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 Friday, May 15, 2015
Elinchrom ELC Pro HD 1000/1000 To Go 2 Light Kit
Want powerful portable lighting? B&H has the Elinchrom ELC Pro HD 1000/1000 To Go 2 Light Kit on sale for 50% off. This lighting kits normally sells for $2,999.95 but is on sale for $1,599.95, a $1,400.00 savings.
 
  • 2x 1,000W/s Flash Heads
  • 1x ProTec Poly Bag
  • 1x EL Skyport SPEED Transmitter
  • 2x Umbrella Reflectors
  • Fan Cooled
  • Fast Recycling, Short Flash Durations
  • Heads Have Multi-voltage Power Supply
Elinchrom makes premium lighting gear. I have used Elinchrom monolights exclusively in my studio for nearly 10 years. The only failure I experienced was when I unbalanced a light stand I was carrying with a monolight hitting the concrete floor very hard, and in that case, I experienced good repair service.
Post Date: 5/15/2015 6:37:24 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, May 14, 2015
SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I SDXC U3 Memory Card
Post Date: 5/14/2015 11:31:12 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter
Want to try out drone-based aerial photography/videography? If so, B&H has a great deal for you. Today only, get the DJI Phantom 2 Quadcopter (original version, refurbished condition) on sale for $230.00 off: $349.95 (originally $579.95).
 
  • 6-channel, 2.4GHz Wi-Fi Transmitter
  • Up to 3,280' Line-of-Sight Wi-Fi Range
  • Up to 22 Minutes Flying Time
  • Naza-M V2 Flight Control System
  • GPS-Based Autopilot with Return to Home
  • Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC)
  • Supports Dual Flight Control Modes
  • LED Indicators & Low Voltage Protection
  • Self-Tightening Prop Design
Camera not included: This drone is GoPro-ready (mount included), but the GoPro (or other) camera is not included. The GoPro Hero, the least expensive GoPro model, is $129.99.
Post Date: 5/14/2015 10:59:32 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
A 5-Step Recipe for Bird Photography Success
Cookbooks are filled with successful recipes and successful bird photography is similarly not limited to a single recipe, but here is a recipe that works every time.
 
1. Start with a great camera and lens.
 
The Canon EOS 7D Mark II and Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens are excellent choices.
 
2. Find a beautiful bird properly posed against a clean background.
 
A snowy egret in breeding plumage easily qualifies for this main ingredient. A practically uninterrupted clear blue sky background frame keeps the viewer's eye on the main subject.
 
3. Time the bird meetup with an early or late day sun at your back.
 
Lighting is one of the most important ingredients to any photo. Early and late day direct sunlight, generally warm in color and slightly diffused in hardness, is a highly desired source of light. The 5:50 PM light was so warm in this case that I decided to cool the 7D II's AWB (Auto White Balance) choice very noticeably in post processing. Because the sunlight was directing my shadow toward the bird, subject shadows are very minimal.
 
4. Cue a side or tail wind to ruffle the bird's feathers.
 
Birds like to face the wind, keeping their feathers in line. When a side or tail wind presents itself, I like to take advantage of it. The ruffled feathers add a character to the image and in this case, the wind pushed the breeding plumage into better view.
 
5. Carefully time the shutter release
 
Birds are often constantly moving and timing the shutter release, in conjunction with balanced framing and accurate AF, is a challenge. With the 7D II's wide-set AF points, I was able to select a point that covered the bird's head without recomposing needed. When the bird turned its head to the side, I quickly pressed the shutter release and the 7D II's short shutter lag did not get in the way.
 
Compared to the effort required for many of my photos, this was a very easy photo to capture. Being at the right place at the right time to apply the recipe was all that was needed.
 
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.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
371mm  f/8.0  1/200s
ISO 100
3648 x 5472px
Post Date: 5/14/2015 9:43:45 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Drop-Down List Tip
As the number of lenses with test results available in our database increases, the amount of scrolling necessary to navigate the drop-down list boxes also increases, especially for brands sorting lower in the alphabet. To speed up the lens selection process, after opening the drop-down list, simply press the first letter of the brand name you want to select using the keyboard. The first-sorted option that starts with the typed letter will immediately be selected.
 
For example, to get to the Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 Lens in a drop-down list box, click the list box's down arrow to show the list of all lenses tested, then press "z" and finish scrolling to find and select this lens.
 
Since I know in advance that Zeiss lenses will be at the end of the list, I could also have pressed the "End" key to quickly scroll to this lens. If a Zeiss lens is already selected and a high-in-the-list Canon lens is the selection target, the "Home" or "c" keys will take you there fast.
 
Try this tip now using the image quality tool.
Post Date: 5/14/2015 8:21:51 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Sigma 150-600mm OS Sports Lens
Image quality results from a second lens copy have been added to the Sigma 150-600mm OS Sports Lens review page (full review coming soon).
 
The first link shared in this post compares the latest-tested lens ("2") to the prior-tested lens ("1").
 
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm OS Sports Lens available for preorder.
 
 
Addressing an FAQ: Will the Sigma 150-600mm OS Contemporary Lens Be Tested?
 
Absolutely. At just over half the price of the Sports model and at about the same price as the Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens, the Contemporary lens holds a lot of interest. A great feature is that it can be found in stock.
 
A retail copy of the Sigma 150-600mm OS Contemporary Lens is scheduled to arrive today. Test results should be available in the near future.
Post Date: 5/13/2015 9:57:26 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, May 12, 2015
SanDisk Extreme 256GB U3/UHS-I SDXC Card
Expired: Amazon.com has the SanDisk Extreme 256GB U3/UHS-I SDXC (Up to 80MB/s Read; 60MB/s Write, SDSDXN-256G-G46) for only $101.45. Compare at $159.95.
 
Select Amazon.com as the seller. Memory cards are too easily counterfeited to trust an unknown source.
 
While this is a great deal, don't plan on this memory card arriving soon. "Usually ships within 2 to 4 weeks" is the specified expectation.
Post Date: 5/12/2015 11:19:12 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
LensRentals Logo
Envision celebrating Memorial Day weekend with some awesome photo gear. LensRentals.com is making that vision easier to become reality with their "Save 15% On Rentals Arriving May 18-19" deal.
 
To take advantage of the offer:
 
  1. Select a May 18th or May 19th arrival date.
  2. Enter the code MDAY15 in the Special Instructions box during checkout.
To support this site through you rental, click on the appropriate product review and then click the Rent button beside the camera/lens you want to rent.
Post Date: 5/12/2015 10:52:26 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, May 11, 2015
Sekonic LiteMaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter
For a limited time, B&H has the Sekonic LiteMaster Pro L-478DR Light Meter and X-Rite ColorChecker Passport available for $369.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $499.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Color Touch Screen Interface
  • Incident, Reflected, Flash Exposures
  • Wireless Flash Power Control
  • Custom Exposure Profiles and Calibration
  • Flash Exposure Analyzing Function
  • Adjustable Menu Navigation
  • Retractable and Removable Lumisphere
  • AAA Battery Power Source
  • Includes X-Rite ColorChecker Passport
  • Includes Sekonic Gray Balance Card
 Sunday, May 10, 2015
Cotton Carrier Lite Belt System
Ever think you wanted to try a Cotton Carrier? If so, now would be a good time to act on that desire.
 
B&H is featuring the Cotton Carrier Lite Belt System for All Camera Types (Black) as their Deal Zone deal for today. The price is 50% off – $49.99 (regularly $99.99).
Post Date: 5/10/2015 7:34:01 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, May 8, 2015
MindShift Gear rotation180° Horizon Backpacks
From Mindshift Gear:
 
Tired of having to take off your backpack to get at your essential gear, our sister outdoor company, MindShift Gear, has released the new, higher volume rotation180° Horizon rotating backpack. The rotation180° Horizon backpack with rotating beltpack allows for instant access to food, binoculars, cameras and lenses, and other essential equipment. Plus, there is now added extra space in the main pack for larger gear, including clothing, climbing gear, and up to a 13” laptop. Daisy chains and ice ax loops provide additional lash points.
 
KEY FEATURES
 
  • Integrated rotating beltpack for accessing trail essentials: camera, 10” tablet, binoculars, maps, guidebook, and snacks.
  • Dedicated zippered hydration compartment on side fits most 3L reservoirs
  • 2 bags in 1: removable beltpack can be worn separately for shorter outings
  • 13” laptop fits in main compartment
  • Backpack holds jacket, layers, hat, gloves, lunch, etc.
  • Front zippered pocket provides quicker access to smaller items, such as climbing gear, field instruments, first aid kit, and climbing shoes
  • Small trekking tripod, or fly rod/reel carry easily on the front or side panels
  • Load–lifter straps adjust the weight distribution for comfortable fit
  • Side water bottle pocket fits most 32 oz. water bottles
  • Two rows of daisy chains for additional attachment points
  • Beltpack compression straps adjust for custom fit
  • Integrates with MindShift’s Tripod Suspension Kit
  • Webbing rail for attaching additional components to waist belt
  • Breathable padded airmesh shoulder harness with adjustable sternum strap
  • Aluminum stay in frame sheet, provides for custom fit
  • Optional seam–sealed rain cover
OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY PROFILES FOR BELTPACK
 
  • Canon 5DMIII with 24-70mm f/2.8 attached + 16–35 mm f/2.8 + tablet
  • Nikon D810 with 70–300 f/4.5–5.6 attached + 18–35 mm f/3.5–4.5 + Flash + tablet
  • 1–3 GoPro bodies, LCD BacPac, remote, batteries, SD cards, various mounts and adaptors + tablet
MATERIALS
 
Exterior: For superior water–resistance, all exterior fabric has durable water–repellant coating, plus the underside of the fabric has a polyurethane coating. It also has high quality YKK zippers, 420D velocity nylon, 420D high–density nylon, 100D shadow Ripstop nylon, 210D velocity nylon, Ultra–Stretch fabric, nylon webbing, 350G airmesh, and 3–ply bonded nylon thread.
 
Interior: 200D polyester lining, belly–o mesh pockets, closed–cell antilon foam, 3–ply bonded nylon thread
 
MindShift Gear has the rotation180° Horizon Backpacks available now.
Post Date: 5/8/2015 3:04:36 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Sanho HyperDrive iUSBportCAMERA2 Wireless Transmitter
For a limited time, B&H has the Sanho HyperDrive iUSBportCAMERA2 Wireless Transmitter available for $188.99 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $298.99.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Control DSLR Remotely via Mobile Device
  • Live View from Smartphone or Tablet
  • Compatible with Canon and Nikon DSLRs
  • Touch AF, Manual Focus & Focus Stacking
  • Wireless Range: Up to 300'
  • Backlit LCD Screen
  • Photo Streaming to 12 Wi-Fi Devices
  • Two USB 2.0 Host Ports & microSD Slot
  • Integrated 3300mAh Battery
Post Date: 5/8/2015 9:20:12 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
MindShift Gear rotation180° Trail Backpacks
From MindShift Gear:
 
Tired of having to take off your backpack to get at your essential gear, our sister outdoor company, MindShift Gear, has released the new, higher volume rotation180° Horizon rotating backpack. The rotation180° Horizon backpack with rotating beltpack allows for instant access to food, binoculars, cameras and lenses, and other essential equipment. Plus, there is now added extra space in the main pack for larger gear, including clothing, climbing gear, and up to a 13” laptop. Daisy chains and ice ax loops provide additional lash points.
 
KEY FEATURES
 
  • Integrated rotating beltpack for accessing trail essentials: camera, 10” tablet, binoculars, maps, guidebook, and snacks.
  • Dedicated zippered hydration compartment on side fits most 3L reservoirs
  • 2 bags in 1: removable beltpack can be worn separately for shorter outings
  • 13” laptop fits in main compartment
  • Backpack holds jacket, layers, hat, gloves, lunch, etc.
  • Front zippered pocket provides quicker access to smaller items, such as climbing gear, field instruments, first aid kit, and climbing shoes
  • Small trekking tripod, or fly rod/reel carry easily on the front or side panels
  • Load–lifter straps adjust the weight distribution for comfortable fit
  • Side water bottle pocket fits most 32 oz. water bottles
  • Two rows of daisy chains for additional attachment points
  • Beltpack compression straps adjust for custom fit
  • Integrates with MindShift’s Tripod Suspension Kit
  • Webbing rail for attaching additional components to waist belt
  • Breathable padded airmesh shoulder harness with adjustable sternum strap
  • Aluminum stay in frame sheet, provides for custom fit
  • Optional seam–sealed rain cover
OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY PROFILES FOR BELTPACK
 
  • Canon 5DMIII with 24-70mm f/2.8 attached + 16–35 mm f/2.8 + tablet
  • Nikon D810 with 70–300 f/4.5–5.6 attached + 18–35 mm f/3.5–4.5 + Flash + tablet
  • 1–3 GoPro bodies, LCD BacPac, remote, batteries, SD cards, various mounts and adaptors + tablet
MATERIALS
 
Exterior: For superior water–resistance, all exterior fabric has durable water–repellant coating, plus the underside of the fabric has a polyurethane coating. It also has high quality YKK zippers, 420D velocity nylon, 420D high–density nylon, 100D shadow Ripstop nylon, 210D velocity nylon, Ultra–Stretch fabric, nylon webbing, 350G airmesh, and 3–ply bonded nylon thread.
 
Interior: 200D polyester lining, belly–o mesh pockets, closed–cell antilon foam, 3–ply bonded nylon thread
 
MindShift Gear has the rotation180° Trail Backpack available for purchase.
Post Date: 5/8/2015 9:01:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Adobe Logo
Don’t miss what Macworld called one of the best conferences of the year. MAX is the place to get inspired and informed by amazing speakers, empowering workshops and over 5,500 other creatives.
 
Register by July 31 to get Early Bird pricing — a full MAX pass for US$1,295, a savings of US$300.*
 
Register Now
 
* Offer expires at 11:59pm (PDT) on July 31, 2015. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Valid only for persons 18 years and older with purchase of one (1) full (three-day) Conference Pass to the Adobe MAX event occurring on October 3–7, 2015. Limit: one (1) discount per person. To register and redeem the US$300 savings with purchase of one (1) full Conference Pass for MAX 2015 (reg. street price US$1,595), visit the MAX registration website by 11:59pm (PDT) on July 31, 2015. Discount will be applied during checkout. Offer not valid with non-full (three-day) MAX passes or for group, bundle, or volume purchases. Offer is subject to availability and may not be exchanged, sold, or transferred; combined with any other discount or offer; or redeemed for cash or other goods and services.
Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 5/8/2015 8:30:26 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, May 7, 2015
by Sean Setters
 
When a friend of mine posted on Facebook, "Does anyone have any use for a TON of expired coffee beans?," I quickly replied, "I'll take 'em."
 
As others expressed interest in the coffee beans for gardening purposes, and I didn't need much for the macro shots I thought I might use them for, I only ended up getting a couple of bags out of the seventeen pounds she was offering (though I'm sure I could have found an interesting use for that many coffee beans).
 
As I was picking up the graciously free props I asked my friend if there was anything specific she wanted me to shoot with them. Much to my surprise she had a very quick answer. "Amanda. Something with her hair, maybe?"
 
While it certainly wasn't what I had in mind, it sounded right down my alley. I nodded my head and replied, "Okie dokie. I'll see what I can do."
 
With a vague idea in my head, Amanda and I took the opportunity of some free time yesterday afternoon to bring it to fruition. I laid a standard sized (32x40") white foam-core white poster board on my living room floor. I then extended the legs of my Induro CT314 to their fullest extent, reversed the center column, attached my 5D Mark III + Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art and positioned the tripod directly above the board. After that, I set up one light stand with a Canon 580EX and an 24" Glow softbox and another light stand with a 580EX and a Westcott RapidBox Octa (both triggered via radio slaves).
 
I asked Amanda to lay on the white board so that her head was basically centered in the board. We then spread out her hair so that it filled a majority of the space after which I began taking test exposures while fiddling with the position of the lights. I settled on f/6.3, 1/160 second at ISO 160 for the exposure with the lights set to between 1/8 and 1/4 power.
 
Getting the light just right proved a little challenging because of the orientation of the subject and the background and the fact that both were on the ground. I positioned the RapidBox Octa toward the top of Amanda's head, camera left, feathered a little downward. I positioned the 24" softbox camera right but feathered slightly toward the top of the frame. This lighting position and close power ratio provided a relatively flat lighting from a highlight to shadow perspective, yet there was still a direction to the light which helped to sculpt and highlight Amanda's features.
 
Then the coffee beans. If I had thought through this setup a little more, I would have laid down a garbage bag or two beneath the white board in order to catch stray coffee beans before they hit the carpet – but I didn't. When I opened the bag and started pouring the beans onto the background, the beans bounced much more than I had imagined. While most of the coffee beans stayed within the confines of the white board, more than a few landed on the carpet. Tip: If a coffee bean lands on your carpet, be careful not to step on it. It can make the mess infinitely more difficult to clean up.
 
We tried several different poses throughout the session including several with Amanda holding a coffee mug. But in the end, this was the keeper from the shoot. And while I typically see the world in a 2x3 (and increasingly, 16x9) frame, I ended up liking the square crop best and knew it would work well as a profile picture.
 
Since updating her Facebook profile picture yesterday afternoon, the picture has amassed 95 likes with several nice comments as well. It's amazing what you can do with a little space on your floor, a white board, a tripod, a couple of lights, a pretty girl and a bag of magic [coffee] beans. ;-)
 
Click on the image atop this post to see a larger sized version on Flickr.
Post Date: 5/7/2015 10:02:16 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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