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 Tuesday, May 26, 2015
I live in a fenced-in property which is situated squarely in the middle of a medium-sized town. I have often used the fence that borders my driveway as a background for various portraits. It's clean, simple, and works well especially when it falls just out of focus.
 
As the winter months transition into spring, however, sections of the fence would become covered in vines. In previous years, I did everything I could to avoid using those sections of fence for my portraits. I considered them a hindrance for tarnishing my clean-looking background during the warm and inviting seasons perfect for portraiture.
 
But as I walked to my mailbox last week, it finally hit me. "Why don't I use the vines for a tightly framed portrait? Hmm..."
 
I must have past that particular section of the fence 500 times over the past three years, but it never occurred to me to actually feature the vines in a portrait. A few days later Amanda and I decided to give it a go.
 
I set up a tripod mounted 7D Mark II with my favorite portrait lens, the EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM. So why would I use the 7D Mark II in place of my primary body, the 5D Mark III? For this particular portrait, there was little appreciable difference between the two bodies. I didn't need the full-frame performance gains at high ISOs (I shot this using ISO 100) and I didn't need the shallow DOF advantage either as I would be using a relatively narrow aperture (f/7.1) to keep the details of the background recognizable.
 
Considering the f/7.1 aperture, you might wonder why I chose the EF 85mm f/1.2L II. As I said, it's my favorite portrait lens. The fixed 85mm focal length is a flattering focal length for portraits and the lens is especially sharp when stopped down (although, depending on the subject, extreme sharpness may not necessarily be a beneficial quality when it comes to portrait lenses).
 
For the main light I used a monolight diffused by a Mola Demi beauty dish fitted with a HoneyGrids Universal Grid. The background light was provided by a Canon 580EX Speedlite flash fitted with an Opteka OSG18 1/8-Inch Universal Honeycomb Grid. Using the grid on the main light and positioning it so that it pointed downward limited the amount of light that spilled on the background allowing me to easily control the luminosity of the background with the Speedlite. The grid on the Speedlite kept its light from striking the subject and concentrated its output in a more focused area on the background.
 
This is what the setup and fence looked like:
 
Amanda in front of Vines Setup

I believe similar results could have been achieved with lower cost lights and modifiers (a speedlight with a gridded softbox, possibly?).
 
When post-processing the final image, I actually reduced the luminosity of the background preferring the leaves to be a little darker than what I captured in-camera. I also used a selective color mask to make the shadows appear cooler/more bluish in tone. I was going for a Renaissance painting look for the portrait, and the edits helped push the image in that direction (in my opinion).
 
The takeaway from this shoot is aptly summed up by the title. With spring in full swing, beautiful backgrounds are popping up everywhere. Take a minute to scan your surroundings – even in your own yard – to see if there's something you've been overlooking just like me. :-)
Post Date: 5/26/2015 7:58:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Post Date: 5/26/2015 7:49:33 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Lens
For a limited time, DigitalRev has the Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG HSM Lens available for $674.00. Compare at $799.00 after $100.00 instant savings.
 
Note: When purchased by US customers, items sold by DigitalRev are considered grey market.
Post Date: 5/26/2015 6:56:53 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, May 25, 2015

Canon has initiated a new ad campaign that offers insight into the ramifications of bringing your DSLR with you versus leaving it at home.
 
As you can imagine, things usually work out well for the protagonist when the Canon DSLR is within arm's reach. ;-)
 

 

 

 
B&H carries Canon DSLR cameras.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/25/2015 2:13:00 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon Professional Services Logo
Canon USA's Rudy Winston has authored an excellent article for CPS which explains the challenges of shooting with an ultra-high megapixel camera and how to deal with them.
 
Think 1/focal length is a fast enough shutter speed to stop camera shake? Think again.
 
This will be an excellent and valuable resource for anyone who has preordered a 5Ds / 5Ds R or anyone considering upgrading to one of these 50.6 megapixel DSLRs.
 
Check out Rudy's tips on the Canon Professional Services.
 
B&H has the Canon EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/25/2015 7:29:11 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon Professional Services
Canon USA's Rudy Winston has authored an article for CPS highlighting the differences between the EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R and the 5D III.
 
From Canon Professional Services:
"Current EOS 5D Mark III shooters, who may be considering moving to the new high-resolution EOS 5DS (or the EOS 5DS R, which removes the effect of low-pass filtration), may wonder if anything changed on these new cameras because the new models look practically identical to the proven Mark III camera. Rest assured, there are some new rewards waiting to greet 5D Mark III owners who step up to the new cameras. We can’t touch on every single one, but we’ll try to give an overview of many of the new details.
 
Obviously, the biggest is the move to a 50.6 million pixel CMOS image sensor – more than doubling the pixel count from the Mark III model. You’ve no doubt seen discussion of this, so we’ll go a bit more beneath the surface. Everything we discuss here applies to both the EOS 5DS and 5DS R models."
Topics Covered
 
  • Shooting Information icons
  • Electronic Viewfinder Dual-axis Level
  • AF point illumination in AI Servo AF
  • Exposure Compensation icon appears any time it’s active
  • 150,000 pixel RGB metering sensor
  • Flicker Detection
  • EOS iTR AF
  • Metering during Live View shooting
  • Auto White Balance (AWB) — White Priority
  • Fineness and Threshold added to each Picture Style setting
  • Fine Detail Picture Style
  • The mirror and mirror lock options
  • Bulb timer; Interval timer
  • Custom Quick Control Menu
  • USB 3.0 connectivity
  • My Menu: Create additional menu screens
  • Movie Servo AF
  • Time-lapse Movie
  • Customize shutter button
Read the entire article on the Canon Professional Services website.
 
B&H has the Canon EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/25/2015 7:17:04 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, May 22, 2015
GoPro HERO3 White Edition Camera
eBay (viaGoPro_Certified) has the Refurbished GoPro HERO3 White Edition Camera available for $129.99 with free shipping. Compare at $199.99.
 
Features
 
  • Wearable, mountable design
  • Immersive, wide-angle capture of your favorite experiences
  • Built-in Wi-Fi enables remote control via optional Wi-Fi Remote plus live video preview and playback with the free GoPro App
  • Rugged housing is waterproof to 197’ (60m)
  • Compatible with all GoPro mounts
Post Date: 5/22/2015 12:42:23 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM Lens
eBay (via AdoramaCamera) has the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM Lens (review) available for $1,299.00 with free shipping. Compare at $1,499.00.
 
Note: This is a new item and sold from an authorized Canon resller. Therefore, it includes a Canon USA 1-year warranty.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/22/2015 10:33:21 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H Logo
Todd Vorenkamp was asked to take B&H's most expensive used lens – the Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM – out for a spin. In his Explora article, Vorenkamp touches on the history and mystique of Canon's rarest big white lens and describes the logistics involved in shooting with the 36 pound beast.
 
The B&H used department has the Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM in 9+ Condition available with free expedited shipping!
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/22/2015 9:41:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B+W 77mm 3.0 (10-Stop) ND Filter
Amazon is featuring the B+W 77mm 3.0 (10-Stop) ND filter as a Lightning Deal and is available for $73.99. Compare at $90.41.
 
Need a protective filter? Amazon is also featuring the B+W 77mm Clear UV Haze with Multi-Resistant Coating (010M) as a Lightning Deal and is available for $49.99. Compare at $59.75.
Post Date: 5/22/2015 8:34:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Just Reflections by the Canon 24-105mm IS STM Lens
Sometimes, I find images comprised of only reflections more interesting than images containing only the subjects being reflected. To capture such an image requires a reflective surface and something to be reflected in it.
 
Most locations share a similar nearby reflection source: water. When water is the reflective surface and there is at least a small amount of motion on the water surface, no two photos will be the same. You can capture 20 images from a tripod-mounted camera and still have no duplicates. Such images can sometimes work together for a low-effort collection.
 
Water in motion is ... in motion. To stop motion requires an adequately short shutter speed and to achieve stopped motion in this frame, I opted for ISO 400 (vs. the least-noisy ISO 100 option). The final image has very little noticeable noise and the small waves are not showing blur.
 
For this image, I found a brightly colored boat as the reflective subject and adjusted my position until I had what I felt was ideal framing. I especially like how the top and bottom borders of the frame are relatively uninterrupted by lines in this composition.
 
Keep in mind that reflection images often benefit from increased contrast and saturation in post processing.
 
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.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
105mm  f/10.0  1/40s
ISO 400
5760 x 3840px
Post Date: 5/22/2015 7:30:18 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Rode VideoMic Pro with Rycote Lyre Suspension Mount
B&H has the Rode VideoMic Pro with Rycote Lyre Suspension Mount available for preorder with free expedited shipping and an expected availability date of June 15.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Broadcast Quality Condenser Microphone
  • Rycote Lyre Shock-Mount
  • 40 Hz to 20 kHz Frequency Response
  • Lightweight
  • Lower Noise and Higher Sensitivity
  • 9V Battery Powered
  • 1/8" Mini-Jack Output
  • Two-Step High Pass Filter
  • Three-Position Level Control
  • Includes Camera Shoe Mount
Category: Preorders
Post Date: 5/22/2015 7:48:42 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Photoshop Touch App Icon
Yesterday we posted a video where Adobe's Bryan O'Neil Hughes was showing off what's in development for mobile platforms, mainly the handling of large resolution files, the healing brush and liquify features. However, I failed to notice the accompanying blog post at the time.
 
In article, Hughes announces the end of Photoshop Touch:
"Sometimes building for the future means we need to make hard choices and today I am also announcing that we are discontinuing Photoshop Touch. For those of you who have been using Photoshop Touch, thank you and please continue creating amazing work with it; while it will no longer be available in stores as of May 28th and we won’t ship further updates, it will remain completely functional on your devices for the foreseeable future. For further information on how this change could impact your workflow, please visit here.
 
Photoshop Touch was available across platforms and so I’d like to leave all of you on Android with some good news – we’re actively developing new mobile applications for Android and will share those with you very soon."
For what it's worth, I have Photoshop Touch on my Samsung Galaxy S3 and I've only used it a handful of times. While decently capable as an editing app, it wasn't quite as intuitive as I thought it should be.
 
Maybe Adobe thought so as well?
 
For whatever reasons, the app will be removed from app stores on May 28. If you'd like to grab a copy of the app before it's gone, now's the time to snatch it up (Android | iOS). Otherwise, Android users have something to look forward to – we just don't know what or when exactly that will be.
Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 5/22/2015 7:42:41 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens
DigitalRev has the Canon EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM (White Box) available for $49.00. Compare at $139.95.
 
Note: When purchased by US customers, items sold by DigitalRev are considered grey market.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/22/2015 6:44:29 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Vidpro XM-55 Shotgun Microphone Kit
For a limited time, B&H has the Vidpro XM-55 Shotgun Microphone Kit available for $59.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $99.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Supercardioid Polar Pattern
  • Durable Aluminum-Alloy Construction
  • AA Battery Powered
  • Shockmount and Stand Mount Included
  • Camera Shoe Adapter Included
  • Foam Windshield and Furry Wind Muff
  • Cushioned Hand Grip
  • Foam-Padded Hardcase and Cables Included
Post Date: 5/22/2015 6:34:07 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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