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 Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Sekonic C-700 SpectroMaster Spectrometer
B&H has just published an in-depth look at the new Sekonic C-700 SpectroMaster Spectrometer on their Explora feed.
 
Sekonic C-700 Overview
 
  • Measures LED, HMI, and Fluorescent
  • Measures Tungsten, Natural Light, and Flash
  • 4.3" Touchscreen with 9 Display Modes
  • Displays Rosco, Lee, Fuji, Wratten Names
  • Displays CRI, White Balance Compensation
  • Multiple Light Comparison
  • CMOS Sensor and Linear Variable Filter
  • Stores 99 Full-data Measurements
  • Reads Color Temp. from (1,600-40,000K)
  • Reads 0.09 to 18,600 fc (1-200,000 lux)
Category: Sekonic News
Post Date: 3/18/2015 6:57:17 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From Canon Australia:
 
Sydney, Australia – March 18, 2015 – Canon Australia and National Geographic Channel have announced their partnership to deliver Australian viewers a new television series that gives rare insight into the eyes of some of Australia’s, and the world’s best photographic storytellers. Titled Tales by Light, the series will air in six episodes premiering from 8.30pm AEST Sunday May 24 on National Geographic Channel.
 
Tales By Light is the first television series produced by Canon Australia and is a natural progression for the photographic brand, explains Canon’s Director of Consumer Imaging and Executive Producer for the Series, Jason McLean:
 
“We see our role in imaging as enabling people to tell their stories, and what better than inspiring a large and passionate audience through the eyes of some of the best storytellers in the world. The partnership with National Geographic Channel is a perfect fit for us given their dedication to telling powerful stories through captivating imagery.”
 
Produced by emerging cinematographer and Canon Master, Abraham Joffe, Tales by Light showcases five of Australia’s, and the world’s, best photographers pushing the limits of their craft in some of the world’s most extreme and fascinating environments.
 
Each a master of their respective field, the photographers give rare insight into their endless journeys as visual storytellers – their challenges, motivations, and moments of joy in capturing an elusive moment by light. Shot in 4K resolution, the series is a stunning visual spectacle to immerse and inspire viewers through new ways of viewing the world around them.
 
“There is growing opportunity in strong, aligned brands partnering to amplify each other’s efforts and be innovative in media, especially,” says National Geographic Channel’s Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand Jacqui Feeney.
 
“Tales By Light is cool entertainment filmed in stunning 4K that appeals to our Nat Geo viewers. Both Canon and National Geographic Channel have shared values around the power of great imagery and technology being underpinned by great storytelling and reaching audiences in new and engaging ways. TV remains a powerful medium and storytelling is in our DNA so we were delighted to work with Canon on this new TV series.”
 
The Photographers
 
Art Wolfe has photographed for the world’s top magazines such as National Geographic, Smithsonian and GEO. Photographing creatures of the planet has been a major portion of Art’s life’s work spanning the past five decades. In the words of Sir David Attenborough: “Art Wolfe’s photographs are a superb evocation of some of the most breathtaking spectacles in the world.”
 
Darren Jew is one of the world’s leading marine photographers. He has forged an impressive career having shot for the likes of Tourism Australia, WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and the CSIRO. His knowledge of the ocean and its creatures coupled with his adventurous spirit, makes a brilliant subject to document.
 
Richard I’Anson is an acclaimed travel photographer, founder of Lonely Planet Images and the author of Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Photography. His work can be seen all over the world with hundreds of book titles featuring his photography. As a travel photographer, Richard lives and breathes his profession and has photographed in nearly 100 countries across all 7 continents.
 
Peter Eastway is an AIPP Grand Master of Photography best known for his exquisite landscape work. After learning his craft in the darkroom, he has embraced digital post-production to take a leading role in creating a new tradition of landscape photography. Peter's work continues to be published and exhibited internationally, including Qantas The Australian Way magazine.
 
Krystle Wright is a pioneering extreme sports photographer, driven by a passion to capture unique perspectives and increase the visibility of the most extreme sports and athletes. On a continual quest to challenge herself and others mentally and physically, Krystle achieves remarkable images that give insight into the demanding and beautiful world of adventure photography that few people get to see.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/18/2015 6:43:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
B&H has just started shipping the long-anticipated Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon.
 
I don't know if B&H has enough stock to meet the preorder demand, but now would be a good time to submit your order if you haven't already.
Post Date: 3/17/2015 4:13:15 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
BorrowLenses.com Logo
From BorrowLenses:
 
Save 25% on any BorrowLenses.com rental now through Thursday, March 19th! Choose any piece of gear for any length of time when your order is picked up or shipped by Friday, March 20th, 2015.
 
How to Get 25% Off Today:
 
  • Place your order between now and 11:59PM PDT March 19th, 2015.
  • Order MUST ship or be picked up by March 20th, 2015.
  • Upon checkout, use coupon code: SPRINGFLASH15.
Post Date: 3/17/2015 1:42:06 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Capturing Cityscapes During the
Following Sean's recent winter photography tip suggestion, I took the Canon 11-24mm f/4L Lens to New York City for a late-winter day. New York City is one of the most photogenic cities on the planet and it remains similarly so at all times of the year. Advantages of shooting architecture and cities when it is uncomfortably cold out include fewer people to interfere with your compositions, fewer photographers competing for the same shooting locations and easier isolation of composition-enhancing people while doing street photography.
 
Scouting
 
New York City is extremely large and I doubt that anyone will ever exhaust all of the photo possibilities of this location. For sure I will not. This means that pre-trip scouting is especially important. Using available online resources to visualize the location's available compositions maximizes one's photo time. These resources include maps, satellite imagery, The Photographer's Ephemeris, reviewing photos others captured at the potential location, etc.
 
Part of this scouting involves determining the direction of sunrise or sunset as this effects the look of the image at a key time of the day for cityscape photography. The sun rising or setting to the side of an image will be the most challenging with the sky taking on a brightness gradient from one side of the image to the other. If the sun is rising or setting behind you, buildings will reflect the brighter sky and the background sky will be darker in relation to the buildings. The sky may also become pink above the horizon in this situation. If the sun is rising or setting in front of you, the sky will be brighter in relation to the buildings, but the building lights will become more pronounced. Both latter options are great. My choice in this example was the in-front-of-me sunset.
 
On Location
 
Arriving at the location early to verify the choice made during pre-trip scouting is highly recommended. You never know what you might find upon arrival (such as a large construction project), so arrive early enough to implement plan B if necessary. Yes, having at least a plan B and, better yet, a plan C and D is a very good idea. Arriving early also provides the best opportunity to score the perfect shooting location.
 
On this particular cold evening, there was no competition for shooting location and to completely avoid the chance of people walking into my composition (and to avoid an ugly sign and construction fencing), I setup so that no foreground was visible in the frame. To do so at the focal length I wanted to use (24mm – the longest available on the lens I was evaluating) required extending my tripod down through the curved East River fencing.
 
The Right Time of Day Makes the Difference
 
City lights do not come on (or become visible) until it gets somewhat dark and these lights are a key to one of my favorite cityscape looks. The lights add life to the buildings and while cityscapes can be captured in complete darkness, I find that some color remaining in the sky makes a better image.
 
The "Blue Hour", by definition, lasts for 1 hour just before sunrise and just after sunset (use your online tool or phone app to find out when it happens at your shooting location on your chosen shooting day). However, the perfect shooting time, when the sky color balances with the city lights (and possibly reflections), lasts for closer to 15 minutes within that hour. I'll dub this time period the "Perfect 15" and I can usually narrow my ultimate preference down to a subset of that duration. While the Perfect 15 are ideal for capturing a variety of image types, cityscapes are an especially great use of this short period of time.
 
While it is possible to capture a number of compositions within the Perfect 15, I find it best to concentrate on one composition at the key time of the day. Fifteen minutes sounds like a very adequate amount of time to capture one image, but I assure you, it is often not. Here is why:
 
At this time of the day, each f/11 image requires 30 seconds of exposure (roughly) followed by 30 seconds of long exposure noise reduction dark frame capture. Add a few seconds for mirror lockup and multiply each shot by two or three for exposure bracketing (if warranted for HDR) and those Perfect 15 minutes begin to look very short.
 
Reflect a Great Scene for a Better Image
 
Want to make a great scene even better? Reflect it in water to double the greatness. Many major cities exist because of the water located by them, and cityscapes often look best when reflected in water. However, these waterways are typically large enough and have enough wind and boat traffic on them to never permit a mirror-smooth reflection. Reflections in rough water can look OK (though somewhat distracting), but making a smooth blur of the water via a long exposure is usually my preference. The Perfect 15 happens at the right time of day for long water-blurring exposures, but the boat traffic presents a problem.
 
Even during a 30 second exposure, the waves created by a large boat are going to create possibly-undesirable lines in the final image. Also, at this time of the day, boats are required to have lights on and those lights show very clearly as long streaks in the image. Sometimes these light streaks can be removed in post processing (try the content-aware healing brush in Photoshop), but lights on the larger boats (such as ferries) streak across the city details, becoming much more difficult to remove. When this happens, an available option is to simply leave the light streaks remaining in the final image, adding an effect. Most of the time, I find this effect undesirable. Correcting the uneven reflections caused by 30-second wave blurs is usually very challenging.
 
The Perfect 15 is Short for Even One Image
 
So, in addition to the over-1-minute exposure captures along with similar durations for exposure bracketed shots (for potential HDR use), a boat moving through an image can cut the remaining available time drastically. A tug boat pushing a barge through the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Skyline scene takes a couple of minutes and the waves don't settle for a period of time after that. The East River Ferry is much faster, but it also makes significant waves. Boat traffic alone took a major chunk out of my Perfect 15 on this day.
 
Does the Tide Matter?
 
If your city's waterway is tidal-influenced and water-level subjects, especially in the foreground (such as pilings), are in your frame, make sure that your capture date is ideally timed with the tide. Use the tide charts available for your location to determine this.
 
The Weather Matters
 
If it were raining, snowing or foggy, I would not likely have been able to see the city I was photographing, so yes, the weather matters. Aside from being able to see the primary subjects, what the weather is providing becomes decreasingly important for cityscape photography at these times of the day. If you want the sunset to add a significant interest to the sky, there needs to be some clouds to catch color and an opening in the sky allowing the sun to illuminate those clouds. Since I wanted the city itself to be the primary interest in my image and because I wanted a high-percentage weather forecast, I chose a perfectly clear day for this trip. A clear sky provides a great blue color over the city and reflects in the water below it.
 
Seeing Stars and Aircraft
 
Cities are usually bright enough to overwhelm the visibility of most stars, but if you happen to be able to see the stars in your images, 30 seconds is probably going to give you some star trails. What to do with the handful of visible stars and their short trails is a matter of taste, but they appeared to be an anomaly in this image. There were not enough stars showing to make them appear as part of the scene, so I removed them.
 
Along with waterways, large cities usually have busy airports and air traffic very frequently becomes part of these images. The flashing lights from this aircraft generally create long dotted lines through a cityscape captured during 30 the seconds exposures typically in use during the Perfect 15. Again, the choice of what to do about these inevitable additions to the image is up to you. Fortunately, most of the aircraft are flying above the city and can be easily removed in Photoshop.
 
Replacing Light Bulbs
 
The waterways commonly found by large cities frequently have bridges over them. These bridges are often landmarks that you will want to incorporate into your images and these bridges commonly have many lights on them. The Brooklyn Bridge is one such bridge. After a severe winter, numerous light bulbs were in need of replacement. I'm sure that there had been very few maintenance crew members volunteering to scale the bridge under the severe temperatures (along with plenty of snow and ice) NYC had for many months prior, but I felt the missing lights negatively impacted the image and took the liberty of replacing the bulbs myself (in post of course).
 
Note that, while often the highest location in a city, bridges would seem to be great vantage points for cityscape photography during the Perfect 15. Unfortunately, for bridges with traffic on them, this is not the case. The amount of movement on most bridges with vehicular traffic is incredible (especially the large suspension bridges) and long exposure images captured from such bridges are typically very blurry.
 
This New York City Image
 
While reviewing the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens, I wanted to put some on-location hours behind this lens and decided that Brooklyn Bridge Park, just across the East River from downtown Manhattan, would be a good destination. I arrived early in the afternoon, spent an hour or so selecting what I thought was the ideal composition for capture during the Perfect 15 and then explored the area for other photographic opportunities.
 
About 45 minutes before sunset, I came back and anchored myself into the selected shooting location. I setup the camera, perfected the framing using a completely level camera (keeping the buildings vertically straight) and then established the proper focus distance setting. While I have yet to take a miss-autofocused image with this lens, I wanted no chance of that happening when the scene became dark. I used autofocus to get the initial setting, switched to manual focus mode and took a verification image.
 
While my selected image was captured 41 minutes after sunset, I captured images periodically before entering the Perfect 15. Some of these images are very nice and I'm glad to have them. More importantly, these images allowed me to monitor the exposure settings and how they were changing. There was no question about what settings I should be using when the ideal shooting time came.
 
While I did some bracketing and captured many exposures before, through and after the Perfect 15, everything came together in one image this time. The boat traffic stopped long enough for the waves to even out. The brightness in the sky leveled with the brightness of the city lights and the brightness of the reflection seems just right to me.
 
Aside from some of the tweaks I mentioned already (such as replacing burned out light bulbs), this image is basically right out of the camera. I shoot with the Neutral Picture Style selected in-camera to get a lower contrast histogram to best show the camera's available dynamic range and how I'm making use of it. Because this style's low contrast is not typically what I'm processing for, my usual first post processing step is to select Standard Picture Style. I added some saturation and turned the sharpness setting down to "1". Even with a very low "1" sharpness setting, all details in this image are tack sharp. Awesome lens.
 
Other "Perfect 15" Cityscapes
 
A few other recent cityscape images can be found here:
Pilings, Brooklyn Bridge Park, NYC Skyline at Sunset
Capturing the Spirit of Baltimore's Inner Harbor
Manhattan Skyline and Hamilton Park
 
Summary
 
A majority of photographers and other observers pack it in when the sun dips below the horizon, but the show is just getting started at sunset. Stick around. If the sun is visible in the sky, unfortunately, the best AM photo time may be in the past. This is the time to make plans for tomorrow. Try shooting during the blue hour and learn what your "Perfect 15" is.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Google+, Flickr and Facebook. Also, if reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
Post Date: 3/17/2015 10:18:52 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon EOS 60D DSLR Camera
B&H has the Canon EOS 60D DSLR Camera (review) available for $479.00 with free expedited shipping. Previously $899.00.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/17/2015 8:35:39 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Lowepro Fastpack 150 and 250 AW II Backpacks
PETALUMA, Calif., March 16, 2015 — Lowepro, the leading maker of photography carrying solutions, today unveiled the next generation of its trusted, travel-centric camera and laptop backpacks: the Fastpack II series. These versatile packs are designed to provide the modern traveler with quick, easy access to their camera, laptop and other devices while maximizing storage space and device protection for travel.
 
“Our trusted Fastpack series is designed to give avid travelers easy access to their laptops and camera gear in addition to the growing number of other devices they want available on the road,” said Tim Grimmer, vice president of brand and product at Lowepro. “Photography and device enthusiasts trust Fastpack’s easy-access compartments and well-designed organization to fulfill all their needs from business trips to events, personal excursions, day trips or extended travel. The latest generation of the Fastpack series improves device protection and provides increased utility essential for modern travel.”
 
The Fastpack II series includes two new packs for the DSLR photographer: the Fastpack 150 AW II and the Fastpack 250 AW II. Each pack features a padded easy-access compartment for a DSLR camera with lens. New additions to this generation include an all-weather protective cover to keep gear safe no matter the weather or destination, and the ability to secure the pack to rolling trolleys for easy airport maneuvering. The Fastpack 150 AW II is designed to hold up to an 11-inch laptop in a dedicated, padded device zone, and one to two extra lenses or flashes in the camera zone; and the larger Fastpack 250 AW II can hold a 15-inch laptop, plus up to three additional lenses or flashes. Both packs come complete with a padded, removable waistbelt for extra comfort that can be stashed during travel.
 
Additional features of the Fastpack II series include a device zone with CradleFit tablet protection, an open zone for additional equipment and a tall stretch-mesh side pocket that can secure tripods. Each pack can safely hold smartphones, headphones, keys, accessories and a hard drive in addition to a camera, laptop and tablet.
 
B&H has the Lowepro Fastpack AW II backpacks available for preorder.
Category: Lowepro News
Post Date: 3/17/2015 7:36:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash
For a limited time, DigitalRev has the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash available for $414.00. Compare at $499.00.
 
Note: When purchased by US customers, items sold by DigitalRev are considered grey market.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/17/2015 7:03:54 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, March 16, 2015
Google Doodle honoring Botanist Photographer Anna Atkins
Take a closer look at today's Google Doodle and you may notice that it pays tribute to early botanist photographer Anna Atkins (today is Ms. Atkin's 216th birthday). Some sources claim she is the first woman to ever create a photograph.
 
To learn more about Anna Atkins, simply click the Google Doodle on the Google Homepage.
 
Note: Depending on your specific region, the Google Doodle highlighting Anna Atkins may note be shown on the homepage. Click here for a link to the Doodle if your region does not display it automatically.
Category: Google News
Post Date: 3/16/2015 1:01:20 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Category: Profoto News
Post Date: 3/16/2015 11:48:16 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Sandisk Ultra 64GB Class 10 SDXC Memory Card
Post Date: 3/16/2015 8:41:20 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens
I have updated the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens review with the following:
 
  • Manhattan cityscape sample image added
  • Additional focal length angle of view example included
  • Replaced the 100% corner crops with a better set of examples
  • Distinguished between the two versions of the Samyang 14mm Lens
  • More info regarding the Canon 8-15mm fisheye lens
I'm loving this lens. I spent a cold Thursday in New York City with the 11-24, arriving home at 3:00 AM. I had a blast – and had to force myself to occasionally turn the zoom ring beyond 11mm.
 
Join the fun – get your Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens from B&H (preorder with deliveries expected soon).
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/16/2015 8:18:25 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
AdoramaPix Logo
Through this week, use coupon code PXSAVE60 at AdoramaPix to receive 60% off photo books.
Post Date: 3/16/2015 7:19:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
UDI RC U818A-1 Discovery Quadcopter with HD Camera
For a limited time, B&H has the UDI RC U818A-1 Discovery Quadcopter with HD Camera available for $59.99 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $99.99.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 720p HD / 30 fps Flight Camera
  • Takes JPEG Still Photos
  • One-Button Aerial Flips
  • Up to 8 Minutes Flight Time
Post Date: 3/16/2015 7:14:37 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, March 15, 2015
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens
Hot Deal: eBay (via GetItDigital) has the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens (review) available for $599.99 with free shipping. Compare at $1,149.00.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore would not technically qualify for a Canon USA warranty.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 3/15/2015 8:45:03 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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