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 Monday, April 13, 2015
by Sean Setters
 
At about 3:30am this past Friday, I awoke from a sound sleep but had no idea why. Through the tiny slit in my eyelids I thought I detected a flash of light from the window behind my head. It didn't seem very bright and I thought to myself, "Was that lightning or am I dreaming?"
 
After waiting a few seconds to hear the tell-tale sounds of thunder, I laid my head back down. A few seconds later, though, I finally heard the faint sounds of distant thunder.
 
Wanting to try out my Vello FreeWave Stryker Lightning & Motion Trigger, I groggily rose from the bed, put on clothes and packed my camera gear. In 15 minutes I was standing on the town square after a very short drive.
 
I originally purchased the Vello FreeWave Stryker Lightning & Motion Trigger just before Christmas of last year. As winter is not known for producing thunder storms, I had only been able to use the device once a couple of weeks ago since acquring it. While testing the device for the first time, I thought about how cool it would be to capture lightning over one of my town's most famous landmarks, the historic county courthouse.
 
To get the shot, I positioned myself under the awning of a building across the street. I used my 5D Mark III and a Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L (precursor to the TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II) so that I could keep the perspective of the building clean while also capturing a good portion of the sky (shifting the lens upward).
 
I adjusted the Vello trigger's sensitivity to the point at which it was triggered by the ambient street lights and then backed off the sensitivity just slightly. It took me a few test shots to nail down my exposure settings (adjusting aperture and ISO to properly expose for the lightning and shutter speed to properly expose for the buildings), but I finally worked it out.
 
After about 30-40 minutes there was a break in the rain where lightning was striking within the camera's field of view. I captured lightning bolts in three different images, and this one captured at 4:07am was the best of the bunch. The camera also triggered when lightning flashed outside the camera's field of view, but those images simply showed a brightened sky.
 
After about an hour and a half of shooting (well after getting this shot), I went home and immediately edited the image and posted it to Facebook where it blew up in popularity, easily besting any other image I've ever posted to social media. It was shared by the official Facebook page of our county (where it has garnered over 1,400 likes and almost 200 shares this weekend) as well as being shared on the Facebook pages of our town mayor and a local radio DJ.
 
Unfortunately, I was quite tired when originally editing and posting the image and didn't notice how warm I left the image's color balance. I cooled down the color balance (but still left it slightly warm) in the image uploaded to Flickr (shown above).
 
Could I have captured this image without the lightning trigger? Of course. To do so, I would have needed to continuously fire the camera in interval mode (either using an intervelometer or simply pushing the shutter button every time an exposure ended), but using the dedicated lightning trigger made the process much easier. The lightning trigger was also handy when trying to find the right exposure variables (as the camera wasn't continuously firing, camera settings could be adjusted as normal). Also, using the trigger meant that I didn't have to wade through hundreds of images to find the ones where lightning actually struck.
 
Misc. Takeaways
 
  • When posting images to social media, timing is important. As I posted the image soon after getting home, the morning lighting storm was still fresh in everyone's mind (many people woke up to the storm), so the image was even more relevant.
  • Even though I was shooting beneath an awning, a lens hood (which I forgot to bring) would have helped protect the lens's front element from raindrops blown by the wind. The image above shows evidence of rain being on the front element.
  • An image that has nothing to do with your bread-and-butter, money-making photography (for me – portraiture, architecture and advertising) can actually help you get business. A former headshot client of mine contacted me later that day to congratulate me on the image and then requested a quote for portrait-based advertising images for his company. The proceeds from that job alone would easily cover half the investment in an EOS 5Ds. Aside from that, I've also had requests for print purchases of the image.
You can see a larger version of the image on Flickr.
 
EXIF Info:
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L Tilt-Shift
24mm, f/8, 10 sec, ISO 100
Post Date: 4/13/2015 9:51:39 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon 200-400 L IS Captures Black Bear Cub and an Iris
With the amazing Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens getting a nearly-equally amazing $800.00 price reduction, I felt compelled to share an image captured with this lens.
 
In the spring, black bears come out of hibernation and the cubs enter their new world, full of first-time experiences waiting to happen. This little cub may have never seen an iris before and though it was still nursing from its mom, must have thought the iris looked like candy. After pulling some unopened flower buds from their stems and carrying them around like toys, this little cub approached the big open flower. It proceeded with great effort to pull the flower off of the stem. Too cute.
 
With a cub this young, you can count on the mother being close by. The zoom focal length range of this lens allowed me to frame the cub reasonably tightly at 560mm with the built-in 1.4x extender switched into the optical path (with some cropping) and then quickly zoom out to 270mm sans extender to vertically capture the momma bear standing upright with a cub between her legs. No single prime lens would have worked in this situation (unless the widest-needed focal length was selected with most images needing significant cropping).
 
Leave your own caption for this image in the comments!
 
Check out the huge list of significant Canon L lens price reductions in addition to the 200-400 L II's $800.00 price drop.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr and Google+. Also, if reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
560mm  f/5.6  1/250s
ISO 1000
3914 x 2609px
Post Date: 4/13/2015 10:30:20 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
MindShift Gear House of Cards CF/SD Card Holder
Between now and May 15th, MindShift Gear is offering a free House of Cards CF/SD card holder ($19.99 value) with the purchase of any of their backpacks plus free grounds shipping.
 
The rebate form to claim the free memory card holder can be downloaded here.
Post Date: 4/13/2015 8:38:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Magnus VT-4000 Tripod System with Fluid Head
For a limited time, B&H has the Magnus VT-4000 Tripod System with Fluid Head available for $99.95 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $149.95.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Supports 8.8 lb (4 kg)
  • 65mm Ball Diameter
  • 2-Stage Leg Design
  • Height Adjustment Range - 27.6" to 59"
  • Middle Spreader
  • Fixed Counter Balance
  • Fixed Pan / Tilt Drag
  • +20/-25mm Slide Range
  • With Quick Release Plate
  • Tilt Angle - +90° / -60°
Post Date: 4/13/2015 6:19:05 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera
eBay (via GetItDigital) has the Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera available for $1,414.00 with free shipping. Compare at $1,699.00 after $100.00 instant savings.
 
You may also qualify for $28.28 in eBay Bucks with this purchase.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore not technically qualify for a Canon USA warranty. However, the auction advertises that the item comes with a 1-year warranty provided by the seller.
 
Update: eBay seller BigValueInc just posted a 7D Mark II deal for $1,299.00.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/13/2015 6:12:38 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, April 12, 2015
Apple 12
B&H has the new Apple 12" Macbooks available for preorder.
Category: Apple Preorders
Post Date: 4/12/2015 5:12:14 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens
The MSRP on a huge selection of Canon "L" lenses has just been lowered. We don't know if these price drops are permanent or temporary, so now would be a good time to "Add to Cart" if you've had your eye on one of these lenses.
 
See below for details:
 
Canon Price Drops
 
LensOrig. PricePrice DropNew Price
Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L USM Fisheye$1,349.00$100.00$1,249.00
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM$1,699.00$100.00$1,599.00
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM$1,199.00$100.00$1,099.00
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM$839.00$40.00$799.00
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM$1,999.00$100.00$1,899.00
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM$1,149.00$150.00$999.00
Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM$2,549.00$100.00$2,449.00
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM$2,199.00$100.00$2,099.00
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM$1,439.00$100.00$1,339.00
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM$1,299.00$100.00$1,199.00
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM$709.00$60.00$649.00
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM$1,449.00$100.00$1,349.00
Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Ext 1.4x$11,799.00$800.00$10,999.00
Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM$2,249.00$150.00$2,099.00
Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L Tilt-Shift$2,249.00$100.00$2,149.00
Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM$1,649.00$100.00$1,549.00
Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II Tilt-Shift$1,999.00$100.00$1,899.00
Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM$1,549.00$100.00$1,449.00
Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM$2,099.00$100.00$1,999.00
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro$949.00$50.00$899.00
Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM$1,049.00$50.00$999.00
Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L USM Macro$1,499.00$100.00$1,399.00
Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS$5,999.00$300.00$5,699.00
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM$779.00$30.00$749.00
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM$6,599.00$500.00$6,099.00
Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM$1,449.00$100.00$1,349.00
Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II$10,499.00$500.00$9,999.00
Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM$1,339.00$90.00$1,249.00
Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM$9,499.00$500.00$8,999.00
Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM$11,999.00$500.00$11,499.00
Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM$13,499.00$500.00$12,999.00
Canon Extender EF 1.4x III$449.00$20.00$429.00
Canon Extender EF 2x III$449.00$20.00$429.00
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/12/2015 7:56:54 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Saturday, April 11, 2015
Canon EOS Rebel T5i with EF-S 18-55mm IS STM Lens
eBay (via BestStopDeals) has the Canon EOS Rebel T5i with EF-S 18-55mm IS STM Lens available for $499.00 with free shipping. Compare at $599.00 after $100.00 instant rebate.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore not technically eligible for a Canon USA warranty.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/11/2015 8:29:50 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, April 10, 2015

 
From the lynda.com YouTube Channel:
 
Find out how to capture a camera angle that provide a good overhead view and lots of detail and flexibility—like what you'd need for a cooking show or gadget review—using a simple mirror. Want more pro video tips? Watch the follow-up movies here.
 
This tutorial is from the Pro Video Tips series presented by lynda.com author Anthony Q. Artis. Pro Video Tips offers a new video tip every week, on topics like shooting techniques, storytelling, audio, and miking.
Post Date: 4/10/2015 9:22:43 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Manhatten, IL Museum Presents the History of Photography
From TheHeraldNews.com:
 
April 10, 2015 – MANHATTAN, ILLINOIS – Several exhibitors will be on hand at the History of Photography Exhibit sponsored by the Manhattan Township Historical Society.
 
The free and interactive exhibit will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., April 18, at 255 S. State Street, Manhattan, Illinois..
 
Displays will include the historical development of the camera from the early pinhole camera and camera obscura, through various plate and film equipment, to modern digital cameras.
 
Various historic processing methods will be described with examples of photographs produced by these processes. Visitors can experience a mock-up of a chemical process dark room and load a film-processing tank. An active present day light room will present modern digital processing techniques.
 
An astrophotography exhibit will feature the equipment, techniques and subject matter for capturing images of the night sky, including meteors, wide-angle sky images, deep space objects and lightning.
 
Other exhibits include stereo and panoramic photography and examples of using graphic software to post-process digital images. Visit www.facebook.com/manhattanhistoricalsociety.
Post Date: 4/10/2015 9:02:54 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon 50-1000mm Cine Servo Lens
From Canon USA:
 
MELVILLE, N.Y., April 10, 2015 - Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, delivered the first Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 Ultra-Telephoto Zoom lens to Otto Nemenz International, a world-renowned rental company based in Los Angeles, CA. Otto Nemenz is the first facility in the United States to offer the Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm lens for rental.
 
Canon introduced the ultra-telephoto CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 Ultra-Telephoto Zoom lens in October of 2014. With the world's longest focal length (75-1500mm with its built-in 1.5x extender) and highest (20x) magnification among Super 35mm zoom lensesi, this CINE-SERVO zoom lens offers cinematographers new possibilities for shooting scenes in HD, 2K and 4K on single-sensor cameras. Available in both EF- and PL- mount versions, the lens features a removable Digital Drive unit designed to support broadcast or cinema-style production.
 
"We are thrilled to be the first to purchase this new lens, a historic development in engineering," said Otto Nemenz, founder and CEO of Otto Nemenz International and I.A.T.S.E. Local 600 member. "Our cinematographer clients are excited to get their hands on this lens and develop new filmmaking techniques using this product."
 
"Among professionals in the industry the name Otto Nemenz is synonymous with quality and reliability," said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. "We are honored by their selection of our CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm lens, and its inclusion into their impressive equipment portfolio will make it readily available for professionals to explore the visual potential this lens offers."
 
On April 23, 2015, Otto Nemenz will begin offering the Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 Ultra-Telephoto Zoom lens for rent. To inquire about reserving the lens, please contact Alex Wengert (alex@ottonemenz.com) or Fritz Heinzle (fritz@ottonemenz.com).
 
Want to own the lens rather than rent? B&H has the Canon CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0 - T8.9 Lens available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Category: Canon USA News
Post Date: 4/10/2015 8:44:07 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
We’re excited to announce that we’ve partnered with YouTube sensation Devin Graham for Project Imagination: The Trailer. In a world, where anything in life can be a movie, and every movie starts with a trailer, Ron Howard and Josh Hutcherson are looking for moments from your everyday life to inspire their next film. And you don’t need to be a professional filmmaker or YouTube star to catch their attention.
 
Check out Devin’s “Adventure Boy” trailer that he edited using our own easy-to-use Trailer Editor tool. The contest closes on 4/29, so create yours today at http://bit.ly/1GemYHj!
 
Note from Sean: If you're unfamiliar with Devin Graham's work, check out this video (filmed with a 5D Mark III and Glidecam HD2000).
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/10/2015 8:07:54 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Manfrotto XPRO Geared Head
April 9, 2015 – Manfrotto is proud to announce the launch of the XPRO Geared Head. The new 3-way tripod head is designed for amateur and hobbyist photographers who require precise composition adjustments via geared movements, including macro, landscape and architectural photography.
 
Portability
For passionate photographers requiring precision, especially on location, this head designed by Manfrotto weighs only 750 g (1.65 lbs), but can support up to 4kg (8.8 lbs) of payload. Its Adapto body, a strong and rigid technopolymer, makes this head the most precise, lightweight head that Manfrotto has ever created. This allows landscape and architectural photographers to achieve their images on-location with less bulk than ever before.
 
Framing precision
Thanks to the XPRO Geared Head’s patent pending micrometric knobs, photographers can achieve their desired composition and refine their selections along a single axis faster than traditional ball heads. The geared movement of the head allows precise, micro step framing on all three axis, with confirmation via the three included bubble levels, one for each axis. The newly designed rotating knobs ensure ergonomic comfort even during extensive usage. Moreover, if the photographer doesn’t need to make fine adjustments, the axis locking system may be loosened with the Quick Movement levers, allowing for free movement along the axis.
 
Convenience
By using one of the most common photographic plates in the world, the 200PL, the new XPRO Geared Head is compatible with Manfrotto’s most popular ball and 3-way tripod heads including the XPRO 2-Way fluid head, XPRO 3-Way head and 496RC2 ball head. This strikes the perfect balance between quick setup and savings: one plate is always attached to the camera, ready to be used in any situation with whatever photo or video support the photographer has on location.
 
Made in Italy
The new XPRO Geared Head is designed and manufactured in Italy. Utilizing premium materials and advanced engineering processes, the new XPRO Geared Head features a 10 year Canadian warranty.
 
The new Manfrotto XPRO 3-Way Geared Head will be available in Canada in late April at the suggested retail price of $259.95.
 
B&H carries the Manfrotto XPRO Geared 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head.
Category: Manfrotto News
Post Date: 4/10/2015 6:55:29 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From LinkedIn:
 
Mountain View, Calif. – April 9, 2015 – LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 300 million members worldwide, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire lynda.com, a leading online learning company teaching business, technology and creative skills to help people achieve their professional goals. Based in Carpinteria, CA, lynda.com was co-founded in 1995 by Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin.
 
The transaction is valued at approximately $1.5 billion, subject to adjustment, in a combination of approximately 52 percent cash and approximately 48 percent stock. Subject to the completion of customary conditions, the acquisition is expected to close during the second quarter of 2015.
 
Through a subscription to lynda.com’s service, individual members and organizations have access to a comprehensive collection of top quality courses taught by industry experts, offered in English, German, French, Spanish, and Japanese. In addition to individual subscribers, lynda.com serves corporate, government and educational organizations through its lyndaEnterprise, lyndaPro, lyndaCampus, lyndaLibrary and lyndaKiosk products. lynda.com stands out as a leader of owned and operated premium skills content, offering a massive library of high-quality courses.
 
“The mission of LinkedIn and the mission of lynda.com are highly aligned. Both companies seek to help professionals be better at what they do,” said Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn. “lynda.com’s extensive library of premium video content helps empower people to develop the skills needed to accelerate their careers. When integrated with the hundreds of millions of members and millions of jobs on LinkedIn, lynda.com can change the way in which people connect to opportunity.”
 
"This is such an exciting moment in the 20-year history of lynda.com, and I couldn't imagine a better pairing than lynda.com and LinkedIn," said Lynda Weinman, co-founder and executive chair of the board of lynda.com.
 
"In LinkedIn, we have found an incredible partner who shares our vision and passion for empowering people around the world to make real change in their lives through access to information, learning and professional development," said Eric Robison, CEO of lynda.com.
 
Following closing, most members of the lynda.com team are expected to join LinkedIn.
Post Date: 4/10/2015 6:37:39 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, April 9, 2015
Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera
eBay (via GetItDigital) has the Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera available for $1,429.99 with free shipping. Compare at $1,699.00 after $100.00 instant savings.
 
You may also qualify for $28.60 in eBay Bucks with this purchase.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore not technically qualify for a Canon USA warranty. However, the auction advertises that the item comes with a 1-year warranty provided by the seller.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/9/2015 2:40:21 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
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