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I love my Kindle, but for these photography books, I highly recommend getting yourself a physical hardcover or paperback version.

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Photography Tips, Reviews, and Resources

Unboxing: Canon Speedlite 430EX II

Unboxing the Canon Speedlite 430EX II Shoe Mount Flash I added another piece of equipment to my photography gear bag, so I decided to do a short n’ simple unboxing video. Meet the Canon Speedlite 430EX II – this awesome flash is Canon’s mid-range shoe mount flash, and can be used with all of Canon’s EOS systems and even the PowerShot G series — like the superb G16. It’s light and compact – smaller and lighter than its big brother the 600EX-RT, but it still delivers with excellent performance.. and oh the High Speed Sync— once you start shooting with HSS, you’ll never go back. Sure, as time goes on and your needs as a photographer evolve, you’ll probably need to upgrade to the 600EX RT (or a used 580EX II) for a sturdier, more powerful, and weatherproof option. If you’re just getting started with off-camera flash or if you’re looking supplement your gear with a back up or slave flash, the 430EX II can’t be beat, especially since you can get it brand new for almost half of what a new 600EX-RT will cost. you. Looking to get a 430EX II? Consider purchasing it from Amazon, B&H Photo, or Adorama for the best prices and quick order processing and...

Photo Book Review: Artisan State Flush Mount Albums

Note: As of April 1, 2016, Artisan State has changed their name to Zno. I’ve got some credit left over, so I’ll be placing another order under their rebranded company and post an updated review soon. – K (April 5, 2016) Artisan State is a San Francisco based company that touts itself as the creator of a Photo Book Revolution. They offer way-below the industry average pricing for professional quality flush mount albums. Thanks to some fantastic targeted Facebook ad marketing on their part, I recently joined their membership program — $20.00 in free product credit for signing up for an Artisan State membership. After the first month, that $15 membership then gets me a total of $20 in product credit, good toward any of their offerings (except for shipping – that’s always extra and is just $5 for standard). The credit rolls over, so there’s nothing to worry about as far as expiring credit or losing your money is concerned. Hell yeah, that looks like a fantastic deal to me! Their product line starts at just 20 bucks for a 5×7 or 4×4 Little Black Book, and the credits don’t expire – they’ll roll over if you don’t use them, so there’s no fear of losing money with a membership. So on the the actual product. Is it as good as they make it out to be? Short answer: Yes! For my first Artisan State flush mount photo album, I ordered a standard 5”x7” Little Black Book with the photo cover option (no extra charge for this versus a plain black cover) and standard lustre E-Surface paper— big...

The Nifty Fifty is a Must Have Prime Lens for Beginners: 50mm f/1.8

There’s something about the nifty fifty that makes it an essential part of any photographer’s gear bag- that goes for the novice and pro alike. At less than $150 for Canon and Nikon users, the 50mm 1.8 is fast, light and oh-so-inexpensive, but it packs a punch. It’s great walk-around and normal lens on a full-frame body like the Canon 6D, the Canon 5D Mark III, or the Nikon D700. On a crop-sensor body like the Canon 7D or the Nikon D7100, the 50mm is simply awesome for portraits, giving you beautiful bokeh at wider apertures and gives you an effective focal length arguably quite akin to shooting a prime 85mm lens on a full frame body— which happens to be what many consider a perfect focal length for portrait photography. For a few years, it was just me and my Nikon D50 (my very first DSLR) with a 50mm f/1.8. I still have that camera, and I still have that lens. Ah, memories. 🙂 Some photos taken with the 50mm over the years- you can see these on my Flickr profile.   EF 50mm f/1.8 II Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens (f/1.8) Canon 50mm f/1.8 – a must have for new DSLR owners For Canon users: EF 50mm f/1.8 II Standard & Medium Telephoto Lens (f/1.8) – $110.00 (45% off), Free shipping – Available at (704 reviews)   Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D AF Lens (f/1.8) Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D AF lens – a must have for new DSLR owners For Nikon users: Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D AF Lens (f/1.8) – $139.00, Free shipping – Available at (329 reviews)  ...

Photography Tools and Toys: Lensbaby Spark Review

I got a Lensbaby Spark from a (not-so) Secret Santa last year, but I haven’t really taken the time to mess around with this awesome little toy— until today, that is. Winter this year was long, and it was hard, but it’s all good! The springtime sun, along with its welcome warmth, is beginning to make some appearances . . . and that means – flowers! Oh, and kid 1 deigned to allow me to take a single photo of him this morning— but only with his new favorite hat, of course. The Spark is definitely a great little toy lens, but the novelty of being able to squeeze-to-focus wears off quickly – After a while, I’m left craving more precision control. Personally, I’d like to get my hands on the Lensbaby Composer Pro with the Edge 80 Optic to use for serious work (including portraits). After a quick pass in Lightroom, I ran the images taken with the Lensbaby through Photoshop using actions from the Kubota Creative Tools Lensbaby Pak.       Interested in buying the Lensbaby Spark? I recommend getting it from Adorama, B&H Photo, or...

Photo Book Review: Mosaic by Mixbook

The Offense: hoarding photos on my iPhone, iPad, and hard drives. Am I Guilty?: Yep, I am. I was given the chance to try out Mosaic (from the people behind Mixbook) and get a free photo book to review, and of course I jumped on it! I have way too many random snapshots of my kids that are sitting on my iPhone, my hard drive, and the cloud, just collecting digital dust. The free Mosaic app is super intuitive and easy to use, and in addition to images from your camera roll and streams, you are able to connect to your Facebook account and add photos from your albums. Note: I’m totes an Apple girl (iPhones, iPods, iPads, and Macs rule in this house), but rest assured, Droid lovers, the app is available for Android as well. What I love It’s easy to use! The beauty of this app is in its simplicity. You just pick your 20 images, shuffle what’ll show up on the cover (if you wish), and rearrange the image order (if you want). Order. Track. Enjoy. 🙂 The unique cutout design of the high-quality linen cover gives your photo book a classy touch. I ordered mine on May 8, and I received it May 12 – a mere four calendar days later. Sure, it was within their promised timeframe, but I’m still pleasantly surprised as the 2 out of these 4 calendar days were over the weekend. Could use improvement I didn’t receive an order confirmation or a shipment confirmation email. (I checked spam, too, and nothing there from Mosaic.) The order and tracking information was all there in...

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Craftulous is a lifestyle blog covering the topics of blogging, tech, and social media + photography and creativity + being a work at home mom.

You'll also find kid & family friendly reviews, rad giveaways, and the occasional personal ramblings of a sometimes frazzled, often awesome, and always hustling millennial mom of 3 boys.

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