Archives For Tech
Last week, the WSJ reported that Sears and Wal-mart Portrait Studios abruptly shut down. Is this the end of an era as DSLR cameras become more mainstream? A few months ago, my wife bought an online deal for a local portrait studio. The studio is well known, quick to draw nods of acknowledgment when friends ask. Our experience however was anything but impressive. Our photos were taken by a teenage girl, bleary-eyed from too many strobe shots and working hard to maintain the attention of our two boys. Hundreds of dollars later, we got the pictures and I was disappointed with the quality. There had to be a better way. There is.
If you have a Digital SLR, for about the price of a photo shoot and pictures, you can create your own family portraits at home anytime you want. After investing just a little time in understanding the basics of lighting and off-camera flash (OCF), a 20 minute session with family yielded some amazing results that far outpaced the work of the so-called, “experts”. I highly recommend The Strobist blog, a great free resource and 101 series to get the basics down. If you already have a flash (I use a Nikon Speedlite SB700), you can build a basic kit for under $200 that can be used over and over again, and you own the originals:
For the backdrop framing, I just bought some PVC from Home Depot and strung it up between two curtain holders with a few clamps. This, “Good enough and go” approach enabled me to experiment without concern, and upgrading equipment over time (e.g. wireless trigger, second flash) is easy.
If you’re even modestly into photography, I highly recommend this approach, or find a friend who is. They just might be willing to quick photo shoot for you.
Nike just announced a new era in home fitness, unveiling “Nike+ Kinect Training” only on Kinect for Xbox 360. Featuring Nike trainers who work with some of the company’s top athletes, “Nike+ Kinect Training” is a custom training program rooted in elite Nike fitness and specifically designed to help athletes of all levels reach their potential in the comfort of their own homes.
‘Nike+ Kinect Training’ gives everyone access to the same training that we give our professional athletes. It merges our understanding of the greatest athletes in the world with the amazing sensor technology of Kinect for Xbox 360,” said Stefan Olander, vice president of Digital Sport at Nike. “‘Nike+ Kinect Training’ will make working out at home fun and inspiring, and with its seamless connection to two huge global communities in Xbox LIVE and Nike+, you’ll always find more motivation in someone to train with or challenge.
Looks like I’ll have some new training buddies soon