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A Few Thoughts: Auto Show, Junk, VHS Tapes, Black Friday

A Few Thoughts: Auto Show, Junk, VHS Tapes, Black Friday

Auto Show – A nice alternative to fighting the crowds at the mall this weekend, would be a photo excursion to the Los Angeles Convention Center for the Auto Show which runs until this Sunday. There are dazzling cars to photograph, from Kia to Roll Royce, along with everything in between. It’s a great chance to pull out all the stops, because the hall is so brightly lit, making it a snap to show off the highly-polished colorful paint finishes.

It really gives you a chance to try all your photographic techniques, using everything you’ve practiced with your cell phone, point-and-shoot or more expensive DLSR (digital single lens reflex) camera.

Try out a few of those fancy app’s like Hipstamatic or Retro Camera or maybe tryout one of those cool plug-ins for Photoshop or Elements from Topaz Labs, onOne Software or Nik Software to add a little boost to your imaging. It’s only your imagination holding you back. Also, it’s a great place to tryout your favorite new HDR (high dynamic range) software taking your photographs to an extreme level.

Junk – It’s time to get rid of the clutter. Really, how many old disks of software do we need to save? My obsolete cords and  outdated cameras are waiting to become antiques. Do I really need my Canon G2  camera introduced in 2001 with a whopping 4-megapixels chip? There’s not much chance it’s going to make it out of the closet any time soon. Simply, it’s another dust collector. It’s really amazing how fast today’s high-tech is yesterday’s obsolete item.

I know it’s time to get rid of some of the gear I haven’t used in years. You know that famous saying, “One person’s junk is another person’s treasure,”  I need to find those individuals looking for a few treasures. Or, it’s time to try eBay or Craigslist.


Old VHS tapes
I still have so many family videos on old VHS-tapes. All my tapes are the compact VHS-C style which fits into a regular size VHS adapter. There sort of a mini version of the standard format.

It’s time to convert them to a digital format. I have put this on my number one priority list but it never gets done. It’s time to stop procrastinating, the tape technology is going nowhere fast. I’m not sure if stores still sell VHS tape players anymore. If you have family treasures on VHS tapes, get them converted now. There’s no fast way to do this, unless you send them all out. I want to edit through them, and turn out some well edited watchable digital versions. I better get get started now… well, tomorrow.

Black Friday – This is a great time to check for photography software specials online. One of my most recommended photography editors, Adobe Photoshop Element 10, has been on sale this week for $49 at Amazon. It’s one of my favorites for most consumers and even pros. It offers everything most of us need compared to the over-priced Photoshop CS5 which is packed with features only a super-advanced user will ever use.

If you’re interested in Adobe Lightroom 3, check the internet on Black Friday. I bought an older version of Lightroom at the same time last year. If you’re a student,  you can also buy Adobe Software at a big discount at student shopping sites like Academic Superstore.

New Year’s Resolution – I am just starting to think of my photography-related New Year’s resolutions, I had so many last year and yet, I can’t remember any of them. I better start my list now. I’m going to figure a new-school way of carrying my photo gear. I went on an assignment the other night over at Occupy LA and noticed my photo gear is getting much heavier or so it seems.

I’ve been using the same style Domke F-2  bag for about 30 years. I’m not a fan of carrying gear on a belt or vest but maybe it’s time for a change. There’s so much out there, but it’s a little tricky wading through the variety of options.

I bought the Think Tank Airport International V2.0 Rolling Camera Bag this summer for travel. It worked great going through the airport carrying all my gear, but it’s time to update my everyday system. One more item for my list.

Have a great holiday weekend.

robert.lachman@latimes.com

Read more reviews and photography tips by Robert Lachman

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