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 Thursday, May 21, 2015
Canon 24-70mm L II Captures Reflections at Independence Pass, Colorado
A great way to make a good scene better is to add a reflection and water is perhaps the most common reflective surface used in landscape photography. At least relatively still water is needed if what is reflecting is to be recognizable and, when shooting in extremely windy locations (this one qualifies), small bodies of water tend to be most still.
 
Shaded water often provides a better reflective water surface than water under direct sunlight. At the top of Independence Pass, the setting sun shines horizontally across the landscape and casts a shadow evenly across this small alpine meadow pond. The dark water nicely reflects the great clouds overhead
 
This is a manual HDR processed image with a subtle increase in reflection brightness being the result.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, 500px and Facebook. Also, if reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
Post Date: 5/21/2015 10:20:30 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon Professional Network Logo
From the Canon Professional Network:
“I didn’t know I needed it, until I saw the quality...”
 
Fashion photographer and Canon Explorer Quentin Caffier is on fashion photography’s fast track. One of Europe’s new breed of busy modern professionals, his recent shoot with a pre-production EOS 5DS has convinced him that – to stay ahead of the curve – he needs every one of those 50.6 Megapixels. CPN caught up with him recently to find out why...
 
“I am always looking for quality in my pictures,” he states. “But in my work I have to shoot fast. From my previous experience with high megapixel medium-format cameras, the bigger the megapixels meant the slower the camera. And for me, when I use a camera like that, the risk I face when working with models spinning around in dresses, for example, was always that I might lose the shot. That’s why I always preferred to use my EOS-1D X DSLR because I knew it would never let me down. Its reactions were always so much faster.”
 
But the advantage of speed always came at the expense of ultimate image quality. In Quentin’s business, detail is king and when the EOS 5DS arrived he was keener than most to see how it performed.
 
“I only had the opportunity to use it twice, because there was only one body to share amongst all the other Canon Explorers,” Quentin explains, “But it was enough. I shot JPEG because the RAW software was still being developed at the time, but I can tell you that I was impressed.”
See the entire article on the Canon Professional Network.
 
B&H has the Canon EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R available for preorder.
Post Date: 5/21/2015 10:54:58 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Vincent Laforet Vimeo Channel:
 
Our flight over London, May 2015 took in some of the most iconic sites of the city. We were lucky to have great weather and visibility from 6000ft on this 2 hour flight over the city.
 
You can see more of Laforet's Air Series on laforetair.com.
Post Date: 5/21/2015 8:30:19 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens
B&H has the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens in stock with free expedited shipping. While you're at it, you may want to pick up the lens hood too.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • EF Mount Lens/Full-Frame Format
  • Maximum Aperture: f/1.8
  • Optimized Lens Coatings
  • STM AF Motor Supports Movie Servo AF
  • Manual Focus Override
  • Metal Lens Mount
  • Rounded 7-Blade Diaphragm
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 14"
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/21/2015 7:42:34 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, May 20, 2015

 
Pizza Hut wants to warn the public about the dangers of using Selfie Sticks.
 
Keep in mind, Selphie Stick abuse is not limited to smartphone users. Even DLR users are at risk.
 
DSLR Selphie Stick

Setup: 5D Mark III + EF 17-40mm f/4L USM mounted on a Manfrotto 680B Compact Monopod with Desmond DMH-01 Tilt Head. Vignetting added in post.
Post Date: 5/20/2015 12:24:47 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens for Canon in stock with free expedited shipping.
Post Date: 5/20/2015 11:52:35 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Kat and Laura Instrumental Duo
by Sean Setters
 
Kat is a musician and operates a music instruction business that is literally a stone's throw away from my mailbox. I often see her going in and out of her studio when walking to the nearby grocery store.
 
One day we struck up a conversation and, naturally, I mentioned that I was a photographer. With a look of surprise she said, "Really? What a coincidence! My music partner and I were just talking about doing some promotional shots for our business."
 
Kat would go on to explain that she had teamed up with Laura, a cello player, and they were doing side gigs playing wedding receptions and various events. They wanted a few images to promote their own music (single portraits) and to promote their instrumental duo.
 
When I asked what Kat what kind of look or feel she wanted for the images, she replied, "Something with nature."
 
I told her I'd come up with something.
 
One evening a few days later, I was visiting a friend when I noticed a home in his neighborhood that featured a beautifully landscaped yard. The yard had fantastic rock formations, a stream and several trees that all screamed "nature." Another benefit of the location was its proximity to the road and a small area off to the side for parking. In short, the location was close to town, easily accessible and could be framed in a way to make it look like we were out in the middle of nowhere. Perfect.
 
I immediately knocked on the home's front door with the intent of asking the homeowner if I could use his yard for a shoot (a bit bold, yes). The homeowner wasn't home. I took a few pictures of the yard using my cell phone to document the location with a mental note to return again to introduce myself to the home owner.
 
I returned the following day with a typed, signed letter introducing myself to leave for the home owner just in case he/she was once again not home. When I pulled up to the home, the homeowner – a very nice gentleman by the name of Danny – was blowing the leaves and grass off his driveway obviously having just finished mowing. He looked a bit standoffish as I approached, likely because I looked like a traveling salesman or an evangelist walking down the driveway.
 
The first words out of my mouth set him at ease. "Don't worry, I'm not selling anything. I simply have a favor to ask. My name is Sean and I'm a local photographer..."
 
I continued to explain about my clients, their desire for a natural setting, and how the images were intended to be used. I complimented his yard and landscaping several times in the conversation (sincere flattery) and noted that I thought it would be absolutely perfect for their needs. A little to my surprise, Danny didn't even hesitate. "Sure, come over anytime. It doesn't matter whether I'm here or not. No need to tell me you're coming. Just be careful around the rocks."
 
I love the South. :-)
 
I emailed Kat the location images I had snapped with my phone and she thought the scene looked great. With the "go-ahead," we scheduled the shoot.
 
On the day of the shoot I arrived a little early to set up the lighting gear. Using the Photographer's Ephemeris web app, I knew that the sun would be positioned behind the spot I wanted to use around 4pm. This would have been ideal. Unfortunately, Kat and Laura were only available in the morning, meaning I would have to fight the sun which was positioned in front of them.
 
I tackled the direct sunlight problem by shading the duo with two umbrellas camera left (boomed above). I originally intended on shooting my tripod-based images with the umbrellas in the scene and then shooting a reference image without the umbrellas so that I could remove the umbrellas from all of the images in post. When the cloud cover arrived later in the shoot, I simply removed the umbrellas. All the example shots in this post occurred after we removed the umbrellas from the scene.
 
Here's how I lit the scene:
 
  • White Lightning x1600, camera right, diffused by a 43" octabox
  • White Lightning x3200, camera left, diffused by an extreme silver parabolic umbrella (with diffusion cover in place)
  • Canon 580EX, camera left (behind subjects), 1/2 CTO gelled
You can see the setup below.
 
Kat and Laura Setup

 
For my camera and lens, I used a tripod mounted 5D Mark III and one of my favorite lenses, the EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM with a Singh-Ray Vari-N-Duo. The 85mm focal length was a good fit considering that I had to position the camera on the other side of a ditch between the subjects and myself. Being pretty far back from the scene, the 85mm focal length also allowed for a not-too-tight / more loosely framed composition which would give Kat and Laura more ways to crop the image for a wide range marketing materials (letter, postcard, brochure, web, etc). The variable ND filter (mounted via a step-up ring) allowed me to utilize the lens's wider apertures (f/1.8 in this case) while keeping the shutter speed at or below the flash sync speed for a more blurred background.
 
While the setup was a lot of work, the results proved worth the effort (I think). Here were some of the individual promotional images we shot.
 
Kat and Violin
Kat and her Violin

Laura and Cello 1
Laura and the Cello 1


Laura and Cello 2
Laura and Cello 2


Takeaways:
 
  1. Always be on the lookout for good locations. You never know when and where you'll run across something that's just perfect.
  2. Don't be afraid to ask permission to use a location. The worst they can say is "no."
  3. Arrive ahead of your clients if you anticipate needing a decent amount of setup time. Doing so will ensure your clients are ready to shoot fresh upon arrival.
  4. Frame loosely for promotional images that won't be used in a large format. Doing so gives your client much more flexibility to use the images on a wide range of materials with varying aspect ratios and typesetting needs.
In the end, the clients loved the images and even gave me a bonus on top of the agreed-upon fee. It proved to be a great session all-around.
 
You can find higher resolution images on my Flickr photostream:
 
Post Date: 5/20/2015 10:16:07 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
The 24-70 L II Visits the Last Dollar Ranch, Telluride
Colorado is known for its big ranches and a big ranch calls for a grand entrance. The Last Dollar Ranch on Last Dollar Road near Dallas Divide (and RT 62) has one of my favorite such entrances. The huge mountains behind large golden fields fronted by a rustic wooden fence and of course, a grand entrance create a simply beautiful scene.
 
To make the entrance appear grand in the image, I moved in close and used a wide angle focal length.
 
Just looking at this photo brings back memories of the large heard of elk in the distance and I can still hear the large bull bugling. That is the power of an image.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, 500px and Facebook. Also, if reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
Post Date: 5/20/2015 9:14:32 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
From Canon USA:
 
When you travel, time seems to fly by. Don't regret it later because your experiences are too extraordinary to remember with photos that are just "good enough." The places you go, the people you meet and your adventures of a lifetime are worth getting the right shot with a Canon camera.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/20/2015 6:41:00 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Tamron Logo
From Tamron USA:
 
Tamron lens users can post and share photos with dedicated hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to earn a spot on the Tamron USA website
 
May 19, 2015, Commack, N.Y - Tamron USA announces its #WithMyTamron social media initiative, exclusively offered to all Tamron USA lens users. Participants simply capture photos with their favorite Tamron lenses, tag them with the #WithMyTamron, and upload them to their public Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Photographers may also directly upload from their device, computer or Facebook photos for consideration in the #WithMyTamron gallery at www.tamron-usa.com by using the "Submit a Photo" button.
 
Tamron staff will select their favorite photos tagged with the #WithMyTamron hashtag to appear on the Tamron USA website, where even more viewers-from budding photo enthusiasts to pros-will be inspired by real images taken by real people with Tamron's unmatched lens lineup.
 
Users will be able to search for and share photos with the #WithMyTamron hashtag on social media, fostering a community of dedicated Tamron aficionados who want to see what others are capturing with their own Tamron lenses.
 
B&H carries Tamron lenses.
Category: Tamron News
Post Date: 5/19/2015 3:50:04 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H Photo Video Logo
B&H has posted a great articlce on their Explora site called "44 Tips to Improve Your Photography."
 
Yes, it's a fairly lengthy read as each tip is supported with a small 2-4 sentence paragraph, but the author (Todd Vorenkamp) has done a good job compiling the list and concisely explaining why each one is important.
Post Date: 5/19/2015 9:47:54 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
The 5D III and 70-300 L Visit the San Juan Mountains
After spending a late September day scouting from Crested Butte to Durango and back north to near Telluride with practically no pictures captured, the sun finally broke through an opening in the heavy clouds that had produced rain and the season's first snow for most of the day. This is the breathtaking scene that was presented to me.
 
Capturing attractive landscape images with a telephoto lens is sometimes so easy that it almost feels like cheating. I safely pulled off the road, setup and quickly shot until the sun went back behind the curtain of heavy clouds.
 
Looking for a fall foliage photography trip? Few locations are better than the San Juan Mountains in Colorado. The aspen trees play a starring role in this spectacular landscape.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, 500px and Facebook. Also, if reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
Post Date: 5/19/2015 8:46:21 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Rode VideoMic Pro with upgraded Rycote Lyre Suspension System
From RØDE:
 
RØDE Microphones is announcing an upgrade to its number one selling microphone worldwide, the VideoMic Pro.
 
Originally released in 2010, the VideoMic Pro quickly became an industry standard on-camera shotgun microphone for professionals and enthusiasts alike. With its small form factor, superior audio quality and industry first +20db level boost, it was the perfect companion for DSLR cameras as they became the go-to device for high definition video capture.
 
Determined to raise the bar again in 2015, RØDE’s all new VideoMic Pro will feature the acclaimed Rycote Lyre suspension system, along with an upgraded microphone capsule, improving both the physical characteristics and audio performance of the microphone.
 
Already implemented on the VideoMic and VideoMic GO, the Rycote Lyre suspension system is widely regarded as the best microphone shock mounting solution available. Featuring a suspension structure composed of a hard-wearing thermoplastic, it is far more effective at minimising unwanted vibrations, handling and cable-borne noise than traditional elastic suspensions. Virtually indestructible, the Rycote Lyre will never sag, snap, wear out or require rethreading to maintain its effectiveness.
 
Completing the upgrade is an all-new microphone capsule, giving the 2015 VideoMic Pro even higher sensitivity and lower self-noise, ensuring crystal clear audio capture over a wider dynamic range.
 
“The VideoMic Pro was a revelation for DSLR users the world over, making broadcast quality audio accessible to everyone at an affordable price” comments Damien Wilson, RØDE’s Global Sales and Marketing Director. “Now we’re taking it to another level. With the Rycote Lyre upgrade, and an upgraded capsule, it’s now even better value for such an amazing broadcast quality product.”
 
The VideoMic Pro featuring Rycote Lyre suspension is shipping to authorised RØDE dealers now.
 
B&H carries the RØDE VideoMic Pro.
Category: Rode News
Post Date: 5/19/2015 8:09:28 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens
Post Date: 5/19/2015 7:37:52 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, May 18, 2015
CreativeLive Logo
From CreativeLive:
 
Follow your dream of becoming a wildly successful wedding photographer! Tune in today at 9 AM Pacific for the live kickoff of The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience.
 
In this six-week class, Jasmine Star will cover every aspect of both the business and creative sides of wedding photography. Watch Now and tune in every weekday throughout the series for a new lesson.
 
Watch Live Now
Post Date: 5/18/2015 11:34:55 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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