Just married couple at sunset with an island in the background - Cherry Grove Point - North Myrtle Beach

Quick review of the Nikon Z6 II with my family and engagement portraits in Myrtle Beach

I’ve been using Nikon DSLR cameras for about 13 years professionally, and even longer when it was just my hobby. I’m very set in my ways when it comes to the controls and feel of a classic Nikon camera. I was very hesitant to make any change. My main camera bodies have been the D850 and a couple of D750’s for a while now. I had some of my photography friends tell me how much they loved their mirrorless cameras, however I had a lot of concerns about switching. I will go over some of those below, and why I’ve …

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Family of 4 in front of a beautiful sunset by the sea oats

Taking family pictures to the next level with all prime lenses like the Nikon 85mm f1.4G

For several years now I’ve used my Nikon 85mm f1.4 prime lens primarily for weddings and engagement pictures. My other workhorse lens was the Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 lens. This is considered an excellent lens and it should be as much as it costs. It focuses very quickly, and it gives a fantastic range for family pictures. I could shoot the whole group and still get nice close up portraits of individuals and the kids. The longer I do photography the pickier I get about wanting a certain look to the pictures. I want that really soft Bokeh or out of focus background …

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Bride looking at group with beautiful bokeh

Heritage Plantation wedding photography at the Clubhouse and the new Nikon D810

A few weeks ago I photographed another beautiful wedding at the Heritage Plantation clubhouse in Pawleys Island, SC.  It’s been a few years since I’ve been there, it’s a great location so hopefully I can get on their vendor list and get some more weddings at the club. A couple of fun things about this wedding, they had the Clemson Tiger mascot come in as a surprise to the groom at the reception.  Whoever was wearing the outfit was a lot of fun and livened up the evening.  They also had a live band which did a great job.  The groom …

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A photographer’s review of the new Third Generation Drobo with USB 3.0

Drobo-1003This week I purchased the just released new Gen 3 Drobo. I’ve been a Drobo user since not long after I started doing photography professionally. A Drobo is a proprietary raid system that holds multiple hard drives, and if one drive fails it’s easy to swap it out with no data loss or downtime. Of course a Drobo is only part of a good backup strategy, you always want multiple backups and one offsite as well. If you want to know more about the Drobo system you can check here http://www.drobo.com/storage-products/drobo/. You don’t always hear nice things about Drobo online recently, they seemed to have had some customer support and reliability issues. They even turned away some popular photographers from the system.  However, I’ve had my Drobo Gen 2 for about 4 years now, and except for replacing the fan myself, it’s been humming along just fine.  A Drobo has no moving parts except for the fan and of course the hard drives themselves, in my opinion you would expect drives to fail, but the Drobo itself should run for years without issues.  So I will see how it goes with the new USB 3.0 Drobo Generation 3 and report back if I have any issues.  I have a feeling Drobo will be a lot more responsive to customer issues now then they were in the past.

Even though my Gen 2 Drobo is reliable, the problem is that it’s slow, very slow. It doesn’t matter if it is attached with firewire or usb, about the best I would get was 40MB/s read and write.  The best way to work in Lightroom is to have your catalog on an SSD, in the case of my iMac I have the catalog on the 512GB internal SSD.  Then you store all your pictures on a large external raid or network attached drive with lots of storage.  I’m a do it yourself geeky guy, I’ve always built my own PC’s before switching to the Mac, so I have a PC server in my closet that I was using as my primary photo storage. I was using my old Drobo to back up that system.  OSX Mavericks has some serious networking issues, I was always having some kind of problem using my PC server as my primary photo storage.  I wanted something with speed and reliability that directly connected to my Mac instead of going over the network.  Then I saw the announcement for the Generation 3 Drobo, with the reasonable price and promise of 3x speed over the previous generation, I thought I would give it a try.   So did it deliver on the promise?

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