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 Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Are you signed up for the site's email newsletter? If so, you are entered in the (international) prize drawing to win my favorite backpack, the MindShift Gear BackLight 26L (Charcoal), courtesy of MindShift Gear!
 
Not signed up? That problem is easy to fix. Just put your email address in the site's newsletter signup form, found near the top right of any page on the site, and then press the enter key or click on the submit button. If reading this post from a page on the site (vs. in a newsreader or social feed), the form provided below should work for you.
 
Please Note: our mailing list utilizes a double opt-in method for ensuring that the newsletter is only sent to those who want to receive it. Clicking the verification link in the welcome email is required to complete the signup process and become eligible for the drawing.
 
Don't worry about our emails filling your inbox – we send newsletters only infrequently.
 

If you are not familiar with the MindShift Gear BackLight 26L, check out this review.
 
Don't want to wait for the drawing? The MindShift Gear BackLight 26L is in stock at MindShift Gear | B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
 
The Details
Nothing complicated here. We have one backpack to give away and someone is going to get it. Approximately on, but no earlier than, Tuesday morning, May 9th, 2017, a random number will be computer-generated and correlated to the then-current newsletter signup list. The winner will be notified via email and will have 1 week to acknowledge the win and provide a shipping address (international). Upon receiving the delivery address, MindShift Gear will send this awesome backpack to the winner. If no reply is received from the first winner, new winners will be chosen using the same process until a successful delivery can be made.
Post Date: 5/2/2017 8:09:26 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
From the Canon Australia YouTube Channel:
 
Canon Master Kelly Brown has been a professional baby photographer for the best part of a decade. Here she shares her baby photography tips to help parents capture beautiful photos of their little angels’ precious first moments.
Post Date: 5/2/2017 6:41:33 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Adorama has the Vanguard VEO CM-264 4 Section Carbon Fiber Monopod available for $79.99 with free shipping. Regularly $119.99.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 13.23lbs Capacity
  • 62.99" Max Height
  • 21.26" Folded Height
  • 26mm Upper Leg Diameter
  • Made of Carbon Fiber
  • Weighs 1 lbs
B&H has the Axler Caterpillar 20" Extending Camera Slider available for $299.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $399.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Length-Extending Compact 20" Slider
  • Extends to 30" When Tripod-Mounted
  • Smooth Movement for up to 13 lb Loads
  • Dual Twin-Rail Belt-Driven Design
  • Locking Flip-Brake
  • Quick-Release Camera/Tripod Head Plate
  • 1/4"-20 Mounting Screw & 3/8"-16 Bushing
  • Height-Adjustable Screw-In Feet
  • Bubble Level
  • 1/4"-20 and 3/8"-16 Tripod Mount Threads
B&H has the Nanuk 945 Waterproof Hard Case for DJI Phantom 4/4 Pro/4 Pro+ & Phantom 3 available for $169.99 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $229.99.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Also Fits Controller with Wi-Fi Extender
  • Fits Four Flight Batteries
  • Fits Spare Propellers / Propeller Guards
  • Fits iPad mini / Smaller Android Tablet
  • Protective Sleeve for Gimbal and Camera
  • Impact-Resistant, Watertight Hardshell
 Monday, May 1, 2017

 
Boulder, CO (April 12, 2017) — Alpine Labs, a leader in next generation camera accessories, is pleased to announce the launch of Spark: the most compact, adaptable and affordable camera remote ever designed. Currently available at a pre-­sale discount on Kickstarter, Spark is the easiest way to upgrade your favorite DSLR and Mirrorless cameras for capturing the world around you.
 
Spark is designed with three distinct shooting modes for unrivaled versatility. The ultracompact unit can be used as a quick infrared trigger from 30’ away, as a wired trigger via a camera’s trigger port, or as a more powerful app based camera controller (iOS & Android). The user decides which mode best fits their creative needs and then deploys Spark to either capture a quick selfie, shoot a long-­exposure in manual bulb mode, or to set a timelapse via their favorite smartphone or tablet. “Spark adapts to whatever situation you are shooting in and the three control modes are what make that possible. Its kind of like the swiss army knife of triggers,” commented Greg Horvath, Alpine Labs CEO.
 
A Bluetooth Low Energy connection allows for dependability when using Spark’s intuitive mobile app and Spark can last for an incredible 2,000 hours of continuous use on the same replaceable coin cell battery. Also, with the ability to control a wide variety of DSLR and mirrorless bodies, Spark opens the world of wireless camera control for users of Sony, Fujifilm, Hasselblad, Pentax, Olympus, Canon, Nikon and more.
 
In 2015 Alpine Labs unveiled its first camera remote — Pulse — which resulted in a viral campaign that netted more than 1MM+ crowdfunding. Returning to Kickstarter for the first time since the release of Pulse, Alpine Labs is thrilled to bring their latest innovation and camera remote technology to the Kickstarter community via Spark. Commenting on the relationship with Kickstarter, Horvath continued, “We were born on Kickstarter and love being a part of a community where creative projects can grow. The support of backers has allowed us to keep chasing our own ideas, and after launching four products on Kickstarter we have a history of transparency and execution.”
 
Even at a MSRP of $59, Spark is by far the most affordable way to upgrade your camera. However, backers on Kickstarter can receive a Spark unit for $44, a discount of 25%, for the remainder of the Kickstarter campaign.
Post Date: 5/1/2017 1:25:10 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Through June 30th, DxO is offering free activation licenses for DxO OpticsPro 9. Granted, DxO OpticsPro 11 is the current version, but... you may find DxO OpticsPro 9 a great option if you own a DSLR that's a couple of years old do not want to invest in an alternative batch editing program (like Lightroom).
 
You can learn more about DxO OpticsPro 9 via press release or find its supported cameras here.
Post Date: 5/1/2017 8:45:27 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the KINETEK YouTube Channel:
 
Director/Cinematographer Matthew Rosen demonstrates 3 cool techniques for lighting everything.
Post Date: 5/1/2017 8:40:17 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Tamron has extended their rebate program with this promotion running from April 30 - July 1, 2017. There were a few positive changes to note:
 
Overall, 4 lenses qualify for mail-in rebates and 4 others qualify for instant savings in the current program. Here's the breakdown:
 
Tamron Lenses with Mail-in Rebates
 
  • SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
  • SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
  • SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD
  • SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD
Tamron Lenses with Instant Rebates
 
  • 16-300mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD MACRO
  • 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD
  • SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di VC USD
  • SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD
Tamron Instant and Mail-in Rebate Changes
 
  • 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD IR increases from $20.00 to $50.00
  • SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD MIR increases from $100.00 to $200.00
  • SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD MIR increases from $50.00 to $100.00
Tamron Instant & Mail-in Rebate Values
 
ModelRebate AmountAuthorized Retailers
Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens Buy$100.00  B&H | Adorama | Amazon
Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD Lens Buy$80.00  B&H | Adorama | Amazon
Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC Lens Buy$50.00  B&H | Adorama | Amazon
Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens Buy$100.00  B&H | Adorama | Amazon
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens Buy$300.00  B&H | Adorama | Amazon
Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens Buy$50.00  B&H | Adorama | Amazon
Tamron 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens Buy$30.00  B&H | Adorama | Amazon
Tamron 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens Buy$100.00  B&H | Adorama | Amazon
Post Date: 5/1/2017 6:55:50 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, April 28, 2017
I know, you thought that you could avoid math if you pursued photography. But, there is one math test that all photographers must pass.
 
For this test, you need to answer two questions:
 
1. When was the last date you captured an image that you care about? In the equation above, that's value "A".
 
2. When was the last date you backed up all of your images with a copy stored at a trusted off-site location? That's value "B".
 
Subtract your second answer from your first to get "C", a duration in days (or go to hours for a higher precision). I know, date subtraction is not so easy, but ... hopefully the answer involves a small enough number for you to do the math in your head.
 
If the result is a near-zero value, I congratulate you heartily (0 is the perfect score). You are among a minority. If you needed to resort to a date calculator app to solve this math problem, you are in imminent danger of losing something important to you, perhaps an image collection that has taken a decade or longer to create. If your duration-since-last-backup calculation is multiple days, right now is when you need to do something about this problem. It is only a matter of time until you lose the images captured since your last backup – you can be assured that failure will happen.
 
If you don't know where to start, buy a few WD My Passport external hard drives at B&H, Adorama or Amazon. I have dozens of these drives, have used them for roughly a decade and have had no failures ever (I know, I'm due). These drives are very small (great for portability to the referenced off-site location), reasonably-priced and, with the latest models arriving in 4TB capacities, they hold a LOT of high resolution photos. Simply copy all of your images (and any other important files) to two or more drives and move at least one to a safe off-site location. Best is to use a rotation of multiple drives that insures all copies are never in the same location. Being a bit paranoid (AKA experienced in these matters), I use a double redundancy approach.
 
Hopefully you sleep better knowing that your images are safely backed up. If something terrible happens, such as a house fire, you can focus on getting you and your loved ones out of the house instead of making a desperate rescue attempt of a prized image collection.
 
Timely is that after I initially created this post but before I shared it, the SSD (Solid State Drive) in one of our laptops became corrupt.
 
Again, right now is the time to shore up your image preservation strategy.
Category: Image Backup
Post Date: 4/28/2017 7:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
As I mentioned in the Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone Lens review, a significant March snowstorm simultaneously arrived with this lens, dumping 19" of snow in less than a day. While that snow volume may seem miniscule to those in some locations, the amount was (or nearly was) a 24-hr record for this area. And, after the snow fell, the wind started. Wind of course brings about snow drifting and I knew where I might find some drifting effects to capture.
 
A 1 mile (1.6km) jog/hike in knee-deep snow brought me to a mountaintop field just prior to sunset where I successfully found interesting wind-formed wave-like patterns in the snow. The late-day low sun angle meant the patterns were side-lit, emphasizing their shapes along with some color temperature variance occurring between the sun-lit and shaded areas.
 
One of my favorite uses of wide angle focal lengths is to make close subjects appear large in relation to what is behind them and to keep what is behind them in sharp focus. The 15mm focal length worked great for application of this concept, emphasizing the uneven snow in the field. Note that I had to be careful to keep my shadow out of the frame.
 
A funny story: I took a somewhat different route back to home and unwittingly stepped over the edge of a bank and into a deep snowdrift. After sinking in well over my waist, the angle of the ground (once I finally reached it) caused me to continue sliding at an angle, leaving me strongly tipped and in about shoulder-deep. Any attempt to move caused me to sink deeper and trying to dig out was ... an unusual experience. Fortunately, the camera and lens were in a Lowepro Toploader Pro 70 AW case, so no worries there and after I brushed off, only the humor of the moment was remaining. Remember – photography can be as much about creating stories as it is about telling them.
 
If you do not already have an ultra-wide angle lens in your kit, definitely check out the Irix 15mm f/2.4 Blackstone or Firefly Lens. Either version of this lens can add a lot of capability to your kit for a low cost.
 
A larger version of this image is available on BryanCarnathan.com, Flickr, Google+, Facebook and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
15mm  f/8.0  1/100s
ISO 100
8688 x 5792px
Post Date: 4/28/2017 9:02:33 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
From the f64 Academy YouTube Channel:
 
One of the most common questions I receive is "Blake, how do I color correct my photos". For the longest time, I avoided this question like the plague because color correction can be done in so many ways. There are automated methods like selecting the color temperature and even simpler, pressing auto. However, these prescribed methods don't always produce the most accurate results and can sometimes make your image look worse than it did before you started.
 
I developed a pretty simple three-step method for color correction that is nearly infallible. It uses the vibrance adjustment to find out which color is most dominant, then the principles of color theory to correct for it.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 4/28/2017 7:08:01 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom YouTube Channel:
 
Lightroom tips and tricks in 60 seconds or less from longtime Lightroom team member Benjamin Warde.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 4/28/2017 5:51:53 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, April 27, 2017
Nikon has published Nikon Technical Solutions | Radio-Controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting Tips for owners of the SB-5000 AF Speedlight, Nikon's first (and so far, only) radio-enabled flash.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 4/27/2017 8:09:15 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
OBERKOCHEN/Germany, 24/04/2017 - No matter if it is Star Wars, Harry Potter or Avatar: these days, just about every film features special effects. For many small film productions, having visual effects in their movie would be a dream come true. Unfortunately, making the image fit the look of the footage has required expensive tools – until now. At the NAB Show in Las Vegas, ZEISS presented new metadata technology that makes this possible: the company has equipped its new ZEISS CP.3 XD compact lens family with ZEISS eXtended Data.
 
ZEISS eXtended Data supports and enhances /i-Technology
 
What exactly is this? "ZEISS eXtended Data is the first metadata technology which stores the lens distortion and shading – for every single frame," explains Christophe Casenave, Product Manager at ZEISS. "Moreover, all /i-Technology metadata are recorded, including the focus distance, aperture value and depth of field, which is supported by most cameras." This makes the technology ideal for working with visual effects: by using the metadata, it just takes a few clicks to modify the image generated on the computer to fit the lens characteristics, and to then splice it together with the footage to create a realistic image. Distortion and shading can be corrected or even amplified in post-production.
 
"It used to be that only big blockbusters could take this approach," says Casenave. "Cine lenses that provide metadata are relatively expensive and, up until now, distortion and shading had to be manually measured – a time-consuming and expensive process." However, since ZEISS has incorporated the technology into its compact CP.3 XD cine lens family, low-budget productions can now take the same approach to creating their own special effects. "With ZEISS eXtended Data, we are offering Hollywood technology for everyone, providing small film teams with new creative opportunities."
 
An end-to-end solution: cooperation with Ambient and Pomfort
 
With the ZEISS CP.3 XD, ZEISS not only offers the lenses with metadata, but has also given thought to storage and processing. It has teamed up with partners in the industry: the company Ambient has developed the MasterLockit Plus system together with ZEISS. It records all metadata along with a time code in case the technology is not supported by the camera. "This way truly everyone can work with ZEISS eXtended Data, no matter what equipment they use," says Casenave. Thanks to the cooperation with the software developer Pomfort, distortion and shading can be modified on the set in real-time using the Pomfort tool LiveGrade Pro. The film crew already gets a sense of what the final look will be during the shoot. The film clips and lens data can be consolidated and organized with Silverstack, Pomfort's file manager.
 
ZEISS plans to further expand the new metadata technology in the future. "Our customers will then be able to upgrade to the new version, making the CP.3 XD a long-term investment," says Casenave.
 
Compact and light-weight
 
In addition to the metadata, filmmakers have even more reasons to get excited about the new lens family: the ten prime lenses between 15 and 135 millimeters cover full-frame. As is typical for ZEISS, the image has a clean, crisp look, and ZEISS says the image quality is excellent. "These lenses deliver outstanding results, even in light situations with a large dynamic range, i.e. highlights and shadows within the same scene," says Casenave. The maximum speed of the seven focal lengths between 25 and 135 millimeters is T2.1, the 15, 18 and 21 millimeter lenses have a speed of T2.9. With a front diameter of 95 millimeters, the lenses are light-weight and compact. They are particularly well-suited for hand-held filming or shooting with gimbals, Steadicam or drones. ZEISS has also improved focusing: the manual focus is now noticeably smoother. According to ZEISS, it is comparable with the ZEISS Master Primes and can also be operated with a small motor. The focus rotation angle is 300°. The lenses are equipped with an interchangeable mount so that they can be used on almost any camera. In addition to the ZEISS CP.3 XD, there is also a version available without metadata: the ZEISS CP.3.
 
Price and availability
 
Initially, a limited number of ZEISS CP.3 XD and CP.3 lenses will be available at dealers.
 
ZEISS CP.3 XD
 
Focal lengthRecommended
retail price (EUR/USD)
Available from
15mm/T2.9 XD6,400 Euro / 7,490 USDSeptember
18mm/T2.9 XD5,800 Euro / 6,690 USDSeptember
21mm/T2.9 XD5,000 Euro / 5,790 USDSeptember
25mm/T2.1 XD5,000 Euro / 5,790 USDSeptember
28mm/T2.1 XD5,000 Euro / 5,790 USDOctober
35mm/T2.1 XD5,000 Euro / 5,790 USDSeptember
50mm/T2.1 XD5,000 Euro / 5,790 USDSeptember
85mm/T2.1 XD5,000 Euro / 5,790 USDSeptember
100mm/T2.1 XD5,800 Euro / 6,690 USDSeptember
135mm/T2.1 XD6,400 Euro / 7,490 USDSeptember

ZEISS CP.3
 
Focal lengthRecommended
retail price (EUR/USD)
Available from
15mm/T2.94,900 Euro / 6,090 USDSeptember
18mm/T2.94,300 Euro / 5,290 USDJuly
21mm/T2.93,500 Euro / 4,390 USDJune
25mm/T2,13,500 Euro / 4,390 USDJune
28mm/T2.13,500 Euro / 4,390 USDOctober
35mm/T2.13,500 Euro / 4,390 USDJune
50mm/T2.13,500 Euro / 4,390 USDJune
85mm/T2.13.500 Euro / 4.390 USDJune
100mm/T2.14,300 Euro / 5,290 USDSeptember
135mm/T2.14,900 Euro / 6,090 USDSeptember

B&H will carry the Zeiss Cine lenses.
Post Date: 4/27/2017 6:29:48 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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