Your Garage Summer Reading Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Recess Monkey Explore Premium Audio Fire TV Stick Sun Care Patriotic Picks Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer AnnedroidsS3 AnnedroidsS3 AnnedroidsS3  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis UniOrlando Best Camping & Hiking Gear in Outdoors
Profile for Tenna Merchent > Reviews


Tenna Merchent's Profile

Customer Reviews: 287
Top Reviewer Ranking: 5,499
Helpful Votes: 7440

Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Tenna Merchent RSS Feed (Noblesville, IN USA)

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
Headcase Etch A Sketch Hard Case for iPad 2 (RSI-162-2)
Headcase Etch A Sketch Hard Case for iPad 2 (RSI-162-2)
Offered by One Good Thing
Price: $44.99
3 used & new from $29.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars cute, but not functional, January 5, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I was so excited about this case because it is so cute. Unfortunately the design lacks functionality. The sleep button on the top right-hand side does not actually reach the real sleep button, and therefore doesn't work at all. And while there is a hole on the right hand side to control the volume, the back case comes out as far as the right edge of the front of the case. The back of the case is curved in, so the end result is it is almost impossible to reach the controls. Whoever designed this was not concerned about actually using the iPad, they were just concerned about looks. The Headcase Etch A Sketch Hard Case for iPhone 4 - AT&T and Verizon - 1 Pack - Case - Retail Packaging - Red is almost as bad, again it's just hard to reach the controls. Plus, everyone expects you to have an etch-a-sketch app, which it does not.

Sketching Light: An Illustrated Tour of the Possibilities of Flash (Voices That Matter)
Sketching Light: An Illustrated Tour of the Possibilities of Flash (Voices That Matter)
by Joe McNally
Edition: Paperback
Price: $36.40
79 used & new from $13.95

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pied Piper of light, December 13, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Joe McNally (the author) is a gifted story-teller, both visually and with the written word. His images pull you in, stir emotions, cause you to linger over them in awe, and finally think, "How did he do that?" In this book he tells you.

He describes the scene he's facing, sometimes showing you preproduction shots. He shares what he was thinking, what did he want in the shot, and what he wanted to exclude with a shallow depth of field. He tells you the technical details that we photographers tend to obsess over such as F-stop, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance (which surprisingly was often auto WB). But he reminds us all that those are the settings for that particular time and location. A new day would likely require new settings. He discusses all the trade-offs between small flash, and big studio type lights, and why he chooses one over the other.

He talks about things I would have never thought of like linking three SC-29 cords together so you can still use TTL. Other gems:
* Why your fill light should come from the same angle as your main light (so you don't make crossing shadows), and how soft it should be.
* Why frosted glass is such a great diffuser
* A face is a 180-degree half circle, with various exposure readings at different angles
* He uses and explains high-speed sync and it's limitation of reducing the illumination on the subject.
* "...shutter speed is like a curtain you pull back. The more you open (slow) the shutter, the more light pours in." Yes, I knew the effect of shutter speed, but that describes it so eloquently.
He does a great job of showing very clearly the difference between flash that is near the camera, and then putting it on a light stand and diffusing it in several different ways. It's a wonderful exploration of the subject.

He is self-deprecating, and just down right funny. And he is painfully honest about his mistakes, which makes us all think, "Hey even Joe McNally has dropped equipment into the river while photographing Gregory Hines!" He got his tripod back, and Gitzo repaired it since it has a lifetime warranty. McNally says he turned it in as "water damage", because it sounded better than "outright stupidity".

He speaks like an experienced photographer, for instance when he was shooting a man and wanted the moon with some detail in the shot he used, "600mm f/4, plus a TC-17e II teleconverter, which makes the overall lens almost an f/8, effectively." That's not to say a beginning photographer can't benefit from this book, because one surely can, it just isn't photography 101. If you want a more basic book try his LIFE Guide to Digital Photography: Everything You Need to Shoot Like the Pros.

With his previous books,The Moment It Clicks: Photography secrets from one of the world's top shooters and The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes I would study them and think about each lighting set-up and experiment with something similar, for instance with gels, trying to emulate what he had demonstrated. Which brings me to all the gear. He is a master with light shapers, grips, and lights. Simply thinking that if I had all of his gear, I could replicate his images would be lunacy, and expensive. But I do take and study his suggestions. I then work on mastering one element and/or one piece of gear at a time. Once I'm comfortable with that light shaper, then I allow myself to consider the shiny new toy like the Elinchrom EL 26187 27.5-Inch Rotalux Deep Octa :)

Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks for Designers
Photoshop Down & Dirty Tricks for Designers
by Corey Barker
Edition: Paperback
Price: $37.57
87 used & new from $9.78

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick read, to the point, well illustrated, with some 3D inspiration, December 2, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book was a quick read, and it follows the clean, concise, visual, to the point pattern set out in other NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) books. There are images to demonstrate practically everything he describes. His instructions are clear, and thankfully lack the ad nauseam detail that bores me to tears. He tells you what he's doing, and shows you, including before and after. That's what I need.

While I found the whole book valuable, my two favorite chapters were Chapter 2, the 26 Piece Tool Set, and Chapter 7, A Dream Within a Dream. In Chapter 2 there is a subsection where he takes a plain brown graphic, sort of fleur de lis-ish, and with layer style turns it into a dramatic, metallic, three-dimensional image (without using real 3D techniques for CS5 Extended). It was a very impressive transformation.

Chapter 7 is about 3D, which requires Adobe Photoshop Extended CS5, and given the fact it is written by Corey Barker, the Photoshop TV (podcast) 3D guy of course it's great. He explains in the book that he also has a video demonstrating the topic on-line; I personally like the print version. I've see him demo 3D numerous times on the podcast, and seeing it is print, where I can internalize at my speed what he is doing is more concrete. I can then refer to it when I'm actually in front of the computer, turning my company logo into a cool 3D image.

He also utilizes the define brush command, which granted, I've done, but really rarely use. He refers to it a couple of times in the book, to again create these 3D type effects, (again without using real 3D techniques for CS5 Extended) like lightening, or a blood splat, and I think to myself, "Now how can I work in lightening?" Because it looks so great. From the Photoshop 3D guy, 3D effects without CS5 extended.

Nik Software Captured: The Complete Guide to Using Nik Software's Photographic Tools
Nik Software Captured: The Complete Guide to Using Nik Software's Photographic Tools
by Tony L. Corbell
Edition: Paperback
24 used & new from $16.63

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just ordered my second copy for home, December 2, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I just ordered my second copy of this book because I want to have one at work, and one at home. As I was reading it, I felt like I was highlighting every page. There was so much useful information, it was almost overwhelming. I could hardly wait to finish and get to my computer to try out my new skills.

I have been using their complete collection, including the new Color Efex Pro 4, and was very happy with it. But now I know so much more about each program and the submenus. I also have a much better grasp of the control points, and when to use each program. It's so good, I (factiously) wish no one else would ever read it.

Here are some examples of why it is so great from chapter 9 on Silver Efex Pro 2:
* Find more Nik Software presets at [...]
* The brightness control slider controls the overall brightness in the image, whereas the highlights, midtones, and shadows sliders only control the brightness in their respective tone range
* Dynamic brightness (available only in Silver Efex Pro 2) uses software to decide how much brightness to apply to each area of the image, and can be less muddy, say than decreasing the brightness with the brightness slider
* Soft contrast is another slider unique to Silver Efex Pro 2, and it seeks to "emulate the look and feel of film noir movies, with dark moody contrasts and soft transition."
* Structure applies contrast only in areas of the image that are not an edge.
* Selective colorization is also available only in Silver Efex Pro, and people tend to have strong opinions about its use, usually negative ones.
* The color filters seek to emulate glass filters. Landscape and portrait photographers often use a red filter to "darken skies (which are actually cyan, not blue) and increase separation between the clouds and sky." The same filter also lightens the skin, and reduces appearance of blemishes.
* The Color Sensitivity section allows you to further darken skies by reducing blue and cyan, and you can also target skin tones or any other color in your image
* The Silver Hue and Strength sliders allow you to change what would be black to a specific color. They are called that because the replace silver from the film days.
* The Vignette and Burn Edges both darken the edges, but the Burn Edges is preferable if you have some edges you would like to darken more than others.
* In the Loup and Histogram section is the Zone System Map, based on the work pioneered by Ansel Adams. Hovering over one of the 11 zones causes color hatch mark on the image so you can see which sections of your image are in that zone. Zones 0 and 10 are pure black and pure white respectively.
* The History Browser is also exclusive to Silver Efex Pro and relatively new
Anyone that uses Nik software absolutely must have this book. And of course, if you don't already have Nik Software Creative Efex Bundle Consists of HDR Efex Pro ,Color Efex Pro 3.0 and Silver Efex Pro 2 - FREE UPGRADE TO COLOR EFEX PRO 4.0 this is a must have for the serious photographer
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 14, 2012 6:58 AM PDT

Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It: Learn Step by Step How to Go from Empty Studio to Finished Image (Voices That Matter)
Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It: Learn Step by Step How to Go from Empty Studio to Finished Image (Voices That Matter)
by Scott Kelby
Edition: Paperback
Price: $32.86
93 used & new from $8.45

31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He makes everything seem simple and worth trying, September 13, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a very well done, visual, and detailed, book. He shows and tells everything. There are photos for every aspect of the shot, from every angle, including from the ceiling looking down, so you can really envision how the set was constructed, how close the lights were to the model and each other.

He shows you the back of the camera, his exact settings including: aperture priority, ISO, f-stop, shutter speed, lens and focal length. He explains, and shows you where he focused his lights, what light modifiers he used, his power settings, and how to adapt that to your lights.

On the retouching, he takes you step-by-step through the camera raw and photo process. Each step is accompanied by a supporting photo of the screen, I would say screen grab, but it looks to be higher quality
. He includes keyboard shortcuts and explains why he is making a particular adjustment. For instance, he takes the recovery slider to the point where the model's face is properly exposed, but doesn't worry about the reflection on metal, or the light bulbs being blown out.

He demonstrates many different photographic/ lighting looks, and they are all very different:
* A classic high key beauty shot
* An edgy rock-n-roll shot, this one had some cool photoshop techniques I hadn't seen, and am looking forward to trying
* A dramatic beauty shot, with lots of contrast and shadows
* Three light lens flare. I would call this one a slightly over-exposed with cool image in sunglasses shot.
* Ring light with another cool sunglasses effect
* 3-light sports setup (masculine edgy lighting)
* 1-light full-length fashion shot, to name just a few
I like the fact that he explains how you can do this without spending a fortune, and that he includes several male shots, and doesn't limit himself to just polished female model beauty shots.

He even includes a separate chapter where he explains how to do all the exact same shots with speedlights.

He includes a gear guide that shows the exact tools he used in the book with pictures and descriptions, right up to the adapter rings and transmitters.

Kelby salts the book with his usual off the cuff humor, which I enjoy. The book, amazingly, moves very quickly, is an easy read, and will be an excellent reference book. He has the uncanny ability to make everything seem easy. And, if you follow his instructions, it probably will be.

Melissa and Doug Terrence Blue Trunki Ride On Luggage with Matching SaddleBag and Sticker Sets
Melissa and Doug Terrence Blue Trunki Ride On Luggage with Matching SaddleBag and Sticker Sets

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great carry-on they may even pull themselves, September 6, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Our boys were so excited when these cases arrived just before our big trip to Europe. They scooted all around the house on them, and were also enthusiastic to pack their treasures for themselves. On the aircraft, they fit easily under the seat in front of us, or in the overhead storage area.

The only thing I'm not so excited about is the latches on the side. My husband and I both found them difficult to use, and determine if they were locked on unlocked. But I would say the fact that the children love them so much greatly outweighs that negative.

Lexar 32GB Professional 600x CompactFlash Card
Lexar 32GB Professional 600x CompactFlash Card

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite memory card, August 11, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I know these memory cards are expensive, but memory cards are not an area where I am willing to cut corners. I need my camera to be fast for numerous reasons. When I shoot HDR, I'm really testing the buffer. Or when I'm shooting an event, I do not want my buffer to get full and prevent me from getting that great shot. I am super careful about making sure I've downloaded my images so that I don't accidentally format I card with data on it, and that does require an extra set of cards. I invested in one of those digital suitcases to hold my images, and I just haven't become comfortable with it yet. I trust my memory cards more.

Bottom line, my images are worth the investment in awesome memory cards.

No More Rotten Eggs: A Dozen Steps to Grade-AA Talent Management
No More Rotten Eggs: A Dozen Steps to Grade-AA Talent Management
by Debra Thompson
Edition: Paperback
31 used & new from $2.38

4.0 out of 5 stars Good content, August 11, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book came Highly Recommended by my photography mentor. As a photographer, we look for people like us to be assistants and photo editors. Well the person you need sitting behind the computer all day is not the same type of personality as you need behind the camera going out in the world and connecting with people. If a person is happy sitting behind a computer all day, you need someone who doesn't require constant human contact. Big difference from the extroverted photographers I know.

This book reminds me of the carpenter's moto, measure twice, cut once. The book's point is figure out what the job description is, in detail, spend you time finding the right person, so you don't have to fire them. Get the right person in the beginning.

There are forms on the disk, and that is actually why I didn't give it 5 stars, I think including them on the disk is a plus, but I would have liked to have seen them in the book too, so that I didn't have to go to my computer (which I spend wayyyyy too much time on anyway), and I could continue reading the book in bed. Then, later I could download the forms.

Other than that, I thought the book had a great message, and material to support you search for the best employee possible.

G-Technology G-DRIVE 3TB External Hard Drive w/ eSATA, USB 2.0, Firewire 400, Firewire 800 Interfaces 0G01973
G-Technology G-DRIVE 3TB External Hard Drive w/ eSATA, USB 2.0, Firewire 400, Firewire 800 Interfaces 0G01973

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This made my inner nerd sing!, August 11, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
When I first saw this 3TB hard drive at the Apple store I was so excited! A complete nerd moment, and then when I found it here on Amazon I was even happier.

I've tried the 3TB Western Digital, and the 3 TB Passport, and I really dislike them both. They cause problems at boot-up, so I have to remember to unplug them before I turn my computer on, and then plug them back in after I boot up. They disconnect all the time, and I haven't even touched them, it drives me insane! I am neurotic about backing up, I even rotate my backups off-site. With my previous backups, I was really nervous moving them because the boxes say they shouldn't be used as a portable hard drive. When I asked about that at the store the gentleman said the disks move even when they aren't plugged in, great, so how are you supposed to rotate them, and get them off-site?

Well you don't have to worry about that with this hard drive. It has never caused my computer to lock-up when I boot-up, it has never dismounted, and I feel safe rotating it to my off-site back up. I love this hard-drive!

Photoshop Compositing Secrets: Unlocking the Key to Perfect Selections and Amazing Photoshop Effects for Totally Realistic Composites
Photoshop Compositing Secrets: Unlocking the Key to Perfect Selections and Amazing Photoshop Effects for Totally Realistic Composites
by Matt Kloskowski
Edition: Paperback
38 used & new from $30.98

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous reference book, August 8, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I love this book. Combining images, and making it look believable is hard, tedious work. In this book Matt Kloskowski lays out exactly how he does it, and actually makes it sound easy, hopefully I'll get to the point where it is.

Some of it was familiar from watching Photoshop User TV, but much of it was new. In one example he explained how he kept track (on his phone) his lens, and focal length, distance from the subject, and how high the camera was from the ground when he photographed his main subject. He then replicated all of this when he photographed the background so the subject would look right when put in that atmosphere.

He covers the shadows (super important to making it look real), the filters, the clipping masks, layer blend modes, and a couple of ways to get rid of that nasty fringe quickly to name just a few of his helpful tips. This is a book that I will keep right next to my computer and refer to any time I am doing a composite.

If you like this book, I also recommend his earlier book Layers: The Complete Guide to Photoshop's Most Powerful Feature (2nd Edition) which was absolutely wonderful!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 19, 2014 9:37 AM PDT

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20