Monthly Newsletter – March 2011

Captain’s Status – Still in Thailand.

First Off… Apologizes for the Limited Internet Access

I want to apologize to anyone who has emailed, commented or sent me a message and have not yet received a response. In Thailand, out in the country, there is very limited internet. I access the web through my cell phone which I use as a modem.

The photo above shows my mobile office with the cell phone hanging out the window for best reception. I can get full bars on my cell phone but the bandwidth is still slow. What makes it worse is that I pay per minute for use. Currently I only have enough time to read my emails and post a daily photo. I have less than 2 weeks until I fly back to the States. I will respond to everyone’s inquiries when I get settled in back home.

Dinner at Grandma’s House… Always Something New

Dinner is my favorite time of day at Grandma’s. Not only do I get to eat, but there is always something interesting on the table. Or in this case the floor… in Thailand, folks out in the country eat on the floor. The insect above is a Mole Cricket which can be found burrowing underneath the soil. This strange looking creature will eventually be fried up and served for dinner.

I’m posting this to warn you about eating these Mole Crickets, as odd as they look, they are edible and highly addictive. Be ready to eat more than one. If cooked the way Grandma cooks them, Mole Crickets taste like hot BBQ potato chips with a sweet and zesty flavor to them.

Below are more creatures that ended up on Grandma’s plate.

These ones are a little more common elsewhere around the world. Well… except, maybe the ants, used for ant soup which isn’t bad, but I think I’ll stick with chicken soup for those days that I feel a little under the weather.

HDR Portrait E-book Coming Soon

Being here in Thailand with my family has been more than a relaxing experience, it has given me the opportunity to shoot more portraits. With these portraits I’ve been able to work on a new HDR technique/look that I’ve been trying to achieve since I started HDR photography. These HDR portraits have a very illustrative style to them. I feel these HDR portraits have the ability to tell a story beyond a simple photograph. The style allows the viewer’s imagination to run free, giving them a new experience beyond a typical photograph.

Now that I’ve perfected the technique and finished designing the Photoshop Action I will begin working on the new tutorial or e-book. This e-book will show you how to use the Photoshop Action and how to produce three different types of affects with the action; photo-stylized, photo-illustrative and photo-artistic. Example of each style can be seen below.

The programs that you’ll need to get the affects above are Photomatix Pro, Photoshop Standard or Elements and the Topaz Photoshop Bundle. Without these programs you will not be able to run the Photoshop Action or produce the same look. All programs are compatible with both MAC and Windows operating systems. HDR Portrait e-book and Photoshop Action will be available in May.

Price for HDR Portrait e-book and action will be set at $19.95US. But for a limited time, if you buy Secrets to Mastering HDR Photography for $19.95US you’ll also get this e-book and the action for free, when it’s available. This offer will end soon once I create a new shopping cart page for all my e-books.

New Updated HDR Software Review Almost Complete

As some of you already noticed, I’ve been posting some new reviews for each HDR software. These review will be an update to my current HDR software review for 2010. There is a total of 14 programs to be reviewed and I’ve already looked at 11 of them. I’m sure I’m missing a few more so if you want to add one to the list feel free to send me an email or comment.

HDR Software List for Review

  1. Artizen HDR
  2. Dynamic Photo HDR
  3. Easy HDR Pro
  4. Essential HDR
  5. Fusion
  6. HDR Efex Pro
  7. HDR Express
  8. HDR Photo Pro
  9. Luminance HDR
  10. Oloneo
  11. Photomatix Pro
  12. Photoshop CS5
  13. Picturenaut
  14. SNS-HDR

The HDR programs left are Photomatix Pro, Picturenaut and SNS-HDR. I’m saving Photomatix Pro for last since I specialize in that particular program. Once I’ve reviewed all the programs I will do a single post briefly going over each software with a link to the more in-depth review. I wanted to have everything wrapped-up before getting back home, but with my limited internet access I’m not sure if that is possible. Whatever the case I will post a link to the final review in April’s newsletter.

Captain’s favorite HDR Photos from February.


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