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 Thursday, August 3, 2017

 
In this behind the scenese video, photographer Markus Hofstaetter shows us how he captured a single exposure image of a wedding couple's embrace in front of a wall of fire.
 
I must admit; when I saw this image, my jaw dropped. The concept and execution are, in my opinion, top-notch. [Sean]
Post Date: 8/3/2017 8:37:31 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
Yesterday, the Adobe YouTube Channel posted 7 videos in a new tutorial series called "3, 2, 1... Photoshop!" in which various features of Photoshop CC are explained.
 
Adobe 3, 2, 1... Photohop! Videos
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 8/3/2017 8:20:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon has posted its first quarter financial results for the year ending March 2018.
 
The Imaging Products Business revenue and operating profit were both down year over year, with Nikon providing the following footnotes:
 
Q1 YoY change:
 
  • Product mix change of new DSLRs decreased the profit (exceeding forecast)
    • Major Products launched prior fiscal year: D5, D500 ; launched current fiscal year: D7500
  • Unit sales of DSLR increased as a result of proactive marketing in the US
Nikon Q1 of the Year Ending March 2018 Financial Results
 
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 8/3/2017 7:59:52 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, August 2, 2017
From Canon USA:
 
New Binoculars are the Ideal Tools for Outdoor Enthusiasts, Travel, and Sports
 
MELVILLE, N.Y., August 2, 2017 – Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced three new additions to its portfolio of Canon Image Stabilized Binoculars with the 14x32 IS, 12x32 IS and 10x32 IS. While all current Canon binoculars are equipped with an image stabilization (IS) function, new to these binocular models is Lens Shift Image Stabilization Technology. The IS technology, found in Canon EF lenses, allows users to see an even sharper image by moving the IS lens to correct optical axis. This technology incorporates a vibration gyro mechanism that assists in canceling out the effects of user-shake or movement.
 
In addition, the new binoculars are the first Canon binoculars to feature Powered Image Stabilization, a feature frequently found in Canon digital cameras and camcorders. Even the slightest shake when using high- magnification binoculars could translate into a blurred or unstable image from the binocular. When a user utilizes the Powered IS user-shake and movement can be quickly corrected and image quality remains intact.
 
“Canon is very proud of its imaging heritage and ability to utilize technologies and solutions across a broad spectrum of products, including our line of Canon Image Stabilized Binoculars,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “The technology implemented into these new models will enhance users’ experiences while offering the familiarity and quality they trust in Canon optics.”
 
Additional features include:
 
  • Microcomputer Control Technology
  • Improved Design and Comfortable Grip
  • Field Flattener Lens
  • Super Spectra Lens Coating
  • 6.6 ft. (2m) Minimum Focusing Distance
Pricing and Availability
 
Canon’s new 14x32 IS, 12x32 IS and 10x32 IS binocular models are scheduled to be available November 2017 for an estimated retail price of $1,449.00, $1,399.00 and $1,349.00 respectively.
 
B&H has the Canon 14x32 IS, 12x32 IS and 10x32 IS binocular available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/2/2017 10:21:25 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Approximately once every 18 months (on average) a total solar eclipse is visible from some place on the Earth’s surface. However, the average duration between solar eclipses that are visible from any specific location on earth is roughly 375 years. If you live in the U.S. and miss the upcoming opportunity on August 21, 2017 to see the total solar eclipse, you won't have another opportunity until April 8, 2024 when the path goes from Texas to Maine. And if you miss that one, your next two chances will occur in August 2044 and 2045.
 
In other words, the upcoming total solar eclipse is so rare that you have few opportunities in your lifetime to see (and photograph) the event in North America. Don't wait! Prepare for the solar eclipse today.
 
Here's a list of suggested gear for photographing the event:
 
As to which telephoto lens you should choose, that depends on how large you want the sun to be in your frame. Generally speaking, the longer the focal length, the better. Below you can see how the sun will appear at various full-frame focal lengths.
 
Sun at Various Full-Frame Focal Lengths.gif

A couple of things to keep in mind:
 
  • During totality, you won't be photographing the sun, you'll be photoraphing the sun's corona, so the area of the frame taken up by the sun's corona will be larger than what is shown above.
  • With APS-C sensor cameras, you need to multiply your lens's focal length by 1.6 to get the full-frame equivalent focal length.
There are several great options in regards to long focal length lenses, including the following 400mm+ lenses:
 
** Budget consideration with an MSRP less than $1,500.00 USD.
 
Of course, the benefits of having a long focal length telephoto lens in your kit extend far beyond the August 21 event.
 
Total Solar Eclipse Resources
 
Post Date: 8/2/2017 10:00:26 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
MELVILLE, N.Y., August 2, 2017 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to congratulate the team behind the National Geographic’s live television special “Earth Live”. The two-hour broadcast featured a live-production first, by using Canon’s ME20F-SH Multi-Purpose Camera along with a variety of Canon lenses, including the CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 EF to show television viewers live images of illusive nocturnal wildlife from around the world at night, in color, without using artificial lighting. Hosted by award-winning actress Jane Lynch and award-winning television personality Phil Keoghan, the unprecedented two-hour event gave viewers an unfiltered, real-time broadcast feed to see Earth’s wildlife in various natural habitats with the use of 51 cameras shooting simultaneously in 25 different locations across six continents. The show premiered on National Geographic, Nat Geo WILD and Nat Geo MUNDO on Sunday, July 9, and aired in 171 countries and 45 languages.
 
Working closely with National Geographic, executive producer Al Berman’s idea for “Earth Live” involved several locations that were in total darkness during the live production and those dark locations would either require lights that would disturb wildlife, or the use of infrared or thermal cameras, which didn’t suit Berman’s idea. It wasn’t until 2015 when Canon debuted the ME20F-SH Multi-Purpose Camera that Berman saw the opportunity to broadcast undisturbed nocturnal wildlife in color. The announcement of this revolutionary four million ISO, full-frame sensor camera that can shoot full-color video in extreme low-light conditions, immediately caught the attention of Berman, who approached Canon U.S.A. with his idea. The Company’s technical support team worked closely with Berman and his crew to provide and test equipment to help bring this concept to life.
 
See the entire press release on the Canon USA website.
 
B&H carries the Canon ME20F-SH Multi-Purpose Camera.
Just posted: Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens Review.
 
This is a very fun little lens – especially for the price!
 
The Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/2/2017 7:33:33 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, August 1, 2017
From the Canon Digital Learning Center:
Written by Dave Henry and Ken Sklute
 
When preparing to shoot the upcoming solar eclipse, the most important consideration is safety for you, your eyes and your camera equipment. Part of the planning involves not only where will you cover the eclipse from, but also how will you stage it. For most of the country, the eclipse will happen midday, during the hottest month of the year.
Read the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center and check out the rest of their solar eclipse articles here.
Post Date: 8/1/2017 10:36:28 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
In addition to the image quality results shared recently, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs and measurements are now available on the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens page.
 
You already how good the image quality results are, but I expect that you will like the f/1.8 vignetting results, dislike the amount of geometric distortion and like the flare test results.
 
The Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 8/1/2017 8:13:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
I have the much-anticipated Canon EOS 6D Mark II in my hands and it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 35 steps I take to make an out-of-the-box 6D II ready for use. While 35 sounds like a large number of steps, nothing here is difficult. Just take one step at a time.
 
  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged LP-E6/LP-E6N battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. This is also a good time to grip the camera, taking in the new-camera grippyness that is right up there with new car smell.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert the battery (after charging completes).
  6. Power the camera on.
  7. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  8. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  9. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "-"
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release shutter without card: Disable/off (this should be the default and I highly recommend turning this for-showrooms feature off)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses – all can be applied in DPP)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed Settings: ISO Speed range: 100-H2(102400), Auto ISO Speed range: 100-40000
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details – I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  19. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (flash portions of images that are overexposed)
  20. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  21. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification (apx): Actual size (from selected AF point)
  22. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  23. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Date/Time/Zone: Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  24. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Show, Flicker detection: Show
  25. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Mode guide: Disable
  26. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Feature guide: Disable
  27. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Beep: Disable
  28. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Custom shooting mode (C1-C2): Auto update set: Enable (see also: Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  29. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Copyright information: Enter information as desired
  30. Custom Functions: C.Fn I:Exposure: Bracketing auto cancel: Disable
  31. Custom Functions: C.Fn II:Autofocus: AI servo 1st image priority: Focus
  32. Custom Functions: C.Fn II:Autofocus: AI servo 2nd image priority: Focus
  33. Custom Functions: C.Fn II:Autofocus: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Pt only
  34. Custom Functions, C.Fn III:Operation/Others: 4 Custom Controls: AF-ON: One shot AI Servo; Multicontroller: Direct AF point selection
  35. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning, Expo.comp./AEB (back up near the top of the list)
I always make additional menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but the above list covers my initial camera setup process.
 
To copy this configuration means that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. My setup works great for me, but your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.
 
If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.
 
More Information
 
Canon EOS 6D Mark II
 
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/1/2017 7:43:37 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, July 31, 2017
It looks like Canon underestimated the demand for the EOS 6D Mark II + EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM kits. In a recent statement, Canon Japan admits that orders have exceeded supply and that the kits won't likely be available on August 4 as originally intended.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/31/2017 3:10:57 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
The Transportation Security Administration recently modified their screening procedures so that travelers will now have to remove items "larger than a cell phone" – including DSLRs and mirrorless cameras – from their carry-on bags and place the isolated items in bins for separate screenings.
 
The new standard screening procedure will surely be an inconvenience to most photographers, especially as the rules regarding "electronics" may seem a bit ambiguous. For instance, during a call with the TSA this morning, the service representative could not provide a definitive answer as to whether or not lenses would also have to be removed with each being put in a separate bin, ultimately advising that the procedure for lenses would be determined by a TSA checkpoint agent at his/her discretion.
 
Few (if any) photographers will want to place each individual camera and lens into separate screening bins because of the increased screening time and frustration and increased probability of lost/stolen/mishandled (dropped) gear.
 
Thankfully, there's a relatively easy (though not free) way to avoid the complications of the new screening procedures – get TSA PreCheck certified.
 
Benefits of getting TSA PreCheck certified include:
 
  • Not having to remove shoes, laptops, camera gear, 3-1-1 liquids, belts and light jackets.
  • Avoiding body scanners (traditional metal detectors are used), important for those with radiation and privacy concerns
  • Shorter line wait times
Getting TSA PreCheck certified is relatively straight-forward and easy, assuming you meet the specified criteria. According to the TSA:
It takes five minutes to submit an online application and schedule an in-person appointment that includes a background check and fingerprinting at an enrollment center.
The cost of receiving PreCheck benefits varies depending on the program you wish to qualify for. The regular TSA PreCheck certification costs $85.00, lasts 5 years and is available for U.S. citizens and U.S. lawful permanent residents. For $15.00 more, you can choose the Global Entry program which receives the benefits of TSA PreCheck plus "expedited processing through CBP at airports and land borders upon arrival in the U.S.," but also requires a passport or other lawful resident card for the application process. If planning on traveling outside the U.S. within the next 5 years, the extra $15.00 will likely prove to be a worthwhile investment. To learn about other programs which receive TSA PreCheck benefits, click here. Note that if your application is denied for any reason, the application fee is not refunded.
 
Following are some important details regarding the TSA PreCheck program:
 
  • Applicants may be ineligible due to incomplete or false application information, violations of transportation security regulations, or disqualifying criminal offenses and factors.
  • The name on your application must be an exact match to the name on the identification and proof of citizenship/immigration documents you provide at enrollment. The name provided must be the name used when making your airline travel reservations.
  • Participating airlines print a TSA PreCheck indicator directly on your boarding pass if you are eligible for TSA PreCheck on that flight. In addition to the indicator, TSA PreCheck eligibility is embedded in the barcode of the boarding pass. Once the boarding pass is scanned at the checkpoint, the TSA officer may refer you to the TSA PreCheck lane. If you do not have a valid boarding pass with TSA PreCheck embedded in the barcode, you cannot access the TSA PreCheck lane.
  • Not all airlines participate in TSA's PreCheck program. See the participating airports and airlines map for more information.
The TSA notes that PreCheck appointment times are filling up and advises applying now if traveling in the next few months.
Post Date: 7/31/2017 9:00:22 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Saturday, July 29, 2017
This little green heron was hunting for early morning breakfast in a relatively thick-growth area over shallow, duckweed-covered water. While the bird was not at all concerned about my presence, I was struggling to acquire a clear view of it, and finding a good body angle along with a pleasing background aligned within such an opening was especially challenging. When the bird hopped up onto this dead limb and walked to the end of it, pausing to determine its next move, I at least had a few seconds with a relatively still bird.
 
And at that moment, I had two of those three goals met. The heron was horizontal to the camera and the background was distant with good color. The foreground obstructions were the remaining issue.
 
I shifted my position enough to get a clear view of the bird's head, focused and held the shutter release down for a short burst (always photograph birds in high speed burst mode as you, minimally, never know when a nictitating membrane is going to come across the eye). When reviewing the result, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens faded the foreground obstructions into a "dreamy" look. Note that calling any kind of photo effect "dreamy" always put a positive spin on an effect that might otherwise be used to downgrade an image, but ... I do like how this one turned out with this photo having a unique appearance.
 
The lighting conditions for this shoot were ranging from direct early morning sunlight to full shade. I was using Manual exposure mode with the aperture set to wide open (f/4) and ISO set to Auto, allowing the camera to adjust to the lighting conditions as needed with me adjusting the exposure composition as lighting situations required. While shooting, I could quickly adjust the shutter speed by simply rolling the top dial. When the bird was about to strike at prey or otherwise move, I quickly selected a fast shutter speed (such as 1/1600 or higher).
 
Of course, when the subject was in full shade, as seen here, 1/1600 meant a very high ISO and that of course means higher noise level in the image. When the bird paused at the end of this dead limb, I quickly rolled the shutter speed down to 1/400 with ISO 2000 being camera-selected. Full frame ISO 2000 looks great. And, that is my little green heron story for today.
 
A larger version of this image is available on BryanCarnathan.com, Flickr, Google+, Facebook and 500px.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
600mm  f/4.0  1/400s
ISO 2000
8688 x 5792px
Post Date: 7/29/2017 8:46:19 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, July 28, 2017
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/28/2017 7:28:20 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Adobe has announced that it is ending support or Flash, a plugin technology that – although outdated – may still be an integral part of many photographers' websites. Thankfully, those photographers have ample time to update their websites using alternative natively supported technologies.
 
From Adobe:
 
Adobe has long played a leadership role in advancing interactivity and creative content – from video, to games and more – on the web. Where we’ve seen a need to push content and interactivity forward, we’ve innovated to meet those needs. Where a format didn’t exist, we invented one – such as with Flash and Shockwave. And over time, as the web evolved, these new formats were adopted by the community, in some cases formed the basis for open standards, and became an essential part of the web.
 
But as open standards like HTML5, WebGL and WebAssembly have matured over the past several years, most now provide many of the capabilities and functionalities that plugins pioneered and have become a viable alternative for content on the web. Over time, we’ve seen helper apps evolve to become plugins, and more recently, have seen many of these plugin capabilities get incorporated into open web standards. Today, most browser vendors are integrating capabilities once provided by plugins directly into browsers and deprecating plugins.
 
Given this progress, and in collaboration with several of our technology partners – including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla – Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats.
 
Several industries and businesses have been built around Flash technology – including gaming, education and video – and we remain committed to supporting Flash through 2020, as customers and partners put their migration plans into place. Adobe will continue to support Flash on a number of major OSs and browsers that currently support Flash content through the planned EOL. This will include issuing regular security patches, maintaining OS and browser compatibility and adding features and capabilities as needed. We remain fully committed to working with partners, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla to maintain the security and compatibility of Flash content. [To see each partner’s announcement on this news, click on the links inside each partner name.] In addition, we plan to move more aggressively to EOL Flash in certain geographies where unlicensed and outdated versions of Flash Player are being distributed.
 
Adobe will also remain at the forefront of leading the development of new web standards and actively participate in their advancement. This includes continuing to contribute to the HTML5 standard and participating in the WebAssembly Community Group. And we’ll continue to provide best in class animation and video tools such as Animate CC, the premier web animation tool for developing HTML5 content, and Premiere Pro CC.
 
Looking ahead, Adobe will continue to provide the best tools and services for designers and developers to create amazing content for the web.
Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 7/28/2017 7:45:55 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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