The Crossing Place Trail in Middle Caicos leads along some spectacular coastline. "Trail", however, is a rather generous term for much of what is encountered here, especially west of Blowing Hole. Very sharp rocks (the ironshore formation limestone you see in the foreground in this image) and thick brush (with occasional very-deep holes beneath) take the place of anything resembling a trail.
The Turks and Caicos Islands have the world's 3rd largest reef system protecting it, but along this trail, the reef comes close to shore. This means that, on a normal day, waves hit the coast hard. And, on a windy day, things become rather spectacular along this section of the trail.
The winds on this day (like the entire 9 days of this trip) were sustained at just over 30 mph and gusts were reaching 50+ mph. The waves were crashing into the cliffs and blowing up in dramatic fashion, easily visible from the causeway over a mile away.
Upon arriving at this location, I determined that I could safely approach the cliff and I did so cautiously. I didn't take a rain cover for the camera or a rain coat for me on this trip, but ... after thinking about the situation for a while and watching my daughter figure out how to cover her camera with extra clothes and a hat for a lens flap, I couldn't resist the opportunity. The waves were too beautiful and mesmerizing to leave uncaptured.
What I had was the MindShift Gear BackLight 26L's rain cover and the plastic bags I always store in the backpack. The large garbage bag, with three holes torn into it, went over me (it was cool out and with the wind, I was cold) and a 2-gallon clear heavy plastic food storage bag nicely wrapped around the camera with the lens directed through the opening. I held the bag tightly around the lens hood and could see the viewfinder through the bag reasonably well – well enough. The front of the lens was not protected aside of the hood, but holding the camera downward under my body during times when spray was hitting (most of the time), kept it dry. I had a dry microfiber cloth readily available for cleaning the lens when my timing was not stellar.
When a wave was timed to hit while there was little or no sea spray in the air, I would quickly move the camera into position and shoot an image (or burst of images) as the wave crashed and violently blew upward. I was learning the Sony a7R II camera's capabilities, but ... this scenario proved challenging and my sharp image percentage was not as strong as I had hoped. Still, I made some nice images.
With the quick-shooting tactic, getting the camera perfectly level (or even close to that) proved challenging (it proves challenging to me on a good day) and this shot was a bit tilted. The horizon over an ocean makes any tilt obvious and this one needed repaired. However, simply rotating the image was going to result in more of the scene being cropped out that I was happy with. I could have used a wider focal length to shoot with (the Sony a7R II has plenty of resolution), but ... I was already using that tactic. This wave was simply bigger than I had anticipated.
How did I fix the tilt? I used the Lasso Tool in Photoshop to select and area above and below the horizon where the non-splashing water is meeting sky (on the right side of the frame), being careful to draw through areas lacking details. I then copied the selection (CTRL-C) and pasted it into a new layer (CTRL-V). I pressed CTRL-T (Free Transform) and rotated the copied waterline until it was level. Using a layer mask with a soft brush, I hid the borders of the copied layer and smoothed out anything that appeared out of place in the result. The image was effectively leveled and I didn't have to crop off any of the splash.
Being in the wave zone of a rough sea is not safe and in addition to watching for photogenic waves approaching, I was constantly watching for trouble. Twice I successfully ran to drier ground when monster waves hit directly in front of me, but twice I had very large waves splash completely over me, sending buckets of water pouring from myself and the bags (enough to make a water cooler dumped over a winning football coach appear like a Dixie cup). The described bag technique, while not optimum, kept the gear (and most of my shirt) dry and allowed me to capture some fun pics.
Big waves are fascinating – I could spend hours watching them.
It appears Sigma is set to announce four new Global Vision lenses at the upcoming CP+ Camera & Photo Imaging Show 2017 (Feb 23-26). Two of those lenses – the 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art and 100-400mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary – have already shown up on Sigma's website under the News section (the links to the actual press releases do not work).
The other two lenses rumored to be part of the 4-lens announcement are the 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art and 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art. If the rumors prove to be true, this will be one of the most exciting round of Sigma Global Vision lens announcements to date.
Originally announced a few months ago, it looks like this free 90-day Adobe Photography Plan offer is still live. And considering the current discounts on Datacolor Spyder products, there's never been a better time to invest in a color calibration system.
Receive a 90 day Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan with the purchase of a qualifying Spyder product!
Datacolor and Adobe work hand-in-hand to offer the complete package for your photography workflow. Save time, money and frustration –with an efficient editing process and more accurate viewing, proofing and printing. Don’t miss out on the ultimate photography package from Datacolor and Adobe!
Try a complimentary 90 day trial OR add 90 days to your current plan if you already have a subscription.
Step 1: Purchase a qualifying Spyder product
Step 2: Install and activate your Spyder product
Step 3: Click the redemption link in the Spyder activation email
Step 4: Your Adobe redemption code will be sent to you by email
Step 5: Visit Adobe to redeem your 90 day trial
The lightsaber is one of the most iconic movie weapons of all time, but did you know that many of the most iconic lightsabers in Star Wars lore started their lives as photography equipment? With an entire cottage industry springing up around lightsaber replicas in the wake of ‘The Force Awakens,’ we take a look back at how exactly how the lightsaber hilt came to be, and explain just why Star Wars may be the bane of many photography collectors.
02/13/2017 – As quadcopter design continues to evolve, so does our Airport Helipak V2.0 backpack for DJI Phantom. This newly updated backpack, renowned for its comfort, accommodates a DJI Phantom 4 and similarly sized drones. Its refined design is carry-on compatible for both U.S. domestic or international airline travel. Its custom divider set allows maximum room for extra accessories and gear, including a small camera kit, and features a dedicated 15” laptop compartment.
“We updated the backpack to carry a DJI Phantom 4, a 15” laptop, controller, GoPros, chargers, spare rotors, extra batteries, jacket, tools, and more,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo’s CEO and lead designer. “The contoured adjustable harness with lumbar support, articulated air-channel, removable padded waistbelt, and height-adjustable sternum strap enable comfort for travel into remote areas.”
YKK RC Fuse zippers, 1680D Ballistic nylon bottom panel, metal hardware, and nylon webbing are the most durable, long-lasting materials on the market
Side pocket for tripod attachment or water bottle
Internal see-through mesh pockets for small accessories: rotor blades, screwdriver, cables, and more
Robust handles ensure rapid and easy retrieval from overhead bins, and car trunks
Seam-sealed rain cover helps to protect gear and stows away inside backpack when not in use
Exterior: For superior water-resistance, all exterior fabric has a durable water-repellant (DWR) coating, plus the underside of the fabric has a polyurethane coating. The backpack also features YKK RC Fuse (abrasion-resistant) zippers, 1680D ballistic nylon bottom panel, 600D polyester, 420D velocity nylon, 3D air mesh, ultra-stretch pockets, Y-buckles, antique finish metal hardware, big hole air mesh, nylon webbing, and 3-ply bonded nylon thread.
02/13/2017 – There are times when uneven terrain simply forces photographers to carry their rolling camera bags. Now, with our Airport TakeOff V2.0, you can convert your roller to a backpack. And since the new version is 15% lighter, you can carry your gear to the next location more comfortably. Sized to meet the needs of the traveling professional, the Airport TakeOff V2.0 fits most U.S. domestic and international airline carry-on requirements.
“The Airport TakeOff V2.0 features a custom designed retractable handle with inset channel on aluminum tubing for added strength and durability, making it easier to roll down the street,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo’s CEO and lead designer. “A newly added tablet carry in the laptop pocket and dedicated smart phone pocket in the front flap insure photographers’ tools are easily accessible and at the ready.”
Pocket for tripod mount or water bottle on side (Additional straps included for larger tripods)
Cable and combination lock included for securing the lockable zippers
YKK RC Fuse zippers, ballistic nylon, high-density velex and closed-cell PU
foam are the highest quality materials in the industry
Top compartment cradles large camera bodies for a perfect fit
Interior zippered pockets for batteries, CF cards, filters and accessories
Custom-designed, high-performance, 80mm wheels with sealed ABEC grade 5 bearings for quiet rolling
User-replaceable retractable handle, wheels and feet
Extra tall wheel housings protect bag from scrapes and scratches
Seam-sealed rain cover included
Grab handles on three sides for lifting bag into the overhead bin
Reinforced dividers support heavy gear and maintain strength over time
Business card holder on top for identification
Exterior: For superior water-resistance, all exterior fabric has a durable water-repellent (DWR) coating, plus underside of fabric has a polyurethane coating. The bag is constructed with 1680D ballistic nylon, Poly 600D, YKK RC Fuse (abrasion-resistant) zippers, custom designed extra tall skid plates, high performance 80mm super quiet wheels with sealed bearings, SpanKodra front pocket, rubberized laminate reinforcement, 320G airmesh, nylon webbing, and 3-ply bonded nylon thread.
Interior: 210D silver-toned nylon, polyurethane backed Velex liner and dividers, 2x polyurethane coated nylon 210T seam-sealed rain cover, closed-cell foam and reinforced PE board dividers, clear mesh pockets, and 3-ply bonded nylon thread.
Internal Dimensions: 13” W x 18.5” H x 5.3– 6.8” D (33 x 47 x 13–17 cm)
Exterior Dimensions: 14” W x 21” H x 8” D (35.5 x 53 x 22 cm)
Laptop Pocket: 11.4” W x 16.3” H x 1.4” D (29 x 41.5 x 3.6 cm)
Tablet Pocket: 9.8” W x 9.4” H x 0.8” D (25 x 24 x 2 cm)
Weight: 7.0–8.7 lbs. (3.2–3.9 kg) depending on accessories used