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 Wednesday, June 3, 2015
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Post Date: 6/3/2015 10:20:37 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Waterfalls and Going with the Flow
When it comes to photographing waterfalls, one needs to go with the flow. Water flow that is. And spring is often when that flow is just right.
 
While too little flow can be detrimental to waterfall photography for obvious reasons, too much flow can also be a problem. When the water rises, features that can add to a composition (such as rocks) are often covered. Too much water flow can also result in mud-colored water. While I sometimes like tannin creating streaks and paths in the water, a photo with muddy water is not usually going to hit my favorites folder.
 
Start monitoring the weather (both recent and forecasted) at your favorite waterfall location and proactively plan to be there at the right time. My forecast preference often includes some rain and plenty of clouds, allowing a saturated landscape with even lighting.
 
After a heavy rain, B. Reynolds Falls in Ricketts Glen State Park was flowing very strongly on this mid-May day (though the needed rocks details remained exposed). The water was so loud that by the end of the day, I was ready for some quiet time in the car. My ears would have been happier during a drought, but ... my images would not have been nearly as good.
 
To get this particular image, I climbed down the rocks beside a small walking bridge and precariously positioned myself and the tripod legs on the strongly-sloped wet rocks just above the water. I often place the tripod in the water for such shots, but ... that only works if the water flow is not strong enough to cause vibrations in the tripod. The final composition emphasizes a balance of the features contained with most lines moving toward the center of the frame.
 
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: 6/3/2015 8:47:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC Memory Card
B&H has the SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC Memory Card UHS-I with Adapter available for $24.99 with free shipping. Regularly $33.99.
Post Date: 6/3/2015 7:42:32 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon D3200 DSLR with AF-S 18-55mm VR Lens
eBay (via BeachCamera) has the Refurbished Nikon D3200 DSLR with AF-S 18-55mm VR Lens available for $279.00 with free shipping. Compare at $446.95 new after $80.00 instant savings.
 
Note: The listing's title indicates that this auction comes with version "II" of the kit lens; however, I believe that is likely a mistake on the part of the listing's author (typo). Version "I" is the standard kit lens for the Nikon D3200.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 6/3/2015 7:23:19 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, June 2, 2015
LensRentals Logo
Roger Cicala of LensRentals has posted a partial teardown of the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD lens.
 
His takeaway? Tamron's latest wide-angle zoom is well built but isn't nearly as modular as most of Canon's newest lenses; fixing one at home is not necessarily recommended because of the complex nature of the lens's construction.
 
Check out the LensRentals Blog for the well-illustrated (and equally entertaining) partial teardown.
 
B&H carries the Tamron SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens (review).
Post Date: 6/2/2015 4:15:28 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Sharp 32
Post Date: 6/2/2015 12:32:13 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon 1D X, 600mm f/4L II, 1.4x III and a Wing-Drying Double-Crested Cormorant
It is not unusual to find double-crested cormorants drying their wings. Images of these birds doing so are often entertaining, but I am always looking for positive additional elements in my images.
 
The first positive additional element in this image is the still, shallow, reflective water the bird is standing in. The reflection doubles the primary subject of interest and brings in the blue sky color.
 
The reflection also pulls in the white and orange color of a flock of white pelicans standing in the water behind the cormorant. White pelicans are not so common in the places I frequent, so having a large flock of them behind my wing-drying bird provides me a positive additional element. That the light-colored reflection provides higher contrast on the cormorant's dark head, where the viewer's eye is to be drawn, is also positive.
 
The location for this photo was Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida. The choice of the 600 f/4 L IS II Lens with a 1.4x III behind it was made for maximum reach for the 1D X (along with the superb image quality the combo provides).
 
I love tightly framed bird portraits, but in this case, my 1D X was focal length constrained, limited to the angle of view provided by the 840mm lens combo (unless I cropped and that option still remains). Composing good environmental bird photos is often more challenging tightly-framed portraits, but when done well, they can look great. In this example, I chose to have a clean bottom border of water and a mostly-white top border. If you follow my work, you know that I like how borders free of contrasting lines keep the viewer's eye within the frame. Beyond that strategy, I was trying to balance the elements remaining in the frame.
 
While that last sentence may sound easy, the cormorant was constantly changing its head angle. If the bird was looking to my right, I needed to frame farther to my right. And, vice versa. That meant that I had to either change the selected AF point very quickly or that I had to recompose after focusing. My choice here was to quickly select the AF point to one that landed on the bird's head. I made this choice over the recomposing options because I was counting on capturing more than one image before the head moved to another position.
 
I ended up with many keepers from this short session, but ... I think that this image is my favorite.
 
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: 6/2/2015 10:48:54 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canvas On Demand Logo
Through 6/3, use coupon code SHOP50 at CanvasOnDemand.com to save 50% on your custom canvas print order.
 
Canvas prints make excellent gifts for loved ones and can turn a blank space of wall into something quite eye catching. They are an excellent way to display your best – and/or most cherished – images.
Post Date: 6/2/2015 10:15:03 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon Logo
From Nikon:
 
Nikon D3200 Firmware v1.04
 
Changes from “C” Version Firmware 1.03
 
  • Addressed an issue that caused the memory card access lamp to light longer than normal or the message “This memory card cannot be used. Card may be damaged. Insert another card” to be displayed while the memory card was accessed.
Download: Nikon D3200 Firmware v1.04
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 6/2/2015 9:28:53 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Hot Deal: Induro CT314 Carbon 8X Tripod
Hot Deal: FocusCamera has the Induro CT314 Carbon 8X Tripod available for $399.95 with free shipping. Compare at $550.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Height - 24.2" Folded / 74.2" Extended
  • Load Capacity - 39.6 lbs
  • Ultra Lightweight Carbon Fiber
  • Dust & Moisture Resistant Leg Locks
  • Half-Turn Leg Lock Mechanisms
  • 3-Position Adjustable Angle Leg Locks
  • Interchangeable Rubber Feet and Stainless Steel Spikes
  • Closed Cell Foam Grip on all 3 Legs
  • Weight - 5 lbs
Note from Sean: I love this tripod. It's been my primary tripod for almost 18 months now and I couldn't be happier with it (I use it very often). It's not necessarily the best tripod for hiking as it's a bit heavy, but for everyday use, it's an excellent, solidly built choice.
 
I'm 6'2" tall, and I usually use the tripod without the smallest leg sections extended. However, I love the that this tripod can extend over my head if necessary (and I have used it that way on a few occasions). Paired with an amazing ball head – like the Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 – this a tripod that will work well for many photographers.
 
In fact, I was just using the tripod yesterday while testing out some new equipment. You can see the top part of the tripod in the left part of the image below.
 
Induro CT 314 Tripod with 7D II Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art and Teleprompter
Post Date: 6/2/2015 9:07:18 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, June 1, 2015

 
What's the Difference? is a series of video lighting tutorials. Each episode responds to a single question. In this episode, Jared Platt compares soft light and hard light.
 
The entire series, including all videos, articles and lighting diagrams, is available here.
 
Gear Used:
 
Post Date: 6/1/2015 1:52:21 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
AdoramaPix Logo
AdoramaPix is celebrating summer with a great deal; just use coupon code PXSSUMMER20 to receive a 20% discount on your order all this month.
Post Date: 6/1/2015 12:11:22 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens
Just posted: Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens review.
 
Very nice lens. Hopefully, after reading the in-depth review, you will feel like you have virtually used the 150-600 Sports.
 
B&H has the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens available for preorder.
Post Date: 6/1/2015 10:53:23 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
"What's the Difference?" is a series of video lighting tutorials. Each episode responds to a single question. In this episode, Jared Platt compares a bareheaded off-camera flash with an umbrella deep.
 
The entire series, including all videos, articles and lighting diagrams, is available here.
 
Gear Used:
 
Post Date: 6/1/2015 9:36:55 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, May 31, 2015
Hoya 58mm NDx400 9-Stop HMC Filter
For a limited time, B&H has the Hoya 58mm NDx400 9-Stop HMC Filter available for $24.95 with free shipping. Regularly $44.95.
Category: Hoya Deals
Post Date: 5/31/2015 8:05:03 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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