Photography News and Links

Written by:

By Steve Russell

Through BeyondMegapixels, Tiffany and I receive a lot of information about the photography industry in general and a variety of new products. Today, I thought I would share some of that information with our readers so you can learn about some of the new products available on the market.

New Product from Gary Fong

This is for those of you that complain from time to time that we never talk about any equipment except Canon and Nikon. Gary Fong has released a new diffuser designed to work with Sony equipment. Here’s the news release and a couple of images.

Gary Fong, Inc., developer and manufacturer of cutting-edge photography equipment designed to help photographers experience new levels of creativity, today launched an addition to its popular lineup of flash diffusers with the introduction of the Gamma Diffuser. Designed specifically to accommodate the unique 180 degree rotation of the Sony® HVL-F43AM and HVL-F58AM flashes, the new Gamma Diffuser softens harsh light emitted from the power-packed speedlights, minimizes shadows and reduces glare while creating more accurate skin tones. The portability and compact size of this combined bounce and shoot-through diffuser make it a perfect solution for event photography, portraits, interiors and product shots. The Gamma Diffuser is an ideal tool for photographers of all skill levels looking to create professional-style lighting effects with the portable Sony® speedlights that feature the company’s, “Quick Shift Bounce,” rotating head. Attached using the Gary Fong patented Archival Grip Band, the Gamma Diffuser mounts directly onto the flash head and is then secured with the included Gary Fong Velcro Cinch Strap. This allows photographers using the Gamma Diffuser to conveniently shift shooting between a horizontal and vertical orientation without changing the light angle or having to remove the diffuser. “The photography industry is ever evolving and new flash options are constantly being developed to give photographers more freedom to shape their light,” said Gary Fong, internationally renowned photographer and CEO of Gary Fong, Inc. “We are committed to always providing our customers with new accessories that fit the many needs of their shooting styles and selected gear. Sony continues to be one of the top three best-selling DSLR brands on the market, so it made sense for us to design the Gamma Diffuser to allow users more ways to capture high-quality images with their Sony HVL-F43AM & HVL-F58AM speedlights.” The Gamma Diffuser is available for $29.95 MAP. For more information on the new Gamma Diffuser, or to purchase any Gary Fong products, please visit”

New Products from Think Tank

If you’re a regular reader you know that I’m a huge fan of Think Tank products. I have two camera bags and a product called a Pocket Rocket that is a wallet style holder for all my Compact Flash memory cards. Their products are phenomenal and now they’ve released three new products in their camera bag line.

Santa Rosa, Calif. – Think Tank Photo announced today that in May it will release the Airport™ series, a new line of travel-specific, high-capacity camera backpacks designed with maneuvering through airports quickly in mind. The three backpacks – the Airport Accelerator, Airport Commuter, and Airport Essentials — integrated quick access pockets for both laptops and iPad, a top pocket for boarding passes, and three robust handles to ensure easy placement and retrieval from overhead bins.

The Airport™ series makes life easier for the traveling photographer. All meet international carry on size requirements. The two smaller bags, the Airport Commuter and the Airport Essentials, are designed to fit under-seat in regional commuter planes.

Their light, adjustable, contoured harness provides comfort along with lumbar support. The air mesh paneling keeps backs cool. The height-adjustable sternum strap allows for the perfect fit. A removable waist belt, side water bottle pocket, tripod/ monopod mounting system and seam sealed rain cover extend their versatility.

Adding even more functionality, these backpacks can be used with Think Tank’s Pro Speed Belts for additional support and capacity by adding component pouches and cases from the company’s Modular Rotation Component System.

“For photographers who travel by air, these bags deliver on the three “C’s”: Carry-on size, Comfort, Capacity,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank’s co-founder and lead designer. “Their design, build quality and functionality are second to none.”

The three sizes allow photographers to select the best fit for their needs.

Airport Accelerator accommodates two pro size DSLRs, six to eight standard zooms, a 500 f/4.0, iPad, and up to a 17” laptop. The largest of the three, this one has a padded removable waist belt.
Airport Commuter accommodates a pro size DSLR, four to six standard zooms, (increased depth holds a 400 f/2.8), iPad and 15” laptop .
Airport Essentials accommodates a standard DSLR, four to six standard zooms, iPad, and up to 13” laptop.

Features include:

• Bottom hinge opens bag completely for quick and unencumbered access.
• Cable lock and locking YKK zipper sliders for added security.
• Laptop and iPad stored in a separate locking zippered compartment.
• Light, comfortable and contoured harness system.
• Tripod/monopod mounting system.
• Top zippered pocket for boarding pass.
• Removable waist belt for additional stability when walking, running, etc.
• Easily accessible front organizer pocket.
• Seam sealed rain cover included.

Here are the links to the product pages for each of the bags:
Airport Accelerator
Airport Commuter
Airport Essentials

At Last, A Useable iPhone and/or iPad app

Okay, I admit, there are a lot of great apps available for all the smart stuff we have to have in our lives but most of the photography apps have been closer to the gimmicky side, at least as far as really serious photographers are concerned. Now there’s one you should have even if you only use it once in your whole life.

Imagine that you’re walking around a city engaging in a little street photography. Nothing special, just having fun. Then you take a photo and look at it on the camera’s view screen and it takes your breath away. “OMG”, you say, “this could actually sell.” Unfortunately, there are some people in the picture and you don’t have a single model release with you. Guess what? Without a signed model release from each person in the image, no publication or respectable stock house will buy or sell it.

Catherine Hall recognized this problem and with the aid of an attorney, developed a model release app that works on the iPhone and a version for the iPad is on its way. If you don’t know who Catherine Hall is here’s a link to her blog (hint: she has contributed an article to BeyondMegapixels before).

Catherine Hall’s Blog

And here’s a link to the article where she announced the release of the Top Model Release app:

Top Model Release app

Do you like HDR Photography?

Whether you just like to look at HDR photos or would really like to learn more so you can improve your skills, one of my favorite websites devoted to HDR photography is I recommend you visit the site. He has a wide range of subjects and while I’m not a big fan of the over the top HDR images, he has some really awesome photos.

Happy photography and remember, photography is continuous learning process.

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  • Libby Stack

    That HDR you linked all looks like Clown Vomit. What were you thinking? 

  • Anonymous

    Let’s keep the comments kind, please.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • photoshop clipping path

    Very inspiring and creative post. You have done really excellent job. I like your  collection very much. Thanks a lot for sharing !!

  • Catherine Hall

    So honored that Top Model Release is featured on Beyond Megapixels Blog.   Your story has happened to me… a lot. And often if I do have a release – it’s wrong kind. The App has definitely changed my life as a pro photographer.  Thanks for sharing Steve!