Thunderbolt vs USB 3.0

Im in the market now for a new External Harddrive Array for editing, and you can bet your money it will be a Thunderbolt Drive. Many of my archive videos are HD. Many of them are 4+ Hrs long. Yes, I have several TB of Data I need to have access to as well as back up & move occasionally.

There is a really good article over on Gizmodo about Thunderbolt vs USB 3.0. Thunderbolt interfaces are now available for PCs, as well as Mac users. Thunderbolt is BLISTERING faster.Thunderbolt vs USB 3.0

Michael’s Old Store Now Officially Closed

I launched my original photography training store ( almost exactly 5 years ago. It was absolutely critical to the start and growth of my business, and I couldn’t be where I am today without it.

With time customers repeatedly asked for downloads and the way the original store was set up, it couldn’t handle them. For the last 2 years or so, we had DVDs only on the first site and both DVDs and downloads on the second.

With more time, customers also wanted better shipping options, such as Fed Ex & UPS. Again the way the old site was set up, it couldn’t handle these changes (it had to do with plug-ins for the cart on the hosting site). And even recently, when trying to upgrade how we receive orders for shipments, we couldn’t make the necessary changes.

Additionally, there began to be confusion among my customers as to which store was which and why we had 2. Many didnt know the difference and would try to log in to one or the other.

We also did some tests and learned that not only could our download store at handle all these upgrades, it was MUCH faster for customers to check out.

While we considered upgrading the store to new standards, we learned that not only was it expensive, it would have required us to back up and reinstall everything for all the websites I am hosting on that account, including the blog.

With all these things in mind, I have decided to officially close the first store. We still have all of our customer records, but all new purchases from here on out will be made on

If you ever have any questions about any of your purchases, please contact my assistant Megan at [email protected]

The Commando Hike

Ive been wanting to go on this hike for literally years, and even spent an afternoon trying to find it on my own (for several hours and I couldnt find it!). A few weeks ago, I ran into an old high school buddy, Jhonathan, whom I ran track with and is also living on Maui. Jhonathan loves to spend his weekends hiking around and he said he would show it to me.

I also had my good friends Marshall and Angie visiting from Idaho, who I met through Warren (my dentist). We all get along fabulously well and decided it would be a fun adventure to do the Commando hike together.

All images were taken with a Go-Pro Hero 2 in a Backscatter housing. I think I like the Go Pro more as a back up scuba camera, I really am not a fan of the 2 button controls and the way it turns on or off.

Side note about the Commando Hike, it is not user friendly. You will slip and fall on the river part (we all did) & you will get complete soaking wet from head to toe. You will also need to climb wet waterfalls, and if you cannot lift yourself up with arm strength, probably not a good idea to even try. A few years ago a man fell and was killed on this hike, and just a few months ago another group had to be rescued. All four of us are in pretty good shape and we all agreed not to do anything stupid.

The hike starts off through a cow field….…and then up a river bed. Very hard to find if you do not know what you are looking for. It was no wonder I couldnt find it as there is no path. You literally have to walk up the river bed. You cannot really rock hop up it as this goes for about a mile or so. Flip Flops would be a nightmare. I was wearing Keen waterproof sandals, Marshall and Angie wore shoes, Jhonathan went barefoot. Angie & Marshall….…Jhonathan. He has been working out alot since I last saw him some 20+ years ago. The token shot of the resident photographer so he wont feel left out. Eventually you get to a point where you have to crawl through all these branches….Then swim through a small pond, and up a first small waterfall….I had a backpack full of drinks, snacks, cell phone, leatherman, flashlights. All the important stuff was in zip lock bags to prevent damage.This is what your pictures will look like if you have water on your Go Pro Port:When we got to the first big waterfall, there was another group really struggling to get up. They had a girl in their group that could not climb up and they had to use team work to do it. I thought we were going to have to pitch in, but we didnt have to. The way to climb up is as Jhonathan is demonstrating, not the girl in the white shirt. There are enough good foot and hand holds that any decently athletic person should be able to do it. Just dont slip!After that waterfall, is the entrance to the first cave….Which leads to more and more waterfalls and caves in side. Ive heard about people trying to go through without flash lights, I dont think that would be possible. As it gets pretty much pitch black. Good times though, lots of climbing and swimming. Eventually you come out a drain gate on the other side. The opening isnt that big, but we all squeezed through no problem. There were waterfalls to the north and south of the exit, both were pretty big. The wide angle lens is distorting this, but I would say this was about 60 feet up. There was a perfect, beautiful little lagoon waterfall just a short walk away. We decided to go swimming and do a few cliff jumps!
I got some video of Angie and Jhonathan jumping off the cliff and grabbed a quick shot of me swimming back. It was beautiful and serene. We ate a few snacks before heading back.

Some dude with a Mohawk was just chilling there with his girl friend. The hike back was through a forest and was much quicker to get back to our cars. I think the whole trip took us about 2 hours. It was a great way to spend the afternoon.

Olympus Stylus Tough TG-2

Today I went on the famous “Commando Hike” here on Maui, Ill be posting some images very soon. The Commando hike is known for being a bit rugged, wet and requires climbing, swimming through dark caves and cliff diving. Its also a little dangerous and people have been killed on it before. Definitely not for children, frail or weak in courage. While I brought my Go Pro Hero 2, Im starting to feel that there are a few things I really dont like about them:

1. Lack of controls. There are 2 buttons. 2. Its maddening to go through the Menus to get it to work.
2. Battery life is awful with the LCD, lasts about a half hour.
3. You have to press and hold to turn off, eats up too much time.
4. Bulky. I cant really throw it in my board shots.

I think the Go Pro Heros are awesome and here to stay, just wasnt very impressed with it today shooting above water. You will see what I am talking about when I post the images.

Enter the Olympus Stylus TG-2:I’ve used many, many point and shoots over the years, but now that the Mega Pixel war has essentially ended (do you really need more than 10?) we are seeing many other bells and whistles added. The main thing I love about this camera is that it is water proof down to 50 feet! Thats very usable for many scuba diving expeditions, and it isnt bulky, could easily throw it into a BC pocket. Some other impressive features:

– f2.0 lens
– Drop (6.9 Feet) and Crush Proof
– 25-100mm Equivalent Focal Length
– Macro focus distance of 1 cm
– Shoots Video @ 120(!) FPS at 720p
– 5FPS still burst @ 12 MP, 60 FPS @ 3MP
– HDMI out
– GPS, HDR Mode

The TG-2 should be released on Feb 20th and I hope to have one of the very first! I will definitely be letting you guys know what I think about it. Looks like a winner, if it could only go down to 100′ (without a housing), wow, that would be amazing. I think such a point and shoot camera is coming.