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 Tuesday, June 03, 2014
Watching the Game through the Player's Eyes
When I'm shooting field sports, my favorite images are very frequently tightly cropped shots that include the subject's face and the game ball. Because these fields are generally very large and invariably, my subject is deep in them, the Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS II USM Lens is what I'm usually using.
 
Tracking action with a narrow angle of view is somewhat challenging, especially when implementing the tight framing I'm referring to. When the framing is ideally-tightly cropped (in camera), it is extremely challenging to release the shutter the moment the ball enters the frame. That is where another strategy combined with the Canon EOS 1D X's 12 fps frame rate comes into play. I follow the subject in the viewfinder and watch the game through the player's eyes.
 
In this photo example, I knew that the opposing keeper was going to kick the ball and that my player was in position to potentially receive of that kick. I half-pressed the shutter release to begin focus-tracking in AI-Servo mode. As I watched her eyes and facial expression (sports bring out the best of these), I could tell that she was about to intercept the ball. I fully-pressed the shutter release and, along with a few before and after shots, captured 3 with-ball frames of the player's approximately .3 second interaction with the ball. One frame had the ball entering (shared here), one included the ball just after impacting her foot and the third included the ball leaving the frame in the same position it entered from. Using a wait-until-I-see-the-ball strategy to begin shooting and estimating a .2 second reaction time as being best-possible, I would have been very fortunate to get even one frame with the ball included.
 
This image is actually a composite of two of those frames. The image with the ideal-for-compositional-balance ball position was framed so that the ref's face was cropped at the eyes. This was no problem since I had a handful of other images captured at the same time and some had more of the ref's head included. I simply aligned one of those other images under the main image to add to add the missing details to the top of my preferred image.
 
Another comment I should make about this image is that it was captured under full sunlight at a terrible time of the day for lighting (1:18 PM). This lighting typically creates harsh shadows under eyebrows, creating the raccoon-eye look (see the ref's eyes for an example). Unfortunately, photographers do not usually get to schedule sporting events around their ideal photographical lighting times. You must deal with what is available. Because my player was looking upward in this photo, her face is fully lit.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
600mm  f/4.0  1/1600s  ISO 200  3456 x 5432px
Post Date: 6/3/2014 8:50:07 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
SLIK Logo
From Kenko Tokina USA:
 
JUNE 2, 2014 – Kenko Tokina USA, Inc. is pleased to announce the new CFL series of SLIK carbon fiber tripods with newly developed S.R.L. Speed Release Locks and several other enhancements for easier use. The 6 tripods in this series cover the range from compact feather-weight tripods for back-packing to larger tripods for use on location with heavier equipment.
 
The main features of the new Slik carbon fiber tripods are:
 
NEW S.R. L (Speed Release leg Locks)
The New series of SLIK carbon fiber tripods are equipped with new proprietary Speed Release Locks for fast easy set-up and pack-up. These fast easy-to-use lever locks are spring-loaded to hold each section of the tripod legs securely but do not snap-back so there is no pitching of fingers while using them.
 
8X Multi-layered Carbon Fiber
Carbon Fiber material is actually comprised of 8 layers of inter-woven carbon strands that are then bonded together in a sealed, high-pressure furnace. When finished, this material is more than 40% lighter than standard aluminum and very rigid, making it great for applications from space vehicles to tripod legs.
 
A.R.S (Anti-Rotational System)
All of the New SLIK PRO carbon fiber tripods feature a new A.R.S (Anti-Rotational System) designed into the leg locks. The anti-rotational systems prevent the leg tubes from rotating inside each other making it much easier to lock and release.
 
Multi-Angle Leg Locks
Each leg has an independent lock that sets in one 3 angles to vary the height and stance of the tripod. The three setting are for maximum height, waist level or low angle photography close to the ground. It also makes it easier to set up the tripod on uneven ground, steps or rocks.
 
Built-in Short Columns
The center columns unscrew into two pieces to create a much shorter column for use in low angle photography or to reduce weight.
 
New Slik CFL models:
 
PRO 624 CFL, PRO 634 CFL, PRO 723 CFL, PRO 724 CFL, PRO 823 CFL, PRO 824 CFL
 
B&H carries SLIK Carbon Fiber Tripods.
Category: SLIK News
Post Date: 6/3/2014 7:17:59 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
SanDisk Logo
From SanDisk:
 
New Client SATA SSD Delivers Blazingly Fast, Sustained Speed for Graphics-Intensive Environments
 
COMPUTEX 2014 — TAIPEI, Taiwan — June 3, 2014 — SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ: SNDK), a global leader in flash storage solutions, today announced the availability of its new SanDisk Extreme PRO SSD—a drive designed for gamers, PC enthusiasts and media professionals who demand the highest possible consistent, real-world performance1. With sequential read speeds of 550 megabytes/second (MB/S) and write speeds of up to 520 MB/s, the SanDisk Extreme PRO loads and runs graphics-intensive applications and game levels in a heartbeat. Additionally, by offering up to 1TB-Class of capacity, the SanDisk Extreme PRO SSD provides the space needed to store even the biggest programs, games or files, and load them blazingly fast—transforming any PC or console into a serious gaming machine.
 
“Building off the success of our award-winning SanDisk Extreme II, the new SanDisk Extreme PRO leverages the latest developments in our innovative nCache Pro Technology to enable 24x7, real-world drive performance and responsiveness,” said Kevin Conley, senior vice president and general manager, Client Storage Solutions at SanDisk. “With its ability to deliver consistently fast computing backed by the industry’s first 10-year limited warranty, the Extreme PRO SSD delivers the performance, trusted reliability and value that enthusiasts and professionals expect from SanDisk.”
 
SanDisk’s nCache Pro technology utilizes a two-tiered caching architecture to optimize speed and endurance for heavy workloads, efficient multi-tasking, and incredibly fast responsiveness from desktops, laptops, and gaming consoles. The technology allows the SanDisk Extreme PRO to super-charge a PC for power gamers, developers, media professionals and PC enthusiasts who need consistent, real-world, pro-level performance for their most demanding and graphics-intensive applications.
 
According to DFC Intelligence, PC gaming revenue recently eclipsed console gaming and they forecast that the PC gaming market will exceed $25 billion in 20142. This increasing popularity is being largely driven by the rise of multiplayer online battle arena titles and free-to-play games. With the SanDisk Extreme PRO, an industry leading, real-world performance SSD, anyone can upgrade their PC to boot up faster, open files more quickly, and load programs, applications, and games in a fraction of the time. The SanDisk Extreme PRO is also supported by the new SanDisk SSD Dashboard application for Windows, which provides drive performance monitoring, firmware updates, manual or scheduled TRIM, secure erase, drive health, longevity, and temperature indicators, so that users can increase the operating efficiency of their SSD. The SanDisk SSD Dashboard is available for download immediately at www.sandisk.com/ssddashboard.
 
The SanDisk Extreme PRO SSD will be available online and purchasable through SanDisk’s worldwide network of authorized distributors and resellers in June. Offering an industry-leading 10-year limited warranty, the SanDisk Extreme PRO SSD is compatible with any PC, laptop or game console that accepts 2.5’’ SATA storage devices, and is offered in capacities of 240GB (MSRP $189), 480GB (MSRP $369), and 960GB (MSRP $599).
 
B&H carries SanDisk Solid State Drives.
Category: SanDisk News
Post Date: 6/3/2014 6:54:00 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Adobe Creative Cloud Logo
From Adobe:
 
We're making it easier than ever to build your design skills. Join us June 16-21 for a special live event that will arm you with working knowledge of the most powerful software suite in the world. During this week of hands-on instruction, we'll be dedicating an entire day to each of the major Adobe Apps - Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere, Dreamweaver, and After Effects. From creating motion graphics to editing photos like a pro, this one-of-a-kind event will give you the tools to use Creative Cloud to take your projects to new creative heights. If you're new to Creative Cloud and want to learn the basics, or are an experienced user who wants to take advantage of all the latest Adobe updates, this is the perfect opportunity to learn everything you need to know. RSVP Now!
 
Everyday Photoshop: From Workflow to Smartflow with Dave Cross
Get ready for Adobe Creative Apps Starter Kit by optimizing your Photoshop workflow. Join Adobe expert Dave Cross, June 9-11, to learn how to transform your editing workflow into an efficient smartflow system. In his three-day class, Dave will share non-destructive techniques that will help you save time, work smarter and be more creative. RSVP Now!
 
Adobe Creative Apps Starter Kit Schedule:
 
Adobe Photoshop CC
with Ben Willmore
June 16
RSVP FOR THE FREE LIVE CLASS
 
Adobe Premiere Pro CC
with Larry Jordan
June 17
RSVP FOR THE FREE LIVE CLASS
 
Adobe Dreamweaver CC
with Janine Warner
June 18
RSVP FOR THE FREE LIVE CLASS
 
Adobe After Effects CC
with Jeff Foster
June 19
RSVP FOR THE FREE LIVE CLASS
 
Adobe InDesign CC
with Khara Plicanic
June 20
RSVP FOR THE FREE LIVE CLASS
 
Adobe Illustrator CC
with Erica Gamet
June 21
RSVP FOR THE FREE LIVE CLASS
 
Note: Adobe has extended their Photoshop Photography Program Special. Now through June 17, you can get Photoshop CC & Lightroom 5 for $9.99/mo (with 1 year commitment) with no previous ownership requirements.
Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 6/3/2014 6:27:42 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, June 02, 2014

 
From the Profoto Blog:
 
A couple of months ago, I [Andrea Belluso] shared with you a shoot I did for Pall Mall Barbers, one of the oldest and most respected barbershops in London. Today’s shoot was done for the same client. But this time they wanted the model portrayed in more relaxed kind of environment.
 
After giving it some thought, I decided to keep things simple. We brought the team and our model Knut to Story Restaurant just across the street from the Profoto office in Stockholm to shoot Knut relaxing in their lounge with a cup of tea in his hand.
 
The same thinking went into our choice of equipment – keeping it simple. So, we brought a single B1 off-camera flash, an Umbrella Deep Silver L and an Umbrella Deep White XL.
 
The B1 was chosen because I knew we would be shooting with a limited amount of time and space. Because in my experience, the B1 tends to make those kinds of shoots a lot easier.
 
The Umbrella Deep Silver L was brought to be our main light. I wanted a crispy light, rich in contrast, but with a focused and quite small light spread, and the Umbrella Deep Silver L is great for that. As most umbrellas, it’s also easy to carry with you and easy to use in a narrow space such as this.
 
The Umbrella Deep White XL was brought to light up the brick wall and a small part of the reception behind our model. This light needed to be a bit wider than out main light. I also wanted a bit less contrast and a slightly softer light. So, the Umbrella Deep White XL felt as an obvious choice.
 
All in all, it was a quite simple yet practical and portable set up that gave me exactly the result I was after in almost no time.
 
B&H carries Profoto umbrellas.
Post Date: 6/2/2014 8:47:23 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Lens
Image quality, flare, distortion and vignetting test results along with specs/measurements have been added to the Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM Lens Review page.
Post Date: 6/2/2014 7:49:45 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
From B&H's YouTube Channel:
 
Using small flashes on location is often preferable to lugging around larger studio lights and battery packs or even gasoline-powered generators. Whether you shoot fashion, weddings, families, seniors, or events, let Bob Harrington show you how to mix light on location with small flashes and simple lighting gear.
 
Related Products

Post Date: 6/2/2014 7:19:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
Watch as Lowepro puts one of their Pro Roller X-Series AW bags through a myriad of tests and see how they celebrate. Cheers!
 
B&H carries Lowepro Pro Roller X-Series AW bags.
Category: Lowepro News
Post Date: 6/2/2014 6:48:34 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, May 30, 2014
Nikon 1 S1 Mirrorless Camera with 11-27mm Lens (Red)
B&H has the Nikon 1 S1 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 11-27.5mm Lens available for $199.00 with free shipping. Regularly $249.00.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 5/30/2014 12:08:18 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
eBay (via BestPriceOptics - 99.8% Positive feedback) has the Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens (for Canon/Nikon) available for $189.99 with free shipping. Compare at $229.95.
Post Date: 5/30/2014 10:13:28 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Tokina 12-28mm f/4.0 AT-X Pro DX Lens
The Tokina 12-28mm f/4.0 AT-X Pro DX Lens Review page now includes image quality, flare, distortion and vignetting test results along with specs/measurements.
Post Date: 5/30/2014 8:37:57 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Nikon D800 DSLR Camera
Right now, you can get the Nikon D800 DSLR camera for $2,796.95 with free shipping after $200.00 instant savings. But don't wait – the rebate is scheduled to expire tomorrow, May 31.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 5/30/2014 8:27:04 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Adobe Creative Cloud Logo
From Adobe:
 
Version 1.6.0.393 released on 05/27/2014

  • You can now install older versions of Adobe products straight from Creative Cloud Desktop. These are installed side-by-side with existing versions.
  • Improved performance when syncing a large number of files.
  • Fixed scenarios where font sync would show perpetual spinner.
  • Improved overall font sync stability.
  • Improved error handling for file sync, including the addition of notifications when retrying can resolve an error.
  • Batched notifications of file sync operations, limiting the number of notifications when a large number of files are synced in a short period of time.
  • Redesigned Sign In experience.
  • Increased types of enterprise identities accepted for licensing products.

Note: Don't miss Adobe's Photoshop Photography Program deal expiring soon. That's Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5 for only $9.99 per month with no previous ownership requirements (offer valid through May 31).

Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 5/30/2014 7:14:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, May 29, 2014
Western Digital My Passport Ultra 2TB External Hard Drive
Adorama has a WD My Passport Ultra 2TB External Hard Drive with Samsung 64GB microSDXC Card Bundle available for an in-cart price of $114.99 with free shipping. Compare at $108.05 without 64GB microSD card.
 
Bundle Includes

  • WD My Passport Ultra 2TB Portable External Hard Drive
  • Samsung Pro Series 64GB Class 10 microSDXC Card ($50.00 value)

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX II Lens
Image quality, flare, distortion and vignetting test results along with specs/measurements have been added to the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro DX II Lens Review page.
Post Date: 5/29/2014 9:55:31 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
SanDisk Extreme 64GB CompactFlash Memory Card 160MB/s
B&H has select SanDisk Extreme / Extreme Pro CompactFlash memory cards on sale with free shipping. See below for details.
 
SanDisk Deals

ItemReg. PriceSavingsSale Price
SanDisk Extreme Pro 64GB 160MB/s CompactFlash$272.95$75.00$197.95
SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB 160MB/s CompactFlash$126.95$28.00$98.95
SanDisk Extreme Pro 16GB 160MB/s CompactFlash$74.45$4.50$69.95
SanDisk Extreme 64GB 120MB/s CompactFlash$143.95$64.00$79.95
SanDisk Extreme 32GB 120MB/s CompactFlash$79.95$30.00$49.95
SanDisk Extreme 16GB 120MB/s CompactFlash$47.95$8.00$39.95

Post Date: 5/29/2014 9:50:14 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
A Call from my Wife, a Dandelion Field and the Zeiss 15mm Lens
I always appreciate photo subject and location scouting help and my family looks out for me in this regard. It was early-mid morning and I was sitting in my office when the phone rang. As you guessed from the title, it was my wife. "The neighbor's field is full of yellow dandelions in full bloom. The light is perfect."
 
My wife has a good eye for beauty (she married me, didn't she? OK, OK, just kidding). I knew that the field she was talking about was indeed full of these yellow flowers and I had already considered photographing them. The part of the report that I was most questioning was the perfect light part. It was well after the golden hour and the sky did not look hazy enough to remain warm and/or soft this late in the morning.
 
The big question was, "Did I want to carve out an hour+ of my day for this shoot?" Keeping the scouts happy always has merit, the blooms were not going to last for long and a circular polarizer filter can take care of the high sun issue, so I loaded a couple of lenses and a 5D III into a Think Tank Photo StreetWalker Backpack and drove a couple of miles to the field.
 
My goal was to create an attractive photo highlighting the massive quantity of yellow dandelions, so the lenses I took were of the wide angle variety. Upon walking up to the field, I realized that looking downward revealed a much lower flower density than I wanted to see and dirt showed between many of the green plants in this hay field. Looking at the field from a low vantage point (from near or far) showed the bed of bright yellow flowers perspective I was looking for.
 
The chicken barn was not going to be avoided being included in the frame with the wide angle lenses I had with me, so I embraced it. Much of the very long barn was featureless, but taking a position close to the feed bins allowed the bins to become a prominent feature of the barn.
 
With the sun still relatively low in the sky, the CPOL filter needed a specific angle into the scene to work its magic.
 
The final composition involved finding the best-available foreground flower clumps relatively close to the grain bins, getting down close to ground and shooting in the angle providing the best CPOL filter effect. While I often avoid getting much of a clear sky in the frame, I felt that the bright polarized blue gradient sky color was attractive and added balance to this overall composition.
 
Down low and up close to the foreground flowers meant that an f/16 depth of field was not quite enough to give me sharp details in the closest foreground subjects, so I shot a second frame with those subjects in better focus. The two frames were stacked in Photoshop layers and the not-sharp-enough foreground details were erased from the top layer to allow the sharper second layer to show through.
 
What I didn't remember from childhood is that the yellow readily comes off of dandelion flowers. Upon getting into the car, I realized that my pants were very yellow. They were still yellow after blowing them off with an air compressor and they were still somewhat yellow after their first washing. All photos have a cost, but some have unforeseen costs.
 
In the end, I was glad my wife called and the collection of images I captured on this morning were worth the costs.
Post Date: 5/29/2014 9:06:30 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Nikon D5200 DSLR with 18-55mm VR Lens
eBay (via BuyDig) has a Refurbished Nikon D5200 DSLR with 18-55mm VR Lens & Adobe Lightroom 5 Bundle available for $499.99 with free shipping. Compare at $696.95 without Lightroom 5.
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