Visit us at the WPPI Expo!

We will be at the WPPI Conference and Expo at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas from March 7th through March 9th!

We will be showing products from some of our biggest brands, including Shanny, Giottos, Gary Fong, Gigapan, Pelican, Kodak, Cokin (Nuances/Pure Harmonie filters), and Wein.

We will also be holding a drawing for a pair of brand new Shanny radio flashes! The winner will be able to choose from the SN600EX-RF (Canon) and SN910EX-RF (Nikon) models of Shanny Radio Flashes. Simply drop your business card (or fill out a contact sheet) in our ballot box to be entered!

Stop by booth 1251 to find out about another awesome deal we are offering for the Giottos Memoire 100 Trekking pole.

The Memoire 100 is a serious Trekking Pole Perfect for hiking and all sorts of mountain adventures. Extending to a maximum of 59 inches, the MM100 fits just about every person’s needs. The shaft is made from 7075 aerospace aluminum alloy with patented flick type metal locks designed to withstand up to a 132 pound load while being quick and easy to use. It also features a patented lockable suspension system to help reduce strain on joints and help avoid injury. Rounding out the feature list is a compass, a 1/4– 20 stud in the grip for mounting a camera, plus a cell phone clamp w/Bluetooth remote and low angle mini-tripod.

Visit our page on the WPPI Expo website to learn more!

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New Photo of the Week Contest!

If you’re subscribed to our consumer newsletter, you’ve probably noticed that there’s a bit of negative space in our header. Negative space that is the PERFECT place for a weekly photo!

Starting this week, we will be accepting photos from our followers on all social media and customer connection fronts for a chance to be featured in our consumer newsletter! If we select your photo, we will be happy to include any information you would like to provide about yourself and the photo. We can also link to your personal portfolio website or social media account. And last but not least, we will also send you a free gift!

While we only have room for one photo on our newsletter, that doesn’t mean other entries won’t get a chance to shine. We will be sharing entries, at our discretion, on our Instagram and Facebook accounts! As a bonus, if your photo uses products from any of our other OmegaBrandess related Facebook pages, we will also share it to those!

You can submit your photos by directly messaging us on any of our social media profiles; whether Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! You can also submit using the hashtag #OmegaPhotoOfTheWeek. That way we can easily find your submission, and so can everyone else! You can also send an email to webmaster@omegabrandess.com.

  1. Photos MUST be safe for work and appropriate for all audiences! This means no foul language, nudity, suggestive themes, or any other content that could be offensive to the general public.
  2. The photograph MUST BE YOURS. Watermarks are allowed, but should not overpower the photo.
  3. Photos should be at least 72 PPI resolution, but preferably higher. Any dimensions are acceptable, but we do reserve the right to resize the photo as needed to fit our presentation in the newsletter. We will NOT crop the photo.

 

What can we do for YOU?

We’ve been working hard to give our customers a fresh feed of content when it comes to social media. However, we want to give you more of what YOU want!

We’ve created a survey to ask our followers what they like about our social media presence. It would be awesome if you could take just a few minutes out of your day to gives us some feedback on our internet adventures.

We are also looking for product reviews and other input from our customers. Do you love one of our products? Let us know! Have a question about any of our products? Ask us! Do you use our products to take incredible photos? By all means, please share your photographs with us! We want to show the world the possibilities our great products have to offer.

You can leave a comment on a Facebook post, send us a message on any of our social media profiles, or even give us a call or send us an email! We are always looking for feedback on any of our items, ranging from Gigapan camera mounts to Kodak film. Anything and everything you have to say will always be welcome.

 

Product Reviews Wanted!

In an effort to connect with our customers more, we are asking our audience to send us review of their favorite products! Since we carry such a wide range of products (Gary Fong, Gigapan, Cokin, Triggertrap, Giottos, Novatron, Pelican, and so many more), everyone can have the opportunity to contribute.

We are also encouraging our customers to send in example photos using our products (such as Cokin filters) so we can showcase not only the photographer, but the sheer possibilities of creativity when it comes to our products.

You can send us a message or leave a comment on any one of our Facebook posts, or shoot us a quick email (webmaster@omegabrandess.com) telling us why you love our products! We appreciate all of the feedback our customers give us, and we encourage you to speak your mind about our company and our products so that we may better serve you.

Gigapan Behind-the-Scenes

Ever wonder how the Mars Rovers are able to capture such incredible images of the Red Planet? Well, the Gigapan EPIC series of panoramic photography equipment is based on the same technology employed by Spirit and Opportunity to capture these incredible images. Thanks to researchers from NASA, Google, and Carnegie Mellon, now any photographer can harness the power to create incredible gigapixel panoramas of whatever they choose.

Gigapan was formed in 2008 as a commercial spin-off of a successful research collaboration between a team of researchers at NASA and Carnegie Mellon University. The original Gigapan prototype and related software were devised by a team led by Randy Sargent, a senior systems scientist at Carnegie Mellon West and the NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., and Illah Nourbakhsh, an associate professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh.

In late 2014, OmegaBrandess purchased the hardware assets of Gigapan, LLC. The mounts are now manufactured by OmegaBrandess in their Hampstead, MD facility. I was given the opportunity to take a little tour and learn just how these awesome pieces of technology are manufactured. Here’s to hoping that Mark Watney doesn’t show up to wreak havoc on even more rover tech…

Kaiju aren’t all bad.

This week I did another fun project with Triggertrap. The weather here on the east coast has been absolutely miserable, but I used this tutorial from Triggertrap to brighten up my morning. While I don’t have a cute little Danbo figurine, I do have an army of action figures from Pacific Rim and Godzilla at my disposal. (Thanks, Dad!)

Like I did with my last tutorial, I’ve got a few tips for you guys!

Setup:

I actually used the Triggertrap Mobile app on my iPad for this project since I was also taking pictures with my phone.  The sound sensor worked beautifully! I personally prefer snapping instead of clapping, though.

In the first picture, you can see my father’s army of kaiju and robot action figures, as well as all of the supplies I used and the setup for the shot of Godzilla’s birthday (which is actually November 4th, fun fact). The second shows my setup for the window shots. I used a Giottos Memoire50 tripod and a light stand with a boom arm to attach the skewers.

I was tempted to use my macro lens, but I wanted to show you guys that a kit lens like the Canon EF-S 18-55mm Lens will do just fine!

Edit: I’ve added a screenshot of my sound sensor threshold. I believe the phone is going to be a little more sensitive, but on the iPad that level worked perfectly fine with snapping triggering it.

On with the tips…

  • You may have to fight with the sticky tack and gaff/painter’s tape. I wanted to have a shot of the large Mothra flying above a larger Godzilla, but no combination of tape and sticky tack could support it. Now of course there’s a simple solution to this…don’t use such heavy figurines!
  • Don’t be afraid to use props! I made a little sign for Godzilla’s party. I also printed out a little map of Japan for all of the other giant monsters to be standing around.
  • Experiment with backgrounds and figures! Maybe put some toys under the Christmas tree and grab some photos with a really cool bokeh effect.
  • The tip Matt Cooper mentioned about leaving things set up while you check your pictures on a computer to make sure you’re happy with them was suuuuper helpful. More than once I did a reshoot of some of these scenes.
  • If your camera has a live view mode, use it to check your focus!
  • All I did in post-production was crop/rotate, remove the skewers and some of the sticky tack with the healing brush tool, and play with the levels. Have fun with it! Apply as many or as few filters as you want.

Steel Wool Spinning: The Final Product!

Disclaimers:
1. Please exercise extreme caution if you choose to try this! Minors must have adult supervision, and everyone needs a bucket of water or hose nearby in case of rogue sparks. While the sparks from steel wool burn out very quickly, some may last longer than others and can cause minor burns on unprotected skin. Wear non-flammable clothing to cover all exposed skin and minimize chance of injury. OmegaBrandess and Triggertrap are not responsible for any injuries or damage sustained while doing this experiment. 
2. The only reason I did this on my lawn was because it had just rained and the ground was soaked. Find a concrete or gravel surface to do this on, but do not trespass on someone else’s property. DO NOT DO THIS ON DRY GROUND! SMOKEY THE BEAR WOULD BE VERY UPSET WITH YOU.

I just want to start off by saying I had so much fun with this project! While it did take two tries, the anticipation I had every time I walked back to my camera after spinning was so incredible. My mother as my witness, the excited noises I made sounded like a squirrel.

Anyway, let’s get back to the point. I was using this tutorial from Triggertrap to make these photos. It’s pretty simple to follow, but I do have a few notes of my own!

  1. Be sure to pull apart the steel/wire wool before stuffing it into the whisk. If you don’t, there’s a pretty good chance that it will turn into a giant glowing ember at the end. You can still make some cool pictures with that, but it may be difficult to get out of the whisk at the end and it’s also kind of a fire hazard. Not that this whole project isn’t a fire hazard, but every precaution counts.
  2. Let the whisk cool down before starting again. Not only will you probably burn yourself, but you may end up warping the whisk. I know both of these things because they happened to me last night. Whoops.
  3. I know they used different settings in the video to get that particular effect, but in my case I switched it up to get a brighter photo where you could see the sparks more. I used my Canon Rebel T3i at f 7.1 and ISO 800. As far as Triggertrap settings go, I used Star Trail mode with five three second exposures with five seconds in between each. I probably could have had less time between them to get more pictures with each spin, but oh well. By the end of each cycle the sparks were pretty dead. Switch it up yourself to get different effects!
  4. Have fun with swinging around the rope! That’s how I got so many cool designs. Yeah it’s kinda scary when the sparks start falling on your head, but they die quickly.
  5. Setting up during the day is a little easier than setting up at night because it’s easier to get your focus right. If you set up at night like me, then having a friend or assistant there with you is super helpful! My mother was out there with me holding my phone and pressing the big red button for me. I also had her stand in with a flashlight illuminating her face to help me set up the shots.
  6. GET A PHONE TRAP! They are super helpful for when you don’t have someone there to hold your mobile device and there’s nowhere safe to put it.

Enough of my ranting. Here’s what you came to see!