Today B&H has dedicated another page to just Nikon rebates. Dozens of products from DSLR Camera Bodies, Flashes, and Lenses qualify for instant rebates. The more you buy, the more you save - so bundling items will yield additional discounts. If you're in the mood for Nikon, check out what's going on over at the Nikon Rebate Page (here)
Nikon Instant Rebates DSLR Camera Bodies, Flashes, Lenses
So you want to move your flash off camera? Sure you can use inexpensive wireless triggers, but the biggest drawback to moving a flash off camera, is losing ETTL communication and High Speed Sync. Unless of course you're shelling out some serious cash for a wireless remote system like Radio Poppers to supports this. YouTube member Matthewrichey created a video showing you how to take basic Cat5 cables and connectors to modify those short off camera flash cables giving them variable length.
Although he took the time to make a video showing you what the end result could look like, this is not his original idea. You'll find people were doing this several years ago, and there's some instructional step by step info over at DIYPhotography.net (here).
Some event Photographers run with a Flash on top of a Monopod, so they can bring it up high or move it around before snapping a picture. To keep communication between the camera so you can adjust flash compensation, this technique would require several feet of cable. If you're not the DIY type, you could just check out some of the existing 33ft (10 meter) long cords available for not much more than $30 bucks, saving you from buying an expensive set of Radio Poppers (and not having to worry about batteries for the triggers).
So friend of mine recently picked up a T2i only for Photography and no interest in Video. Most of the shots he's been sharing is all related to close up nature / macro type images. There's several things he can probably improve upon such as shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings, but he's learning. Another great item to really boost the color, focus, and sharpness with Macro photography is Flash Lighting. Macro flashes are designed to throw the light evenly around a small subject providing almost shadowless lighting. Of course you have to be pretty serious about Macro photography before you getting into the flashes, as the good ones like the Canon MF-14EX TTL (above) will easily run you over $400 dollars.
If you want to go a bit cheaper with off the shelf gear, there are some options such as the Ray Ring flash adapter that bend the light from your normal Speedlite. This item sits over your existing Flash. The Ray Ring will still run you about $199.95. There's obviously clones to everything these days and you can find Ray Ring Flash clones (probably not the same build quality) called O flashes for around $32.00 dollars (below).
O Flash Macro Ring Light
If you're on the cheap cheap like me, this all reminded me of that very old DIY Ring-Flash article and got me inspired to try my hand at it. I'm sure he's not ready to dish out quite so much money, so maybe I can whip something up for him to get better photos on the cheap. This thing looks pretty effective.
If you're shooting DSLR video, you know the current workflow is to render the original files out to another format before you'll get smoother playback during editing. Well Adobe's recognized this workflow and has created the new 'Mercury Playback Engine' in CS5. Adobe's new CS5 suite of tools also includes updates to InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Flash, After Effects, and even Premiere Pro. The new applications are written for native 64bit and with the Mercury Playback Engine, it should play any video file from DSLR's to Sony XDCam super smooth.
The new Photoshop CS5 also has some awesome new features with Conten-Aware Fill, Selection tools, and a better HDR Pro tool. Whether you're a photographer or videographer, check out the videos above and below for some exciting new reasons why you should grab the new CS5 Suite.
The most common question for anyone getting into studio strobe photography has always been "What's the difference between using an Umbrella vs. a Softbox for portraits?". It's always been hard to explain to someone not familiar with lighting. I decided to poke around YouTube looking for someone who might better explain this. It's not the greatest, but I think it will get you on the right path of choosing which lighting diffusers will work best for the image you plan on taking.