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 Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Nikon D750 DSLR Camera
eBay (via GetItDigital) has the Nikon D750 DSLR Camera available for $1,499.99 with free shipping. Compare at $1,996.95 after $300.00 instant savings.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore would not qualify for a Nikon USA warranty or repair service.
Post Date: 4/28/2015 6:49:55 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, April 27, 2015
Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM Lens
B&H has a used Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM lens (video review) in 9+ condition available for a cool $180,000.00 with free expedited shipping.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/27/2015 3:08:17 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
by Sean Setters
 
I'm always on the lookout for picturesque locations that can be utilized for future portrait sessions. While traveling to photograph a nearby waterfall a couple of weeks ago, a stark tree set upon the crest of a hill with dark, brooding skies caught my eye. I immediately imagined a portrait where the subject and the tree were equally prominent, yet balanced, within the composition. The kind of shot I imagined was a departure from my normal style. I typically like closer up, tighter cropped images that feature my subject against a strongly blurred, yet still beautiful backdrop. That's the kind of picture I'm most comfortable producing. But I needed to break out of my comfort zone, and my imagination was leading the way.
 
The location looked well suited for a portrait session because there was no fence between the the field and the road and there was a small parking area (enough for a couple of cars) nearby. I filed away the location in the back of my mind with the intent of using it whenever the opportunity came up.
 
That opportunity arrived in the form of a text message less than week later. Samantha, someone I've worked with on a couple of occasions, was in town and wanting a shot to bolster her portfolio. I told her I had the perfect place in mind but didn't yet have permission to use the land for a photoshoot. I told her we'd need to get permission before shooting but I didn't think that would be a problem. Trusting my judgement (and relatively vague description of the location), she readily agreed.
 
We met up at a gas station about 4 miles from the location and caravanned to the parking spot along the road. When we arrived at the location, I quickly assessed the situation. On the plus side, the afternoon skies had gone from party cloudy early in the afternoon to mostly cloudy later in the day. This coincidence meant that the shot I had in my head – with dark, brooding skies – could potentially be realized. One downside, though, was that the tree which had been completely bare the week before now showed signs of life in the form of small growths of leaves forming at the end of the branches. Thankfully the growth wasn't substantial enough to completely hide the beautiful shape of the tree outlined by its branches.
 
After parking I walked to a nearby house and acquired permission to use the land. As it turns out, the land is rented out seasonally to a farmer who grows various crops on it. However, as the crops had not yet been planted this year, there was no reason to be concerned about us shooting in the field. With permission obtained, the shoot was underway.
 
I set up a Vagabond II powered White Lightning x3200 monolight mounted with a Mola Demi beauty dish (with stacked PAD and Opal diffusers) as the main light. I chose the beauty dish because there was a decent amount of wind and I knew that any large modifier (softbox, octabox, umbrella, etc.) would quickly become a wind sail. I've had more than a fair share of light stands blow over in the wind (even when I thought they were adequately sandbagged). I knew the position of the beauty dish, being relatively far away from the subject, meant that the typical beauty dish look would be lost on the scene. However, I thought that the warmth and diffusion of the dish would look better than a standard silver reflector or silver beauty dish (both of which I had brought along with me). I initially only set up the monolight but later decided that I needed some fill light. Therefore I set up a Canon 580EX Speedlite, bare, on the right side (just out of the frame) zoomed to 85mm. The speedlite made a huge impact in allowing details to be visible in the shadows.
 
Contrary to my typical style, I chose a relatively narrow aperture so that the background did not become blurred into oblivion. The f/7.1 aperture combined with a low ISO allowed me to underexpose the scene to make it look as if it were captured at a much later time (this image was taken at 5:25pm CDT with sunset occurring at 7:21pm). I chose to use the EOS 5D Mark III paired with the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art because it's an extremely sharp lens and the focal length seemed optimal for obtaining the perspective I wanted.
 
Below is a setup picture taken just after we ended shooting. I didn't change camera settings for the setup image but lifted the shadows substantially in Photoshop Camera Raw so that the equipment would be easily identifiable.
 
Sam and the Silhouetted Tree Setup

About the Power Lines
 
I had every intention of removing the power lines in post-processing while the shoot was underway. However, after removing the power lines in post, I felt like the two subjects were too isolated from one another. The picture had lost something.
 
I flipped back and forth between the two versions (with and without power lines) and came to the conclusion that the power lines helped draw my eye into the image. They also connected the primary subjects (the girl and the tree) in a subconscious way. Even though I typically despise power lines in landscape and portrait images, this (I felt) was an exception to the rule. Therefore, the power lines stayed.
 
Conclusion
 
We, as photographers, are very fortunate in that we see a world with endless possibilities and beauty. I'm sure I'm not alone in always keeping an eye out for a fresh location in which to shoot. Unfortunately, it's really easy to get stuck in a rut shooting the same types of images – in the same sort of style – over and over. So when your imagination leads you on a creative tangent that leads out of your comfort zone, take advantage of the inspiration and press onward. You may surprise yourself when you try something completely different than what you're used to, and you may find yourself questioning how you ever got in a rut to begin with.
 
Note: You can see a larger version of the image by clicking on the image at the top of this post.
Post Date: 4/27/2015 11:57:31 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS 60D DSLR Camera
B&H has the Canon EOS 60D DSLR Camera (review) available for $479.00 with free expedited shipping. Compare at $662.94.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/27/2015 11:31:15 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM Lens
For a very limited time, Amazon is featuring the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM Lens for Canon (review) as a Lightning Deal and is available for $415.98. Compare at $519.00 after $150.00 instant savings.
 
Update: This deal has expired.
Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens
Image quality results have been added to the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens review page.
 
The first copy of this lens to go through the lab showed a rather strong decentering issue (Sigma replaced that lens for the owner – great service). As the 150-600 Sports lens model remains unavailable, we have Sigma USA to thank for the loan of this second lens. This new lens also shows some side-to-side variances, but the differences are less-significant than the first model. The left side of the lens is not as sharp as the right in the widest focal length tests and, noticeable in the results presented here, is that the right side is softer at 300mm.
 
Overall, this lens is a very good performer. I spent lots of time behind it this past weekend, capturing over 2,000 images at the sporting events I covered. I look forward to sharing that experience. In the meantime, here are some comparisons:
 
Sigma 150-600 Sports vs. Sigma 150-500 OS (be sure to compare the long focal lengths)
Sigma 150-600 Sports vs. Tamron 150-600 VC Lens
Sigma 150-600 Sports vs. Canon 100-400mm L IS II Lens
 
Demand is still outstripping supply of this lens right. If you want a 150-600 Sports lens in your kit, the best option is to get in line at B&H.
Post Date: 4/27/2015 7:27:06 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Lens
For a limited time, DigitalRev has the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR (White Box) available for $639.00. Compare at $1,296.95 USA/retail.
 
Note: When purchased by US customers, Nikon items sold by DigitalRev are considered grey market and would not qualify for Nikon USA warranty or service.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 4/27/2015 7:00:53 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Silver)
For a limited time, B&H has the Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Silver) available for $99.99 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $179.99.
 
Update: The deal is sold out.
Canon Logo
Canon has released its financial results for the first quarter of 2015. We suggest checking out the easy-to-understand, graphically-enhanced Presentation Material.
 
Relevant Article:
Canon Q1 profit drops as compact camera demand collapses (Reuters)
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/27/2015 6:10:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, April 24, 2015
Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Lens
eBay (via BuyDig) has the Refurbished Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Lens available for $599.99 with free shipping. Compare at $1,296.95 new.
 
Note: Factory refurbished items usually come with a 90-day Nikon USA warranty. However, the listing is vague as to whether or not a warranty is included and simply says, "Please contact Beach Camera for any questions surrounding the manufacturer warranty."
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 4/24/2015 12:44:27 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
creativeLIVE Logo
From CreativeLive:
 
Retouch faster and stay organized.
 
Adobe Lightroom is the industry standard for post-production workflow and in The Ultimate Lightroom CC Workflow, you’ll learn Jared Platt’s gold standard for retouching and managing files quickly and efficiently.
 
In The Ultimate Lightroom CC Workflow, Jared will show you how to radically cut your workflow time while improving the quality of your product and the organization of your digital world. Jared will teach you how to:
 
  • Protect your images with simple backup strategies
  • Manage your files to enable seamless and immediate recall
  • Get your computer and software to run faster
  • Efficiently cull and retouch photographs
  • Create impressive photobooks and slideshows
  • Take advantage of video editing tools
  • Improve your SEO using Lightroom features
  • Deliver and share your images directly from Lightroom
Jared will share tips on improving every phase of your workflow – from shooting to archiving. You’ll learn how to take advantage of the latest Lightroom tools and features and become faster and more skilled at adjusting your images.
 
Whether you are new to Lightroom or simply ready to improve your process, The Ultimate Lightroom CC Workflow will help you organize your images in Lightroom so you have more time to focus on the other important aspects of your business.
 
Date: Apr 28-30
Time:9:00am - 4:00pm PDT / 12:00pm - 7:00pm ET
 
RSVP for the Free Live Class
 
Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography Plan (USD$9.99 per month) includes Lightroom CC across desktop, web and mobile, Photoshop CC and Photoshop Mix (for iPhone and iPad). Lightroom 6 (stand-alone) is available at B&H.
Post Date: 4/24/2015 12:34:28 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
American Photo Magazine Logo
If you're an American Photo subscriber like me, you'll likely be getting this notice very soon (if you haven't already):
"Dear Reader,
 
I am sorry to inform you that American Photo magazine has discontinued publication effective with the March/April 2015 issue. The good news is that in its place, you will receive Popular Photography magazine – two copies for every issue owed to you on your American Photo subscription.
 
Popular Photography delivers great tools, techniques and creative ideas for photographers at every level.
 
I welcome you as a reader and hope you enjoy all of the exciting issues planned for the coming year.
 
Sincerely,
 
Miriam Leuchter
Editor-in-Chief
Popular Photography"
I wonder if American Photo will take into account that I'm already a Popular Photography subscriber and add the "owed" issues to my current subscription, or if I'll simply be getting two of the same magazine in the near future? Only time will tell... [Sean]
Post Date: 4/24/2015 12:10:39 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Photoshelter Logo
From Photoshelter:
 
We get it: Search Engine Optimization can seem complicated, and you probably want to throw in the towel on the whole thing if you’ve tried time and again to start showing up on the first page of Google search results. Fortunately, for those who feel a little lost we’ve broken down easy tips and tricks you can do to build your SEO in our recent guide, SEO for Photographers, and we’re hosting a live Google Hangout with tips from it next week, April 29th at 2pm ET. In this live Google Hangout, Allen Murabayashi will be showing examples of photographer websites with good SEO practice, the inner workings of Google Analytics, how to create a free Google Business listing and more.
 
In this hour Allen will cover:
 
  • How to make sure your site appears properly in Search Engine Result Pages
  • The importance of mobile friendly sites
  • How/where you can “link to yourself” to boost your SEO
  • Creating a keyword list
  • How to perform backlink analysis
  • How PhotoShelter can boost your SEO
Join us to get ahead in the SEO game, Thursday 4/29, 2pm ET. Register below to receive an email with the link to the Google Hangout.
 
Photoshelter's Boost your SEO: 8 Tips To Get You Started Webinar
Post Date: 4/24/2015 10:36:46 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T* ZE Lens
Image quality results from the EOS 7D Mark II have been added to the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T* ZE Lens review.
 
Great lens, though I doubt it will become highly popular on the APS-C format.
 
B&H has the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Distagon T* ZE Lens in stock.
Post Date: 4/24/2015 8:03:02 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
LensProToGo Logo
From LensProToGo:
 
Now through April 30, 2015, take $20 off rental orders of $150 or more . To take advantage of this discount, use code 20OFF150 in your cart!
 
Not spending $150? No worries! Use code 10OFFAPRIL to take 10% off your order total.
 
As a reminder, we are officially in our ‘busy season’. With many wedding photographers and filmmakers renting gear for their weekend shoots, we recommend placing your orders at least a week in advance to assure you will be getting the gear you would like. We cannot guarantee gear, especially orders that come in and are due to ship the same day. As always, we do our absolute best to get you the exact gear you request, however when we are not able to, we will also assist you in recommending other products that are available.
 
Discounts above cannot be combined with any other offer. Rentals must be placed between 4.23.15 and 4.30.15 and must be delivered by 4.30.15. Valid only on rentals.
Post Date: 4/24/2015 8:12:10 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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