CPS, ShutterBudd, and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Discussions

Last night we were treated to a few guest speakers, all with interesting topics to discuss. It was quite an informative meeting. The topics discussed were Art Shows by ShutterBudd, a discussion on using Adobe Lightroom 2 as a workflow, and Canon Professional Services (CPS).

Canon Professional Services (CPS)

Jim Rose, Canon Pro Markets Rep
Jim Rose, Canon Pro Markets Rep

First up was Jim Rose from Canon Professional Services (CPS) to discuss about membership: how to sign up, what it entails, and answer questions. It was quite informative. Jim explained that CPS is designed for the “working professionals” by Canon. Membership is free, but you do have to meet the criteria for membership, not everyone can just sign up. The two primary services offered by Canon Professional Services are 1) expedited equipment repair and 2) try before you buy equipment loan. The expedited repair means that any Canon equipment that qualifies as professional level that is sent to a Canon repair facility will take 3-5 days to repair versus 4+ weeks. According to Jim, they currently strive for 72 hours. Impressive. And while the equipment is out for repair, you can request, free of charge, loaner equipment.

Adam Tow
Adam Tow

They also offer a try before you buy where you can request any professional Canon SLR and/or L lenses for free of charge for a two week period. Jim stressed that CPS’s try-before-you-buy program is intended for trial only, not continuous free loaning. CPS keeps tracks of your rental requests and will begin to wonder if every month you keep requesting the same lens or camera.

The application review process takes approximately 4 weeks and CPS rules have recently changed requiring annual renewal. There are two requirements that people are (or not) aware of: must be a professional that derives at least 51% of their income from photography and must own some pro equipment listed on the CPS application. Both those requirements aren’t as stringent as you would believe. For example, the 51% income number is an arbitrary number that Canon selected for no particular reason. CPS recognizes that not every legitimate professional actually derives 51% of their income from photography. Jim gave us an example of a sports photographer he knows: by day, a BMW mechanic and on the weekends, a published sports photographer. Obviously the guy doesn’t derive 51% of his income from photography, but he is a professional as far as Canon Professional Services is concerned.

Another thing I found out from Jim is that Canon no longer does calibrations on misfocusing cameras and lenses, but rather resets the camera(s) and lens(es) to their default values because it seems to work better. Another unknown advantage of CPS that helps them ensure expedited repairs is that you put a credit card on file and a maximum repair amount and when you send your equipment for repair, they will do any and all repairs up to your maximum specified amount. This saves CPS from having to call you back and forth to authorize repairs and increase the time it takes to get the repairs done.

CPS in the U.S. currently does not have a website, they are working on it. Also another thing Jim was telling us is that CPS is working on reorganizing CPS as a worldwide service rather than a regional service. Currently, if you are a US CPS member and you need to use Europe CPS, it doesn’t work as smoothly as it should, but that is changing. Also having CPS does not mean you get discounts or any thing special other than expedited repairs and the trial loan program. Don’t join expecting a discount on repairs.

For those who are looking for further information, you can read the CPS Loan Program FAQ here. The membership application for CPS can be downloaded here.

Also Jim Rose mentioned that Canon and Keeble & Shuchat are having a class on September 12 featuring Jim Rose discussing about “L” series lenses and Jennifer Wu discussing about “Nature’s Elusive Beauty”. Admission is free, so sign up quickly. I’ll be there.

As an added bonus, on Saturday September 13, Jim Rose, Jennifer Wu and another instructor will be doing a workshop shooting on the coast between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz. Jim Rose will be providing:

A variety of “L” series lenses will be available including super wide angle, tilt/shift, macro, super telephoto and zooms

The cost is $49 per person with a limit of 15 participants. I’m so there.

Here is Jim Rose’s contact info: jrose@cusa.canon.com, telephone is 408-468-2332. Canon U.S.A., Inc. 3300 North First Street, San Jose, CA 95134. Main line is 408-468-2000.

Art Shows by ShutterBudd

Jeff from ShutterBudd was kind enough to come by and talk about what ShutterBudd is and the Art Shows they are sponsoring. ShutterBudd is a social networking photography site that is a place for everyone to display their artwork. It’s very similar to Flickr, but expands upon it by offering users articles on photography, user websites, in-depth gear bios (with whose using what and ratings, etc.), a forum, and so much more. They have a nicely designed website, easy to navigate.

So they are sponsoring a number of art shows at two venues: Sweet Corner and zpizza and the theme is “Life in the Bay”. These art shows are a great concept especially for up and coming photographers:

Have you ever gone into a local cafe or restaurant, seen beautiful art on the walls and wondered how you could get your photographs in a public place? ShutterBudd can help you get your work out to the general public by sponsoring art displays at local cafes and restaurants. We’ll take care of all the work to get the images framed and work with the business owners on the actual display. All you will need to do is submit an image that you think fits with the theme.

The images have to be submitted in black & white and can be uploaded or submitted via print. If your photograph is selected to be displayed, you have to take care of the printing, but ShutterBudd will handle the mounting and framing.

ShutterBudd is an interesting concept, definitely keep an eye out for them. I think they’ll do some great things.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2

I had briefly used Adobe Photoshop Lightroom beta when it was first introduced, but never quite liked it compared to Apple Aperture. Now with Lightroom 2 and after what Chris Pederson (creator of Phoxle white balance card) and Mark Jaremko demonstrated, I am seriously considering giving Lightroom another go.

There are some really neat tools built in such as advanced vignetting controls, blown highlight sensors, and much, much more.

One thing that happened was Mark’s catalog file somehow got corrupted and he had to restore to a previous version. One of the members in our group mentioned that if you have catalog corruption, email Adobe and they have a person who will repair the catalog for you. Pretty cool.

It was quite a long discussion and I don’t want to regurgitate everything because I forgot most of it, but it’s a very cool software.

COBA Monthly Picture Contest

The theme for this month’s picture contest was angles. See the gallery for the winner. The winner gets a complimentary 1 year professional SmugMug account.

Gallery Images

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