Although the two days I spent in Shenandoah National Park last June were mostly rainy with heavy fog, I managed to get close enough to this adorable just-born fawn for some clear images. The white-tailed deer fawn may be my favorite baby animal and this photo alone would have made the trip worthwhile.
My camera choice for this trip was the EOS 5D Mark III. I made this choice for the combination of image quality (the EOS 5Ds and 5Ds R had not yet arrived) and AF performance.
While I had several telephoto lens choices along, the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens was my primary wildlife lens. The deer I photograph in Shenandoah National Park are often at least somewhat approachable (though mothers with fawns seem to be an exception), making 400mm often adequate and the 560mm option is available at the throw of a switch. The other issue is that getting close to the animals is often a requirement to eliminate trees and other obstructions. The need to get closer makes even 400mm on a full frame body very frequently too long (unless head shots are desired). The zoom range feature of this lens offers plenty of flexibility in framing at a range of subject distances.
My second choice lens on this trip was the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens. This is another incredible lens that offers an even longer focal length range than the 200-400. Yes, the 200-400 has the built-in extender, but the 100-400 is also compatible with extenders. The 100-400 is considerably smaller and lighter, but the 200-400 has a wider aperture – a full 1 stop wider at the long end. As I mentioned, the weather was rainy with heavy fog, which translates to dark and being able to stop motion in 1/2 as much light was important.
The next thing you are going to say is that ... this photo was captured at f/5.6. That is correct. The fawn happened to be at the edge of a clearing with an above-average amount of light on it. It had been nursing from its mother moments before and I was using f/5.6 to gain some depth of field. So, in this case, the 100-400 L II would also have worked well.
Moments later, the fawn was bouncing around in the woods and ... that meant that the 200-400 L was the right choice.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, Facebook and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
January 20, 2016 – A must-have of the fall-winter 2015-2016 is undoubtedly the tweed: the famous Scottish fabric that has populated for years the wardrobe of women, as well as of the men.
A warm fabric, elegant and above all timeless; the tweed has now become a must that couldn’t miss in the Barber Shop Bags collection. In particular the Pageboy, the smallest of the family, decided to wear this precious fabric, thus giving rise to the new VANITY TWEED version.
Though the name tends to be feminine, the new tweed Pageboy is unisex and appropriates for both women as well men. This bag is perfect for carrying a camera kit essential (1 DSLR camera with standard lens, 1 additional lens or flash medium and small accessories). The Pageboy also has a padded interior pocket perfect to protect from bumps and drops your smartphone or your mini I-Pad.
The protective camera satchel can be removed when not carrying with you the photo gear, and so you can use the bag as a daily “shopping bag”.
As all others Barber Shop Bags, also this one can be personalized with the initials of your name (up to 3 characters) choosing from several color combinations including red, blue, silver and gold. This gives you the possibility to have an handcrafted product by skilled artisans, but also a customized and very personal bag. Barber Shop products are entirely handcrafted in Italy with the utmost care, using only selected Italian leathers. Leather, being a natural product, will change over time, giving each piece its own authentic personality.
And to be a real stylish photographer, Barber Shop Bags created a shoulder strap with the same tweed fabric and that will allow you to carry your gear securely in any environment: outdoor, sport events, fashion shows or wedding.
A perfect combination designed by Barber Shop Bags and ideal for those photographers who want a technical and professional product but at the same time a stylish and elegant kit.
"Travel photography can provide some of the most inspiring and intriguing imagery. Photographs trigger our memories, help us to illustrate a story, and show us a sense of place. When we travel, those memories can often seem richer, more vibrant, and more significant to us than when we are at home.
First impressions aren’t something that we only get when we meet new people. Each minute impression that you get from seeing a new country, a new town, or a new restaurant is something that you can express visually. When you travel (or play tourist at home), what are your first impressions of the place? What colors, scents, or sounds stand out? Each of these experiences can be expressed through the visual medium of photography.
When you hear the sound of horse hooves clacking against cobblestone streets or the deep horn of a passing ship in the sea, you can bring those memories and experience to life through your imagery. When you smell fresh baked bread wafting down a street, or feel the warmth of the sand beneath your feet, each of these moments tells a story and creates a sense of place. Bringing that sense of place through to your photography is what makes a travel image a lasting moment, rather than a fleeting snap shot, and your memories will be so much more vibrant for it. Not only is it important to capture the literal look of a place in travel photography, but for strong and memorable imagery, capturing the ambiance is important as well."
I encountered numerous lion's mane jellyfish (Cyanea capillata, AKA the giant jellyfish or the hair jelly) while walking the docks at Seward Harbor in Alaska. With a Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens mounted to the Canon EOS 5Ds R, I was focused on harborscapes and was not expecting small subjects such as jellyfish. While I could have gone back to the SUV for the 100-400mm Lens, I was able to find a couple of these subjects just below the dock, allowing me to occasionally get close enough to fill much of the 70mm frame.
By photographing a lion's mane that was near the surface with a circular polarizer filter cutting the reflections and by adding some contrast in post processing, I was able to get an underwater look from a surface-captured image. In post, I removed some debrise in the water and increased saturation a bit to brighten the colors. Hard to see at this resolution is the small jellyfish, one of the lion's mane jellyfish's prey, just out of tenacle reach toward the left side of the frame.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, Facebook and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
YouTube superstar Devin Graham has released his 2015 highlight reel for a second time. Unfortunately for him, he had a little trouble with his first attempt at uploading and sharing the video.
According to Devin's Blog, the original title for the 2015 highlight reel was "People Are Awesome 2015 - ULTIMATE DevinSuperTramp Edition in 4K." However, unbeknownst to Devin, the phrase "People Are Awesome" had been copywrited/trademarked by a company called Jukin and was swiftly removed from YouTube after an infringement complaint.
After a time consuming back and forth, Devin was forced to upload the highlight reel with a new title having lost all of the momentum his first video enjoyed after it was initially uploaded.
Manfrotto, world leader in the photography, imaging equipment and accessories industry, announces the new generation compact LED lights for professional and advanced hobbyist videographers and photographers.
CROMA2, MICROPRO2 and SPECTRA2 offer the latest LED technology available (SMT - Surface Mount Technology) in a portable size, which guarantees images with perfect color rendition and improved optical efficiency.
These on-camera LED panels, powered by Litepanels, are part of the new ready to use Manfrotto LED lights.
CROMA2 AND MICROPRO2: COMPACT NEW LED TECHNOLOGY A new range with the same design, the SMT LED panels embed innovative lenses, which have been specifically created for high efficiency and CRI (Colour Rendering Index).
The intensity of the LED devices can be controlled by the user - CROMA2 up to 900lux and MICROPRO2 up to 940lux. The colour temperature in CROMA2 can be regulated from 3100K to 5600K, which makes this device the perfect versatile LED panel to match the existing ambient lighting. MICROPRO2 is Daylight 5600K and permits the colour correction thanks to the diffuser and gel filter included in the pack.
CROMA2 and MICROPRO2 operate on six AA standard batteries, from mains through the included AC adaptor or on L-Type Li-ion batteries through the included battery adaptor.
Compact and powerful, thanks to the included ball head they can be used for both on camera as well as off camera use.
SPECTRA2: MINI BUT POWERFUL The most compact LED Panel in the professional range - high efficiency in the palm of your hand. SPECTRA2 features the state-of-the-art LED SMT technology, which guarantees images with perfect colour rendition and flicker-free functionality.
SPECTRA2 is perfect for on camera use with the included new ball-head, as well as for off camera use.
The LED device is dimmable, capable of emitting 650lux, and provides a further increase in the light output thanks to the boost mode (+50%). The colour temperature of the LED Panel is Daylight 5600K but it can be changed thanks to diffusers and filter gels.
SPECTRA2 can operate on six AA standard batteries and offers, as optional, AC or L-Type Li-ion batteries adaptors.
These new powerful and compact Manfrotto LED lights guarantee best performance with a high quality light. CROMA2, MICROPRO2 and SPECTRA2 represent the top range of on-camera units.
If the term "stroboscopic" is unfamiliar to you, you're not alone. My guess is that many Canon 580EX / 580EX II / 600EX-RT owners have yet to explore this intriguing feature found in their Speedites.
So what is stroboscopic flash? Fortunately, the 600EX-RT manual provides a good description in the feature's introduction:
"When using stroboscopic flash with a slow shutter speed, you can shoot multiple successive movements within a single picture, similar to stop-motion pictures.
In stroboscopic flash, set the flash output, number of flashes, and flash frequency (number of flashes per second = Hz)."
As outlined above, stroboscopic – or MULTI, in Canon's terminology – flash allows for the Speedlite to fire several continuous flashes within a specified duration of time, which is beneficial in illustrating movement by exposing the subject with individual burst of lights as it travels across the frame during a single exposure.
What kind of subjects work well when captured with stroboscopic flash? Dancers and falling/bouncing objects are commonly utilized, but just about anything that moves will work. Keep in mind that a dark shooting environment is necessary to achieve optimal results because any constant/ambient light will cause motion blur to be captured between flash bursts.
To set up your flash for stroboscopic/MULTI mode, press the Mode button until "MULTI" is displayed on the Speedlite's LCD panel. If the flash is set to Slave mode, you may need to hold the Mode button for a few seconds until it switches out of ETTL mode. Note: In Slave mode, the MULTI label will blink.
Next, you'll need to set the flash power, number of total flashes and number of flashes per second (Hz).
In the illustration above, the flash is set to fire 8 times at a rate of 12Hz. In this situation, the flash wil be firing for 2/3 of a second, meaning that the camera's shutter speed will need to be set to 2/3 second or longer in order to capture all 8 of the individual flash bursts.
Note that as you use higher flash powers, the number of flashes you can fire in succession begins to dwindle. That means that there's a limit to how many continuous flashes you can expect to achieve at various power levels, with higher power level use allowing for fewer continuous flashes. Once again, the 600EX-RT's manual comes to the rescue to provide a handy resource for determining the number of continuous flashes we can expect at specific power levels:
The flashes were set to 1/128 power, 15 flashes at a rate of 30Hz. This made my shutter speed calculation quite easy – 1/2 second. And if you look closely, you'll notice that the exposure time and framing allowed me to capture every flash burst from the Speedlite in the image (you can count 15 individual balls). With an aperture of f/7.1 and an ISO of 250, I was able to capture a dark background while maintaining a good exposure on the subject, a ping pong ball. Note that I purposefully shot this image at night with the overhead lights turned off to minimize the ambient light in the room (I left a hallway light on and the studio door cracked to provide enough working light). To create the exposures, I set the camera to manual focus noting the plane of focus on the board. I then gently dropped the ping pong ball at the point of focus while triggering the camera's shutter button with my other hand.
So why would someone uses stroboscopic flash instead of simply firing off a continuous burst from the camera with flash set to trigger on every exposure with the intend of combining the exposures in post? One word – speed. For example, an EOS 7D Mark II can achieve a burst rate of 10 frames-per-second, meaning that the camera's burst rate limits the number of individual exposures you can create in a 1-second duration. And if shooting with a Rebel/xxxD series DSLR, the burst rate becomes even more limiting. But using stroboscopic flash, you can essentially capture a subject 40 times within the same 1-second time period (at 1/128 power), translating into a much faster burst rate while simultaneously reducing the amount of post-processing required to achieve the desired result.
If you've never tried stroboscopic flash, we invite you to do so. Creating images using stroboscopic flash is a great way to spend an evening creating fun, creative images. And when you've captured your favorite stroboscopic image (or if you already have one), share it in The-Digital-Picture Flickr group with the tag "stroboscopic flash".
The bears I encountered in Katmai National Park were primarily catching salmon, eating salmon or resting. I thought this bear chillin on a mound of dirt looked humorous.
Leave your caption for this image in the comments.
Friday seemed like a good day for sharing this pic. A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, Facebook, Instagram and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
Canon's CarePAK PLUS promotion provides protection from kids, pets, and life including accidental damage such as drops, spills, power surges and other unforeseen events. Originally scheduled to end January 9, the promotion has been extended through February 27, 2016.
In addition, any lens included within a kit with an eligible body will be covered. For example, if a customer purchases the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens kit, the lens will be covered since it is included in the box with the body (also known as a “hard bundle”).
Service Notice: Free exchange for imagePROGRAF PRO-1000
Thank you for using Canon Products.
We have determined that some imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 printers may experience ink leakage. This announcement conveys Canon’s service policy for affected printers. We offer our sincerest apologies to any customers who have been inconvenienced.
In rare instances, ink may leak from inside the printer to the outside of the printer through an opening on the bottom.
imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 units starting with serial number prefix AEGL. Example: AEGL01234 The serial number can be found on the back of printer.
Affected imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 printers can be exchanged for a new printer free of charge when replacements become available around the end of January, 2016.
For details regarding how to exchange your printer, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center at 1-800-423-2366.
The National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) today named Think Tank Photo as the winner of the 2016 J. Winton Lemon Fellowship Award. The honor is given to those who render continuing outstanding service in the interests of press photography and for outstanding technical achievement in photography. Previous winners include Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fuji, and Adobe Systems.
Founded in 2005 by designers Doug Murdoch and Mike Sturm, and Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist Deanne Fitzmaurice and veteran photojournalist Kurt Rogers, Think Tank is a group of designers and professional photographers focused on studying how photographers work, and developing inventive new carrying solutions to meet their needs. By focusing on “speed” and “accessibility,” it prepares photographers to Be Ready “Before The Moment,” allowing them to document those historic moments that reflect their personal visions and artistic talents.
“When we started Think Tank over 10 years ago, we vowed to serve the needs of NPPA members and other working photographers,” said Doug Murdoch, Think Tank’s CEO and lead designer. “It is an extreme honor to be named for such an illustrious award, especially by an organization we hold in such high regard. We believe photojournalists and other press photographers and videographers serve such a high purpose in helping convey the truth, especially in settings where they often have to put their lives at risk.”
Winton Lemen was a charter member of the NPPA. In 1952, after a distinguished career as a news photographer at the Rocky Mountain News, Pittsburgh Press, and Buffalo Times, he established the photo press markets division of the Eastman Kodak Co. and served as the firm's liaison with news photographers.
You were shooting madly throughout the year and now, during the dark, cold months of winter, you have settled down to process and post your successes.
The problem is that your desk is cold and that your wrist, where so many blood vessels are located, rests directly on that cold desk, radiating the coldness into your hand.
When your hand is cold, your entire body feels cold.
My right hand is cold most of the winter.
For years I have been hunting for a solution and until now, a variety of mouse pads with some insulation capability were the best solution I've come up with, but they fell far short of keeping my mouse hand warm.
On my latest search, I came across a heated mouse pad.
While this is not the first such model I have found, it is the first one that didn't have some restrictive tent-like or glove-like structure over the pad.
It was inexpensive, looked like it would work well for its primary function (a surface for the mouse), had a decent appearance (we're photographers – appearance matters)
and I didn't deliberate very long before ordering one.
For the price, I didn't have very high expectations for build quality, but I was far from disappointed with what I got.
The basic, nondescript, 8 7/8 x 10 1/4" (225 x 260mm) mousepad design features a smooth, 7 3/4 x 9 3/4" (197 x 248mm) matte aluminum surface (great for mouse friction and response)
surrounded by matt black ABS plastic (white is optionally available).
Four non-slip feet hold the pad in place.
Creating heat generally involves electricity or burning something and fortunately the designers chose the former option for this product.
Included is an approximately 5' USB cable that appears designed to plug into and draw power from the computer's USB port.
Upon plugging in the USB cable, my Dell XPS laptop immediately informed me that a device was requesting more power than the port had available.
I rely heavily on my laptop and that message sent a little chill down my spine, but no harm was done.
I unplugged and instead used an
A/C to USB wall outlet adapter.
The next issue was trying to decide which switch position on the provided USB cord was "On".
This determination became easier when I realized that there was a faint blue light emanating around the port when the switch was in the "On" position.
As you would expect with a low-draw power source, the heat isn't instant.
But, the warm-up time isn't bad and the amount of heat provided after warm-up seems ideal for me.
The great news is that my wrist and hand now stay toasty warm on even the coldest days.
Eventually, even the mouse even becomes slightly warmed, at least near its bottom.
With the heated mouse pad on my desk, winter has become a little brighter.
Sometimes it is the little things that make life better and the heated mouse pad may have been the best money I have spent recently.