempt to use it as my daily working unit and see what happens.

I will give you more about the unit and my reviews as I play with it more and more. Time to load up some software.

Uses For A 7″ Tablet

Tablet

One great use for my new 7″ Toshiba Encore Tablet is to use it as a media watching device while you are working out. I found the TWIT.TV app for Windows 8.1 and it works well. One question on this app is, why do they charge $1.49 for the Windows app but the IOS app I think is FREE?

I am still waiting for the keyboard and case I ordered for this tablet. I am also hoping that the new 10.1″ tablet I ordered will be in soon. But for now if you have a 7″ tablet there is a lot you can do with them. Just keep using them and don’t lay them down and forget them.

 

IPad Posting

I am sending this from a normal size IPad. I am again using a blue tooth keyboard. I know one thing for sure it is easy to read the screen with the larger screen.

I just ordered a 10.1″ NextBook. It almost looks like a Surface. It has a full version of Windows 10.1 Pro and comes with a FREE 1 year subscription of Office 2013. I will be posting from it this week I hope. I will also be adding some pictures that everyone has been asking for.

I you have any questions please drop me a comment and I will respond here.

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Still Reviewing The 7″ Tablet Form Factor

I connected a blue tooth keyboard up to the Toshiba 7″ Encore Tablet and I must say it is a lot easier to type this post. Since this is the second post about this little tablet let’s talk a minute about some of the trade offs you might want to consider when buying a smaller tablet compared to the 10″ models.

  1. First is the screen size itself. You will either need good eye sight or reading glasses when you work with this or any 7″ tablet.
  2.  The touch keyboards. They are good for taking quick notes but if you really want to type you will want a blue tooth keyboard.

Let’s table about some of the selling points or positive points.

  1. The 7″ tablet is very light! You can carry it all day and feel like you have nothing in your bag.
  2. Full Windows Pro operating system. This makes it nice in that you can install all of your favorite apps that you are use to running on your computer.
  3. Your apps will load but you have to understand that you don’t have a lot of hard drive space. I installed the full version of Office 2013 and had to remove it to make room for other apps.

At the end of the day the 7″ will find it’s place in your work flow. But looking at the smaller screen for a long time will make you want something larger. But for catching up on your online world and reading some news this device will find it’s way into your heart. And if you are looking for something for your kids for Christmas then the 7″ form factor will fit the bill.

New Toshiba Encore 7″Mini

I am writing this post on my new 7″ tablet. If anything looks weird its because of this touch screen. The touch keyboard is not bad. The down side if writing with two fingers! I ordered a mouse and keyboard for this device I will report on those items when I get them. So far for $109.00 this little unit works well and is very light to carry. More to come later.

Photoshop Elements 12 Learning

Well it is completed. I now have what so many of you have been asking for! Photoshop Elements 12 Learning on DVD and also an online course. Now even if you don’t have high speed Internet and still want to learn Photoshop Elements 12 you can buy the DVD on the RIGHT.

If you would like to take the course online and have life time access to it you can sign up here: Learn Photoshop Elements 12 Online.

I hope to see your order or see you in the online course soon. Thanks for being a part of the Jacks Tech Corner Nation.