Favorite Links

This page contains some favorite links as well as some sites that I visit frequently.  I’ve organized them by category so you can choose by subject. Drop me a note in the contact me page here if you spot any issues or post a comment below if you have additional links to share.

Equipment

Tripods:  My favorite tripod is made by a company called the Really Right Stuff. For some people think their products are overpriced but for me it's been a wonderful piece of equipment. It by far it's the best piece of equipment I have ever used. The tripod and the ball head are sturdy, easy to use and wonderfully engineered. It IS expensive but well worth the price. Their phone sales team is very helpful and easy to work with. You can access their site here.

ND Filters: Neutral density (ND) filters are very important for landscape photographers. These filters allow photographers to extend the exposure time. This helps smooth out rough waters. Gradient filters allow photographers to minimize bright areas (like the sun) to balance out the exposure. My favorite ND filters are made by Lee Filters and by Syrp.

Circular Polarizer Filters: A Circular Polarizer is another great tool for landscape photographers. It removes reflections from the water and it enhances the colors in the scene, especially the sky. I like using Canon Circular Polarizers for my Canon gear and Zeis Circular Polarizers for my Sony gear. Other great manufacturers include B+W, Hoya and Tiffen.

Gear Bags: My favorite photography gear bag is made by Think Tank Photo. I purchased the Airport Commuter because I can take it on the plane and it has plenty of room for photography gear.

Memory Cards: Most memory card manufacturers make quality products so I pay more attention to the performance (speed) of the card first then the price. I try to buy cards with speeds greater than 150 MB/s. I usually purchase SanDisk and PNY Technologies cards. My Canon cameras use both Compact Flash and SD Cards. My Sony mirrorless cameras use SD cards only.

Online Stores

B&H Photo & Video is a New York-based store with both brick-and-mortar and online stores. They have a very wide selection of products and great resources for researching your purchases prior to making you buying decision. You can access their online store here.  Make sure to check out their DealZone.

Adorama is another great store.  They also have some great research pages that can help you with your buying decision.  You can access their store here.

Amazon: The world is not complete wihout Amazon shopping.  They have a great set of resources for research and especially ratings and reviews.  You can access their store here.

Post-Processing Software

Adobe makes great photography software. I use three of their products, Adobe Bridge, Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop.  Each sofware package has a very distinct place in my workflow.  I use Bridge for file management, Lighroom for my image catalog and Photoshop for editing.  I probably spend 80% of my time using Adobe products during the post-processing phase of my work.  Although I like Adobe, I'm not a "happy fan". Their products are migrating from ownership to per-use.  For someone starting this is great. For me, it's not so great.  I own these products but am constantly forced to a subscription model by Adobe limiting features and functionality.  You can access their software here. 

I use Photomatix in some instances for my High Dynamic Range (HDR) post-processing.  Although Lightroom does a decent job at merging bracketed images, Photomatix has a much wider range of capabilities and provides the photographer with more options.  I highly recommend Photomatix to anyone looking to do HDR photography. Click here to access their site.

Google Nik Collection is a great plug-in for Lightroom and Photoshop.  My favorite feature is Nik Color Efex.  I probably use this on 70% of my images.  They also have other great tools such as Silver Efex Pro for black & white images and Sharpener Pro for sharpening images.  You can access their software here.

MacPhun has some great plugins for Photoshop.  My favorite plugin is Snapheal.  With Snapheal you can clone out portions of the image much easier.  You can access their software here.

Many photographers use software made by Topaz Labs.  Topaz makes some great tools for photography including.  Like Nik Collection, Topaz has many tools. My favorite and most used is Topaz DeNoise.  It helps reduce the noise in night photography images.  You can access their software here.

Tools

The Photographer's Ephemeris is a great site to dawn and dusk photography. This site provides the sunrise and sunset times and direction as well as moon trajectories and times. They also have an app for iOS and Android. You can access the main site here and their desktop tool here.

Stellarium is software that allows people to use your home computer as a virtual planetarium. It calculates the positions of the Sun and Moon, planets and stars, and draws how the sky would look to you depending on your location and the time. It can also draw the constellations and simulate astronomical phenomena such as meteor showers, and solar or lunar eclipses.  This software is very helpful to plan nigh photography images like the Milky Way.  You can purchase Stellarium from your app store.  You can access their site here.

Blue Marble Navigator is an indispensable tool for night sky photographers.  It provies you with a good understanding of light polution given the location of choice.  You can access their site here.

Tutorials

David Marx is one of the best Lightroom instructors and he has some of the best online tutorias!  You can access their site here.

Dave Morrow is a great night sky photographer.  His instruction on how to photograph the Milky Way is a must for anyone wanting to add a Milky Way image to their portfolio.  You can access his tutorials here.

Trey Ratcliff has a great tutorial series for HDR photography.  He is one of the premier instructors for this type of photography.  You can access his tutorials here.

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