Brianna, my high school senior, has had a very successful high school track career from multiple perspectives including having her name on three school records. This success did not come without a huge effort on her part, and we had discussed shooting a more-formal senior picture highlighting her passion for mid-distance running. Track season became busy and I shot many images of her competing, but time got away from us and suddenly we had only one evening remaining before she had to turn in her uniform.
The weather forecast for that evening called for scattered showers and we were watching the radar very closely. I was packed and ready, and we decided to go for it. After determining the ideal location on the track to shoot at, I began unpacking.
I had three Canon 600EX-RT Speedlites and a Canon ST-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter to control them with. Two Speedlites were mounted on background light stands (small, light and simple) with Justin Clamps used to hold the Speedlites to the poles at any height I wanted. The third Speedlite was mounted to a weighted light stand with a 60" reversed/shoot-through umbrella mounted to a Manfrotto umbrella adapter.
I first mounted the umbrella to the stand and almost immediately a light rain began to fall. I quickly put Brianna, who feared that her hair and makeup would be ruined, under the Photogenic "umbrella". The rain mostly passed within 10 minutes or so and we went to work.
The two flashes on background light stands were set to group B and used as rim lights, placed to the side or slightly behind the subject as composition allowed. The shoot-through umbrella's flash was set to group A and used as the main light. Ambient light (for the entire background) was controlled through a manually-set camera exposure. The flashes were in E-TTL mode and +/- exposure for the two groups was controlled by the ST-E3-RT's Group mode.
While this may all sound complicated, it was not. Setup was very simple and I was able to quickly and easily adjust/balance the ambient, main and background light levels from the camera. While the rain stayed away for much of the two hours we were shooting, it did not fully stay away. Fortunately, this entire kit, including the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L II USM Lens, was weather-sealed and we were able to make many great images in this time.
I had planned this shoot for an evening so that the flashes would be able to overpower the ambient light levels, though I had hoped for a bit more light than we had. The aperture was wide and the ISO was moving up by the end of the evening. Still, the shoot was a big success for us.
Even selecting this particular image from the many shots of just this pose was difficult. With lighting dialed in, I had Brianna repetitively start from specific position on the track and take one big stride with her left knee and right arm (with the baton) forward. I timed the shutter release (a short shutter lag is extremely useful in this situation) for a near-top-of-stride subject position that coincided with the lighting setup. The composition was arranged to take advantage of the lines on the track.
With a wireless flash system and a little effort, we created the images we had envisioned.
Adobe will be showcasing upcoming changes to Creative Cloud on June 18 at 1PM ET. Adobe's tagline for the event – "Everything is New Again" – suggests there may be some surprises in store.
Sign up at Adobe to receive a reminder of the live streaming announcement.
Reminder: Through May 31, Adobe has the Photoshop Photography Program (Photoshop CC & Lightroom 5) available for $9.99/mo (with 1 year commitment) with no previous ownership requirements.
I've been a Photoshop Photography Program member since September and really enjoy it. I believe it's an excellent value at $9.99 per month. Time is running out on this deal so take advantage of it while you can. [Sean]
Roger over at LensRentals has a bit of a problem. He will soon have so much data (thanks to LensRentals' new optical bench) that he doesn't know what to do with it. Excel experts, he needs your help to present the data in a logical, concise and easy-to-understand way.
Here are the details:
Platinum Medal Prize: $500
To win the Platinum Prize you must write a program or macro that fulfills my wild fantasy – Aaron spends hours collecting data on dozens of lenses, then I push a computer button and beautiful, logical graphs are generated that are easy to follow, present the data and variation, and offers an easy way to compare different types of lenses. I will be a bit flexible on what constitutes pushing a button, but if it takes me hours, it’s not winning.
Gold Medal Prize: We will do the lens test of your choice (within limits of our mounts for the optical bench and lens availability) and a $100 rental credit
So if you’ve always wanted a comparison between the Canon 18-55 IS kit lens and the Olympus 16-50, or just want your ownt lenses tested, here’s your chance. To win the Gold Medal Prize you develop a fairly simple way to create logical, easy to understand graphs that demonstrate the variation of copies for each type of lens, and offers an easy way to compare different types of lenses.
Bronze Medal Prize: Our undying gratitude and we’ll test 2 of your lenses on our optical bench and provide you printouts.
To win the Bronze Medal you simply have to demonstrate a graphing method that presents the average (mean) results for multiple copies of a lens in a way that’s easy to follow and understand. If we use your graph methods, you win a Bronze Medal.
Designed for photographers and videographers on the move, the new Pro Light bag range offers extremely lightweight construction with maximum internal protection for your equipment, making them the perfect on location carrying solution.
Versatile, functional and extremely ergonomic; the Pro Light Photo range offers intuitive solutions for rapid access to your equipment. Simply rotate the backpack to your chest and access your equipment using the fast opening side pocket within seconds, without even having to remove the bag from your body. The Pro Light range includes backpacks and holsters in a variety of sizes to meet your needs
Shooting on location often requires carrying a lot of equipment. Pro Light video bags feature an advanced harness system, organised internal storage and our innovative removable CPS dividers which together offer unrivalled lightweight protection for your valuable equipment. The video range includes backpacks, shoulder and roller cases offering a solution for all eventualities.
Unpredictable weather conditions are always a challenge. Pro Light rain covers provide waterproof protection for your photo or video camera allowing you to continue your shoot confidently knowing your camera remains dry. Drawstring collars ensure a firm seal around your hands, lens and microphone.
This was one of the longest, coldest winters that I can remember, and the leaves that have finally appeared, bringing color to the long-monochromatic landscape, have been calling me. While I have not avoided the typical spring landscape shots, I have been looking for creative ways to incorporate the beautiful light green color of the new leaf growth into my images. And then this guy showed up.
This is a big black bear. One way to tell that a bear is big is by the size of its ears (small) relative to the size of its head (large). It is also is one of the nicest-looking black bears I have seen, lacking scars and other deformities that these animals so commonly have (bears often do not play well with others). It is in especially good physical condition for recently coming out of hibernation. (Yes, the bear is indeed bad - it has been causing damage to multiple neighbors' properties, primarily targeting bird feeders.)
Photographing black bears is usually very challenging. Finding these animals in light bright enough for photography is frequently the biggest challenge. Photography is about capturing light and black, especially in the form of fur, is the absence of light. So, once you find a black bear, properly exposing their light-absorbing black coat is the next challenge. If using an auto-exposure mode, the camera will need to be instructed to under-expose the image by a significant amount. That amount varies depending on the percentage of the frame the bear is consuming and the percentage of the frame you are using for auto-exposure.
If the lighting is consistent (or not changing fast), a manual exposure setting is best. Either way, it is hard to completely avoid blocked shadows (pure black with no detail) – especially on the shadowed areas of the bear and especially if there are bright subjects in the frame (because they will become pure white). With a manual exposure locked in (the log is just under blown brightness before I reduce the final exposure of this image), I was free to concentrate on focus and framing.
Composition and focusing are two additional bear photography challenges. These animals do not stay still for very long – unless they are staring at what they think is a danger (or perhaps is food) to them (me in this case). The closer the selected focus point is to the bear's eye in the desired framing, the less time you will spend adjusting the framing after establishing focus. This means that the bear is less likely to move before the shot is captured and more images can be captured in the potentially short period of time that the bear is posing. A turn of the head means a new focus distance is needed and then I usually want a different subject framing (to keep the animal looking into the frame) and this usually means a different AF point becomes ideal. Sometimes I use only the center AF point and sometimes I use a more-ideally-located AF point.
While I would like to say that I had established this bear's patterns and was waiting for him for long periods of time, this encounter was more divinely-timed with me being able to very quickly capitalize on it. The 200-400 L performed incredibly well as always and the bear did also. The bear's position in the clearing with direct evening sunlight along with brightly-lit green spring leaves in the distant background could not have been better planned. This shot has become one of my favorite black bear pictures and I'm guessing that I will not find a better way to incorporate the spring leaves into a photo this season.
New Campaign Includes TV, Theater and Digital Advertising as Well as New Consumer-centric "Bring It" Microsite
MELVILLE, N.Y., May 27, 2014 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce a new marketing campaign, "Bring It," designed to enlighten consumers to a new perspective of telling better stories with higher quality images and video. The campaign, scheduled to roll out this month, features Canon's line of EOS digital SLR cameras and lenses with a rallying cry for everyone to bring their best images and videos to be shared on the Canon "Bring It" microsite.
With a history dating as far back as the 1930s, Canon brought high-quality photography to market. Then, the heritage brand was the first to bring Hollywood caliber HD video to its digital SLR cameras. Today, Canon builds on its legacy by bringing a movement designed to show the public the value a Canon camera can bring to capture outstanding images and videos. Consumers should not settle for good enough, when they can have great. The new 'Bring It' campaign asks the masses to bring their talent, bring everything they have to the art of creating inspiring still and video images.
Through a series of TV, in-cinema and digital spots, "Bring It" pays homage to Canon's past and future as a leader in digital imaging technology, including scenes from the recent film Need for Speed, as well as personal home videos conveying the impact Canon has had from Hollywood to the general public. Consumers are also encouraged to be part of this social movement using the hashtag #BringIt every time they upload their creative HD videos and still images on social media sharing sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Consumer submitted content shared online with #BringIt may be featured and celebrated on the campaign microsite, bringit.usa.canon.com, beginning in July.
"We want this new ad campaign to inspire everyone who is passionate about photography to show us the talents they possess," said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A. "The idea behind 'Bring It' is to encourage people to strive to not only take better pictures and videos, but to take their cameras wherever they go, allowing them to tell their unique visual stories -stories that will stand out from the crowd and last a lifetime."
Bring It Microsite In addition, the "Bring It" microsite will serve as a gallery for consumer-submitted images and video, visitors to the bringit.usa.canon.com microsite will get a behind-the-scenes view of the inspiration behind each contribution and information on the products and methods used to produce what is being showcased. The microsite will also feature interactive content about Canon products, as well as educational tools to help inspire and guide consumers as they embark on their own journeys of producing still images and Hollywood caliber HD videos.
For the latest news and announcements related to Canon's "Bring It" campaign, follow @CanonUSAImaging on Twitter and join the conversation with #BringIt.