With nothing planned on slightly overcast Saturday, I decided to venture downtown to find an interior space in Savannah to photograph. Although not my primary focus, I wanted to be able to shoot outdoor subjects (buildings, fountains, etc.) as well should a suitable interior space prove elusive. I packed a Lowepro Nova Sport 35L AW with the following gear before heading downtown:
First off, Tip #1: When weight is not necessarily an issue, fill your bag completely with gear and/or supplies. This will enable you to quickly check to make sure you haven't left any gear behind when packing up after shooting at a location. The gear above completely filled my bag.
A camera and tripod are a given when it comes to low-light interior photography for me. The EF 17-40L, TS-E 24L and Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 encompass the typical focal lengths I use for indoor and outdoor architecture photography with the TS-E providing the excellent benefit of keeping vertical lines straight (when 24mm is a viable focal length option). I brought along the EF 24-105L IS and circular polarizer (CPL) to cover general purpose needs if I should come across anything interesting outdoors that was not ideally covered by the wider focal lengths. I threw in the 15 stop ND just in case I wanted to photograph a fountain (with blurred water) or a building exterior where individual pedestrians would be unnoticeable (blurred to oblivion). The step up rings would allow me to use the CPL and ND on all of my lenses except for the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8, thereby increasing my options. I also brought along the Miops Camera Trigger for time lapse purposes and to provide the ultimate flexibility in bracketed exposures. With extra room in my bag, I also packed the table top tripod in case I found an interesting place to position the camera or for low-level photography needs. I filled the remaining slot in my bag with a water bottle as I had no idea how far I'd be walking on the relatively warm November day.
With no specific destination in mind, I traveled to downtown Savannah and found a free metered parking space on W Oglethorpe Ave. Tip #2: Parking in downtown Savannah is free on the weekends (and after 5pm on weekdays). As soon as I parked, the Savannah Civic Center at the corner of Oglethorpe and Montgomery St. caught my eye. As I neared the building, I noticed people were going in one of the doors idicating that it was open on this particular Sunday. Conspicuously, there was a lot of temporary signs posted which warned, "No Loaded Weapons are Allowed on Premises."
After entering the building, I noticed several individuals filing past a table on the other end of the foyer and filing into one of the larger event halls. As it turns out, there was an NRA sponsored gun show being held at the Civic Center. "Ah, now the abundant signage makes sense," I thought.
After exploring the building's entryway, I found a set of doors with the heading, "Johnny Mercer Theatre." As the security guard's office was positioned next to the theater doors, I poked my head inside with tripod in-hand and asked if the theater was open and if I could take a look around. He nodded and said, "Sure thing! The door's open."
Tip #3: If you are in an unfamiliar place, make sure you are not violating a facility's regulations by exploring. Being respectful and asking for permission to wonder about may not technically be necessary (depending on the facility's policies), but doing so may mean favors, if needed, are more easily granted in the future. Or as my grandmother would have said, "You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."
The theater was extremely dark. The aisle ways were lit with dim LED strip lights and there was a flood light in the middle of the stage pointed toward the seats. After walking up on stage, I could see that the balcony aisle ways were also lit with a few overhead lights.
Unfortunately, I thought it might be a bit presumptuous to ask someone to turn on the theater lights, and I didn't feel like cashing in my good will karma just yet. As such, I tried a few bracketed exposures utilizing the the Miops Camera Trigger to trigger the camera via smartphone while standing behind the stage light. While bracketing technically worked to give me enough dynamic range to ultimately create an HDR image, the scene did not seem inspiring.
After a little while, though, someone who worked at the facility entered the theater and made his way down the aisle as he was headed to a room to the right of the stage. After a small conversation, the man asked, "Do you want me to turn on the lights?"
"Um, yes, that would be great!"
With the lights turned on, the view in front of me came alive. I continued taking bracketed exposures to give me the ultimate leeway in post processing. After viewing the results on the back LCD, I decided it was missing something. Looking around, I found a stool to serve as a foreground element and add a bit of interest. I returned the stool to its original location, packed up my gear, thanked the facility employee for turning on the lights and headed off.
I loaded a 7-image auto exposure bracket into HDRSoft's Photomatix Pro 5 and, starting with one of the "Natural" settings, I adjusted the sliders until I arrived at an HDR image that I liked. I then loaded the resulting .TIFF file into Photoshop CC for slight adjustments to color and levels.
A larger resolution version of this shot can be found by clicking on the image atop this post.
There is so much information available about taking photos of your children, and how to become a better photographer. Another important factor to keep in mind when you’re working to be your family’s historian is to make sure you’re documented as a part of their memories.
For times you don’t have someone around to help take nice photos of you and your kids together, it’s nice to know you can do it yourself. In this article, I’ll outline the tools you need to take self-portraits so you can get out from behind the camera and into the shot with your kids.
Entry-level DX-format Digital SLR Camera with Seamless Connectivity Ignites Creativity and Sharing by Transforming Social Storytelling
TOKYO - Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the release of the D5600, an entry-level DX-format digital SLR designed for photography hobbyists and content creators to explore different creative and artistic expressions. With convenient connectivity features, the D5600 is also built for easy sharing and social storytelling.
The D5600 is equipped with a range of features that encourages users to capture and communicate their stories. Featuring a vari-angle LCD monitor that flips out and rotates, it is possible to shoot from nearly any angle for greater creative freedom. The touch-screen operation so popular with the D5500 has been further enhanced in the D5600 with the addition of a crop function for use during playback zoom, and a frame advance bar that allows scrolling through images in playback mode easily. The D5600 also incorporates a time-lapse movie function equivalent to that of the more advanced Nikon D7200, enabling users to capture changing scenes over a time period and create stunning time-lapse videos.
In addition, a constant connection between the D5600 and a smart device is possible using the SnapBridge app and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) technology. Images captured are automatically transferred to the paired smart device and users can upload and share high-quality images in a seamless, integrated process. The image transfer continues even after the camera has been turned off. SnapBridge also enables automatic image upload to NIKON IMAGE SPACE. Furthermore, wireless video transfer and remote shooting are possible via Wi-Fi.
SnapBridge support for constant connection of the D5600 to a smart device Support for the SnapBridge app means that with one-time setup, a constant connection between the D5600 and a smart device is maintained, realizing simple automatic transfer of photos. In addition, a number of convenient functions, including automatic upload to Nikon's photo sharing service, NIKON IMAGE SPACE, the addition of copyright information and comments to photos, and automatic synchronization of camera date/time and location information with that of the smart device, can be used. What's more, the D5600 also supports the high-speed transfer of selected still images, movie transfer, and remote capture of still images when Wi-Fi is enabled.
A vari-angle LCD monitor that makes capturing creating photos easy from any angle The D5600 is equipped with a 3.2-inch vari-angle LCD monitor that enables shooting from low angles, high angles, and even selfies. A touch screen has also been adopted. Naturally, it supports the same touch operation available with the D5500, but it also features the frame advance bar adopted for the high-end D5 and D500 for scrolling through images in full-frame playback. In addition, the touch Fn function so popular with the D5500 has been expanded to support the enabling and disabling of auto ISO sensitivity control, and operation with viewfinder shooting has also been improved.
An effective pixel count of 24.2-million pixels and support for a broad range of sensitivities — ISO 100 to 25600 — enable expression with superior image quality The camera offers an effective pixel count of 24.2-million pixels. It is equipped with a Nikon DX-format CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter. This achieves capture of images that make the most of the superior rendering characteristics of NIKKOR lenses. The EXPEED 4 image-processing engine has been adopted, and a broad range of standard sensitivities are supported — ISO 100 to 25600, the combination of which enables capture of highly detailed images in which noise is effectively suppressed, even with shooting in dark or dimly lit surroundings.
Equipped with the same time-lapse movie function found in more advanced models The D5600 is newly equipped with the time-lapse movie function, which allows users to easily compress long periods of time into short ones, entirely within the camera, to express changes that occur over time, such as the shapes of clouds as they roll by, or the movement of people and cars through city streets. In addition, the exposure smoothing function makes capturing beautiful time-lapse movies easier by suppressing variations in exposure caused by changes in lighting that occur naturally, such as when the sun comes up or goes down. Time-lapse movies recorded with the camera can also be transferred to a smart device via SnapBridge.
Note: From what I can tell, this update may not be available in the US market just yet. It doesn't appear on Nikon USA's website and cannot be found for preorder at any USA market authorized retailers.
Tales by Light Season One, produced in Australia, available on Netflix from 11 November, 2016
Sydney 10 November 2016 – Canon Australia is proud to announce that Season One of the brand’s locally conceived and produced photography adventure series, Tales by Light will be available to the global Netflix audience from 11 November.
Shot in stunning 4K resolution, Tales by Light Season One is a six-part series that follows five extraordinary photographers as they push the limits of their craft in little-known, little-covered and little-understood corners of the Earth.
“Having Tales by Light Season One available on Netflix is a wonderful acclamation of the quality and broad appeal of our Australian-made photography series and we are excited that it will now entertain millions of subscribers around the world,” says Canon Australia Director of Consumer Imaging and Executive Producer of the series Jason McLean. “This series is unique and started from our simple aim of celebrating the amazing visual storytellers who push the creative boundaries and it’s great that this concept resonates so well across regional divides.”
Prior to joining the Netflix documentary content line-up, Tales by Light Season One screened initially on the National Geographic Channel subscription network in Australia and New Zealand. Uniting exploration, photography and the natural world, Tales by Light Season One was produced locally in 2015 and offers a rare glimpse into the eyes and minds of some of Australia and the world’s best photographic storytellers.
MELVILLE, N.Y., November 9, 2016 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced firmware updates for both the Canon EOS C300 and EOS C300 Mark II Digital Cinema Cameras being showcased at NAB Show New York 2016, November 9 and 10 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City. These firmware updates support a number of feature updates for users including improvement of accessory support, ease of use, Dual Pixel CMOS AF (DAF) and creative flexibility.
Firmware updates are as follows:
The EOS C300 Mark II Digital Cinema Camera (EF-Mount) updates will allow various functions such as support for the Canon EVF-V70 OLED Electronic Viewfinder, WFT-E8 Wireless File Transmitter, Shutter Angle Priority, support for Zebra range at 65 percent or below, 2K Crop Audio Recording, Built-In Mic Audio off, and Peripheral Illumination Correction when using the new EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens.
The EOS C300 Mark II Digital Cinema Camera (PL-Mount) updates will allow various functions such as support for the Canon EVF-V70 OLED Electronic Viewfinder, WFT-E8 Wireless File Transmitter, Shutter Angle Priority, support for Zebra range at 65 percent or below, 2K Crop Audio Recording, and Built-In Mic Audio off.
The EOS C300 Digital Cinema Camera (EF-Mount) updates will allow various functions such as support for the WFT-E8 Wireless File Transmitter, Shutter Angle Priority, Grip Zoom Function when using CINE-SERVO 17-120mm EF-mount, CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm EF-Mount and COMPACT SERVO 18-80mm lenses, Auto Iris and Push Iris when using CINE-SERVO 17-120mm EF-mount, CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm EF-Mount and COMPACT SERVO 18-80mm lenses and Peripheral Illumination Correction when using the new EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens.
The EOS C300 Digital Cinema Camera DAF (EF-Mount) updates will allow various functions such as support for the WFT-E8 Wireless File Transmitter, Shutter Angle Priority, Dual Pixel CMOS AF (DAF) when using CINE-SERVO 17-120mm EF-Mount and COMPACT SERVO 18-80mm lenses, Grip Zoom Function when using CINE-SERVO 17-120mm EF-mount, CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm EF-Mount and COMPACT SERVO 18-80mm lenses, Auto Iris and Push Iris when using CINE-SERVO 17-120mm EF-mount, CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm EF-Mount and COMPACT SERVO 18-80mm lenses and Peripheral Illumination Correction when using the new EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens.
The EOS C300 Digital Cinema Camera (PL-Mount) updates will allow various functions such as support for the WFT-E8 Wireless File Transmitter and Shutter Angle Priority.
Two major updates for Lightroom are now available: Lightroom for Android 2.2 and new updates for Lightroom on the web.
Lightroom for Android 2.2 — Raw Technology Preview
Lightroom has always been about helping you get the most out of your images, and with Lightroom for Android 2.2, you can now import raw files directly into your Android device. The Raw Technology Preview makes it possible for you to connect your camera to your Android device and import photos directly from your camera. With this Technology Preview now available for Android (released for iOS in July of this year), you can capture, edit, and share raw photos, in full resolution, and have access to them wherever you are in the world.
Lightroom for Android now supports all of the same raw files that Lightroom for desktop as well as Adobe Camera Raw support, with the full list available here.
To transfer photos to your mobile device, you’ll need a USB On-The-Go adapter, sometimes just referred to an OTG cable. An OTG cable enables you to connect your mobile device directly to your camera and transfer your images with the PTP transfer mode. We recommend getting an OTG cable that matches the ports on both your camera as well as your Android device. For example, if your camera uses a Micro USB port and your Android device has a USB-C port, you’d want a Micro USB to USB-C OTG cable. These cables, and nearly every other imaginable combination of ports and connectors can easily be found online and are quite inexpensive.
After installing the Lightroom for Android 2.2, plug your camera into your Android device, and change to the PTP transfer mode in the Android Notification Center. Then, tap on the notification that indicates “Connected to USB PTP Camera. Tap to view files.”
You’ll be presented with an importer to select from the photos found on your camera to import into Lightroom on your Android device. Select the photos you want to import, the collection you want to import the photos into, and tap transfer. Lightroom will transfer the photos and notify you once all of the photos have been imported.
You get all of the benefits of raw, such as the ability to change the white balance, being able to recover blown out highlights, access to the full range of color information, as well as editing an uncompressed file, all using the exact same technology that powers Lightroom on your desktop. An added benefit is that the raw file that you’ve imported into Lightroom for Android will be synced with Lightroom on your other devices, such as Lightroom for desktop or Lightroom on the web, along with any of the edits, star ratings, or flags that you’ve added.
Significant improvements to Shares New Shares created within Lightroom on the web have been made even more powerful. You can now add a header graphic, add sections within your Shares, and add text describing the sections. You can use this additional functionality to engage your audiences and tell richer photographic stories with Lightroom on the web.
Adobe Portfolio Enhancements Adobe Portfolio helps you showcase your creativity with your own professional online portfolio. We’ve made it possible for you to quickly and easily send your images from Lightroom on the web to Portfolio so that you can create and maintain a special place on the web to show off your photos. You can now create a new Project in Portfolio directly from within Lightroom on the web and copy your Lightroom photos into that new Project, saving time and making it even easier to maintain your online presence.
Download Original A highly requested feature is the ability to download your originals from within Lightroom on the web – and now you can. Any image for which the original is available in the cloud (such as images uploaded from Lightroom iOS or Android, or from Lightroom on the web) will now have an option available to download the original. The ability to download the original is only available for the owner of the account and will not be visible to viewers of the share.
As of today, all of these features are now available at lightroom.adobe.com.
Consumers Who Have Purchased Karma Can Return It for Immediate Refund
SAN MATEO, Calif., Nov. 8, 2016 -- GoPro Inc. today announced the recall of the approximately 2500 Karma drones purchased by consumers since October 23. The recall was announced after GoPro discovered that in a very small number of cases, Karma units lost power during operation. No related injuries or property damage have been reported.
Owners of Karma can return their units to GoPro, or their place of purchase, for a full refund. Replacement units are not being offered. GoPro plans to resume shipment of Karma as soon as the issue is resolved.
"Safety is our top priority," said GoPro Founder and CEO Nicholas Woodman. "A very small number of Karma owners have reported incidents of power failure during operation. We have moved quickly to recall all units of Karma and provide a full refund while we investigate the issue. We are working in close coordination with both the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Federal Aviation Administration. We are very sorry to have inconvenienced our customers and we are taking every step to make the return and refund process as easy as possible."
While the Canon W-E1 Wi-Fi Adapter sounded intriguing upon its announcement, its apparent limitations left us a bit bewildered.
However, what if I told you that the Canon W-E1 Wi-Fi adapter (with a little help) is capable of a lot more? From my experience, the following features can be unlocked with the adapter:
Adjust almost any exposure related camera setting (including white balance)
Transfer any size file (including RAWs) to your mobile device
Focus Stacking (with variable flash delay)
Nearly unlimited exposure bracketing
Overlay gridlines or aspect ratio masks
In fact, I created the image seen below using the W-E1 to capture 28 incrementally focused images (compiled in Helicon Focus Lite and processed in Photoshop CC).
The key phrase above is, of course, "with a little help." The Canon Camera Connect app is, to put it mildly, basic. Sometimes basic is just fine. But unfortunately, there's a huge omission in the Connect app's feature list, one which led to me shouting loudly last night while testing the app.
"The Canon Camera Connect app doesn't allow you to CHANGE THE WHITE BALANCE?!"
After spending roughly 15 minutes trying to figure out how to change the white balance within the Canon Camera Connect app without any luck, I was more than a little annoyed. This morning I called Canon's Technical Support to see if I was missing something. The technician I spoke to confirmed that adjusting this seemingly basic setting is not a feature of the app. And with the W-E1 card installed in the Canon EOS 7D Mark II, the camera does not allow local adjustments (meaning the buttons and LCD are unusable), so the white balance cannot be set from the camera when the Wi-Fi adapter is in use.
So how do you get the most out of the Canon W-E1 Wi-Fi adapter? For Android users, it's actually pretty easy – get the DSLR Controller app.
The reason why DSLR Controller works with the W-E1 is because the developer designed the app to work with Canon DSLRs featuring built-in Wi-Fi (once they became available). And since the W-E1 is using the same communication protocols, the app works just as it would if it were connected to a DSLR featuring built-in Wi-Fi.
I can't say for certain that the app will work for everyone, but I can tell you I was easily able to connect to the W-E1 installed in my EOS 7D Mark II in direct connection mode (smartphone or EOS Utility mode, both worked for me). Below is a screenshot of the app in action.
Things to know:
While you can transfer RAW files to your mobile device, the transfer speed is relatively slow from my experience. Images are downloaded at the resolution in which they were captured (there's no RAW to JPEG conversion).
While there is an option to "Share" images in the app's Gallery view, none of the apps I tried to share images with (Gmail, Facebook Messenger, Dropbox, etc) actually worked. However, I was able to download JPEG images to my phone and share them normally. I also downloaded a RAW file to my phone and was able to upload it to Dropbox via a file browser app.
If you want to share images via your mobile device soon after capture, it may be best to record lower resolution JPEGs. Viewing smaller resolution JPEGs in the app's Gallery is much faster, transfers occur quickly, and the JPEGs can easily be shared immediately via the mobile device without straining data caps (if applicable).
Even though the app has been in development for quite some time, the developer only recently dropped the "beta" designation. You may experience the occasional glitch while using the app. In about 2 hours of testing, I lost camera connection once but was easily able to restore it.
Video recording (or viewing videos already on the memory card) is not supported.
There may be a similar iOS camera control app that allows for the same funcationality, but as I don't own an iOS device I'm unaware of those options.
Wildlife photographers can spend many days or weeks working with the same subject at the same location and, due to ever-changing behaviors of their subjects, they can continuously capture unique images. Sports photographers have unique action at every game/meet/match/race/etc. at the same field/track/event location. Street photographer are always finding new entertainment at the same locations. Wedding, event and portrait photographers have a steady stream of new subjects coming through the same locations. But you, landscape (and cityscape) photographer, usually find the same subjects in the same positions each time you go back. However, you still have reasons for going back.
Basically, you most often go back in hopes that something might be different this time.
Perhaps you didn't get it right the first time. You didn't provide adequate depth of field or didn't focus to the right distance to keep everything in the image sharp. Or, perhaps you want to use a wider aperture lens to better define the primary subject. Perhaps the focal choice was not ideal and part of the scene was cropped too tightly. Maybe you were too close or too far away and didn't get the ideal perspective. You want to move up/down, left/right or closer/farther to get it right the next time.
You now have better skills. Closely aligned with getting it right this time are your improved photography skills. You are now better at reading a scene and better able to select the composition, perhaps including a foreground element or better aligning the background within the foreground framing.
You go back to work on your creativity. The more bored you become with photographing a scene, the more likely you are going to find a creative new way to photograph it.
You go back because you have better gear. While we sometimes think that camera and lens technology is not moving forward fast enough, what is available today is far better than what was available not long ago. Taking your new camera(s) and lens(es) to a past-visited favorite location is an easy recipe for bettering your portfolio. Your higher resolution, lower noise camera and sharper lens will create results that look better, especially at high resolution. Taking a circular polarizer filter, a neutral density filter, etc. that you did not originally have can make a huge difference in your repeat visit results.
You go back in hopes for better weather conditions. You hope for better skies, a better sunrise, a better sunset, better clouds, more/less fog, less (or possibly more) wind, warmer light, etc. Everyone loves a fiery sunrise or sunset and those don't happen every day – you might need to go back repeatedly to find these. Fog? Some locations have it with some regularity, but many others have it only occasionally.
You go back because the timing is different or better. You may have better water flow, creating better waterfalls that give images a completely different look, one well worth the effort of a revisit. The seasons of the year provide a very different look to many locations. Spring brings bright green foliage and (usually) good water flow. Summer brings darker foliage and warmer weather (required for the snow to melt enough to access some areas). Late summer and fall brings amazing color to the trees in many areas. Winter brings snow, completely redecorating the landscape.
The timing of the visit also dictates the position of the celestial bodies. Go back when the sun, moon and/or stars (the milky way) are better aligned. Perhaps the sun shines between two mountain peaks at a certain time of the year. Perhaps you want to go back when the milky way is best aligned over a scene. The same applies to the moon with a specific desired phase and position.
Perhaps the scene has indeed changed and is no longer physically the same. While there are not usually macro changes occurring to landscape without a significant environmental disaster (such as a tornado, hurricane, fire, etc.), micro changes frequently happen. Trees fall, erosion occurs, sediment moves in streams during strong flows and fields have a different crop in rotation. If the scene is significantly altered, new images will be more current than those taken before the alteration. Before and after photos may be valued in this case.
Sometimes, you go back just because things can happen. Wildlife showing up can add a prize-winning element to any image.
If you are considering going back, the location is probably amazing and somewhere you love to be. That alone is a great reason to go back as just being there is awesome. There is no reason why the same location cannot be enjoyed time and time again. If you like the location that much, perhaps you want to share it with a friend or friends.
You go back because the location is a known entity. You know that it is repeatedly good for a quality image – an image worth sharing is sure to come out of the effort.
You go back for practice. If the location is relatively close to home, visiting the location to practice skills and technique prior to a big photo trip is a great idea. Unlike riding a bike, more like distance running, photography requires practice to stay in top shape. It also affords the opportunity to test the camera gear that will accompany you on the trip.
Again, a primary reason to go back is that something might be different this time and the reason that different is desirable is for, minimally, variation and, ideally, for bettering. Photographers are constantly striving to better what we have already done, to raise the bar, to take another step forward in our passion/profession.
The previous time I visited Oxbow Bend, Grand Teton National Park, was convenient, but not so well-timed for photography. It was mid-summer (not bad in itself). The sun was high and the leaves were green. The sky was forest fire-hazy. While my cameras and lenses were the best-available at the time, they were not as good as those I'm using today. I was happy with my results at the time, but they do not hold nearly as much value to me from a photographical perspective now.
Recently, I was blessed with a revisit to this very photogenic location. And, the results from my revisit were much higher grade in many accounts. Though I'm missing the moose that was in my first set of images (it was so small in the frame that I didn't know it was even there until reviewing the images back at home), but my late summer (photographer's fall in this location), early morning timing for the second visit to Oxbow Bend combined with my now-current camera gear and 9-year-upgraded skillset turned in much better results this time around. I'm sharing one of my favorites with you today.
A larger version of this image is available on SmugMug, Flickr, Google+, Facebook and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.