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 Monday, June 8, 2015

 
In this quick tutorial, see how easy it is to create your very own backdrop for a studio photography fashion shoot.
 
Amazon carries canvas fabric.
Post Date: 6/8/2015 7:08:55 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon D810A DSLR Camera
Adorama has the Nikon D810A DSLR Camera in stock with free expedited shipping.
 
For more information on this DSLR designed for astrophotography, check out Nikon's press release for the D810A.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 6/8/2015 7:00:50 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
creativeLIVE Logo
Free Online Class with Sue Bryce – June 17 to 18
 
Join our friends at CreativeLive for Portrait Startup with Sue Bryce - a free, live online class that will teach you essential elements for building a successful portrait photography studio.
 
During this two-day class, Sue will detail the nine areas of mastery required to build a sophisticated, profitable portrait business. You'll meet several photographers who will share their own unique story of following Sue's business model and what worked (or didn't) for them.
 
Don't miss this chance to watch one of Sue's inspirational, action-packed classes. Tune in live on June 17 and 18 at 9 AM Pacific.
 
RSVP Now for the Free Classes
Post Date: 6/8/2015 6:53:29 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, June 5, 2015
Breakthrough-Photography X3 Filter
B&H is now carrying Breakthrough Photography ND and UV filters.
 
Breakthrough Photography got their start via a very successful Kickstarter campaign. Bryan recently ranked their 10-stop X3 Solid ND tops in a comparison of leading black filters.
Post Date: 6/5/2015 3:13:04 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Photograph the Flowers Now
A rhododendron just outside of my studio was calling me. It was in full bloom and looking beautiful in the wooded landscape. With an already overwhelming to-do list, my mind said "No time!"
 
As you may have guessed, "No time!" was the wrong answer. About 6 hours later I walked by the window again and the flowers were completely wilted. The warm sun had finished them off with amazing speed. It will be at least another year until that opportunity returns, and more likely, it will be many years until the equal opportunity arrives as this shrub is seldom as beautiful as it was in the morning.
 
No, your computer/phone/tablet isn't having trouble loading the image. Instead of a beautiful flowering rhododendron image leading this post, the image is blank. Blank represents what you might get if you do not take your photo opportunities when they present themselves. Don't wait!
Post Date: 6/5/2015 1:41:32 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon Copa America Chile 2015 Logo
From Canon USA:
 
Canon U.S.A. to be Official Supplier
 
MELVILLE N.Y., June 05, 2015 - Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the Company will provide onsite service support to help professional photographers and broadcasters capture the iconic moments of Copa America Chile 2015. Canon's professional onsite service support will include simple equipment repair, clean and check service and equipment loans to outfit professionals with the proper gear to capture the excitement on the field. Service and support will be available in the media centers in each of the nine stadia hosting matches in the tournament.
 
"Canon is thrilled to join the Latin America community once again in supporting the Copa America soccer tournament," said Kenji Kobayashi, senior vice president, Canon U.S.A. Latin America Group. "This tournament is an excellent opportunity for Canon to strengthen our bond with our Latin American consumer and business markets. We are proud to provide onsite service and support to assist imaging professionals in sharing the action of the games with devoted fans across the world."
 
The international soccer tournament will take place in Chile from June 11- July 4, 2015 in eight cities, with 12 countries participating, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela.
 
For more information visit http://www.canon.cl/canon/cps/cps-en.htm.

 
B&H has posted a hands-on mini review of Rode's first foray into wirless audio – the RodeLink Filmmaker Kit.
 
B&H carries the RodeLink Wireless Filmmaker Kit.
Post Date: 6/5/2015 9:40:20 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon EOS 5Ds & 5Ds R DSLR Cameras
B&H has updated the status of the Canon EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R listings to include "Will begin shipping Sun, Jun 14."
 
We expect the preorder list to be fairly large for these highly anticipated DSLRs. If you haven't already preordered, now would be a good time to do so if one of Canon's ultra-high resolution cameras is on your wish list.
 
If you were one of the first to preorder, then your wait is likely coming to and end. :-)
Posted to: Canon News
Category: Canon Preorders
Post Date: 6/5/2015 8:41:05 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, June 4, 2015
Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
B&H has the Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Nikon in stock with free expedited shipping.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 6/4/2015 11:46:28 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon Logo
From Canon USA:
 
Actor and Longtime Baseball Fan Invites Fans to Enter Photo Contest For Chance to Win a Trip to Little League World Series in August
 
MELVILLE, N.Y., JUNE 3, 2015 - Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced its partnership with actor Mario Lopez, host of TV's EXTRA, in support of the Canon Little League Photo Contest powered by PIXMA Printers. As part of the "Picture Perfect Season" initiative that kicked off last month, Lopez is encouraging his fans, and baseball fans everywhere, to take part in the photo contest for the chance to win a trip to the Little League Baseball World Series in South Williamsport, PA.
 
"I've always been such a fan of the game of baseball, and it really starts for so many families, including mine, with Little League," said Lopez. "I'm excited to take part in this celebration of family photos and especially the printed images that we all cherish, and showcase the excitement and passion of the game."
 
By submitting photos based on a monthly theme in May, June and July, fans will have the chance to win one of three trips to join Lopez in South Williamsport, PA and see their photos on display in the World of Little League Museum in the Richard "Hank" Bauer, Jr. Little League Photography Exhibit in the World Series Gallery presented by Easton Foundations.
 
This month, the Canon Little League Photo Contest powered by PIXMA Printers focuses on "Fandemonium," a theme focusing on shots of the passionate fans. Whether it's the parents of a Little Leaguer cheering them on or a whole crowd doing the wave, these images should capture the essence of what it means to be a fan. Entries will be judged on the use of the theme and on the quality of the image and overall impression.
 
"Canon is thrilled to welcome Mario Lopez to this special partnership with the Little League World Series, as we encourage enthusiasts everywhere to capture meaningful moments of fans, families and players," said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. "He is a great advocate as we continue to share the power of the printed image with fans across the country and deepen our relationship with Little League."
 
Canon Little League Photo Contest: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States, D.C. and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 years of age or older as of the time of entry. The contest begins at 9:00 a.m. ET on May 5, 2015 and ends at 9:00 p.m. ET on July 24, 2015. The contest consists of a three separate Entry Periods for which there are separate entry deadlines. See Official Rules for complete entry details and restrictions, prize descriptions and odds of winning. U.S. and Canadian law govern. Void where prohibited. Sponsored by Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Posted to: Canon News
Category: Canon USA News
Post Date: 6/4/2015 10:27:54 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
As usual, this self-portrait was created in order to answer a question I had rolling around in my head:
Is it possible to make an outdoor portrait taken in bright, sunny conditions appear to be taken at night? And with relatively limited gear (shoe-mount flashes)?
I knew that choosing the right location was key to producing the effect I wanted. It was about 1:30pm and the sun was high in the sky and very bright. Speedlites are not necessarily the best choice when overpowering the sun (especially when used with a light modifier). I chose a spot in my driveway that was completely shaded by an overhanging tree. The pointed the camera at a fence that borders my driveway which was also in shade. I set up a tripod mounted 5D Mark III with the versatile EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM (forerunner to the version "II" model) attached and framed the shot. I used a 4-stop ND filter on the lens so that I could use a wide aperture to limit my depth-of-field (the fence behind me wasn't all that interesting) while staying below my flash max x-sync speed. Truth is, I could have easily gotten away with a 2-stop ND filter as I had to use ISO 400 with the 4-stop ND Filter in place. So why didn't I change out NDs having had a 2-stop ND filter inside the house? The answers – 1) laziness and 2) it simply didn't matter. The 5D III's performance meant that the difference between ISO 100 and ISO 400 was not significant enough to worry with, so leaving the 4-stop ND filter on the lens wasn't a problem (especially as the 5D III's autofocus is quite sensitive in low light).
 
The main light (Canon 580EX in Westcott Rapid Box Octa) was boomed overhead using an Avenger 40" Extension Arm mounted to a C-stand. The extension arm allowed me to position the light above me (slightly in front) without having the light stand in the way. I gelled it with two full CTO gels with the intent of shifting the color balance blue to simulate the cooler colors of nighttime.
 
I wanted the picture to have a dark, ominous look to it. The modified main light was positioned a little high to light my face while leaving my eyes in shadow (thanks to my pronounced brow ridge). Having the eyes in shadow added to the effect I was going for. Still, I was asking a lot of the shoe-mount flash. With two gels in place and a diffusion panel in front eating away at the flash's output, I had the flash set to full power and still could have used a bit more light (I upped the exposure a small amount in post).
 
I used a bare 580EX (ungelled) as a rim light (positioned behind me). I decided not to gel this flash so that it would produce a cool rim light that would contrast well with the still-slightly-warm main light. I think that flash was set to 1/32 power. Both flashes were fired via radio triggers.
 
To trigger the camera, I used a wireless RC-1 remote and simply pointed the tripod-mounted camera at my desired spot using the AF points to cover the area where my head would be. Then it was simply a matter of standing in the right spot (roughly middle of the frame) and pushing the RC-1's shutter release button.
 
EXIF:
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM (forerunner to version "II")
125mm, f/3.2, 1/160 sec, ISO 400
 
Click on the post image to see a larger version on Flickr.
 
Fun Fact: Conveying a specific image is often about the ideal framing. In this instance, you'd never know that I was wearing baggy, tan colored cargo pants with my button-up shirt and suit jacket. Because of the framing, I knew that changing into matching black dress pants (on this warm day) would be superfluous. ;-)
Post Date: 6/4/2015 9:37:01 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Heat Waves on Railroad Bridge
Did you ever look at images you captured with a telephoto lens on a beautiful afternoon and wonder why they were not sharp? As I write this tip, I have been evaluating several long focal length lenses that share an attribute common with other telephoto lenses. Ever see shimmering in the distance such as where a road goes over a hill? Telephoto focal lengths magnify these heat waves and longer subject distances are more likely to be negatively influenced by the distorting effect.
 
If there is a heat source (relative to the ambient temperature) between you and your subject (or below that line of sight), you can expect some heat wave impact at even relatively short subject distances. Heat waves can occur practically anywhere, but this issue is primarily encountered outdoors and the sun is the primary (but not the only) cause. I frequently see degradation caused by heat waves over artificial turf athletic fields, running track surfaces and even thick green grass in the front yard. Asphalt, being dark in color and high in heat absorption/retention, is a classic source of heat waves, including the source in my "road goes over a hill" example.
 
Many other heat waves sources exist, including a flowing river on a cold day as illustrated in the included photo.
 
That image is a 100% crop from a 600mm picture of a steel railroad bridge. No, I did not use an "Art" filter on this image. Yes, the steel should be straight and sharp. No, this blurry image is not the fault of the lens.
 
When present, heat shimmer will create optical distortion that will diminish the quality of medium and long distance photos. It was 13° F (-11° C) on a clear, sunny morning when I photographed the distant railroad bridge. The warmer water in the river I was shooting over was creating turbulence for the light waves reaching the lens.
 
Know that heat waves are not limited to affecting only long distance subjects. While testing a lens at 600mm on a sunny afternoon, the strong focal length magnification made heat wave micro-distortion easy to see over thick green grass with only a roughly 100' (30m) subject distance.
 
The moon is a common photo subject for telephoto lenses and to photograph the moon means that light must pass completely through the earth's atmosphere. That distance leaves plenty of opportunity for light bending to occur.
 
Heat waves are definitely an obstacle for creating accurate outdoor lens comparisons. Generally, a clear sky is needed for consistent lighting between captures and the sun of course needs to be at least relatively high in the sky. That means the sun will be heating anything it shines on.
 
Note that heat waves can negatively impact AF performance as well. Because the optical irregularities caused by heat waves are presented to the camera's autofocus system(s) (both phase detection and contrast detection systems), focus distance calculations can be impacted. Especially keep this in mind when dialing in AF microadjustment.
 
What can you do about this problem? Heat waves are an image quality factor that you generally can't spend money to put behind you. For example, a sharper lens and a better camera are not going to be helpful. Selecting a different location, a different time of day and/or a different day completely or even a different season is often the best solution. A cloudy day with low temperature fluctuation may work for your image.
 
Many times, the photographer does not have control of the day and time of a shoot and will need to deal with the issue. Sports photographers typically fall into this group. For example, auto racing often takes place mid-day on asphalt tracks and photographers capturing these events will encounter this distortion.
 
If opting to shoot through the heat waves, move closer if possible (but not dangerously so – referring to the auto racing scenario). The less air that light passes through, the less likely that heat waves will cause strong distortion. Also, capture lots of images to allow selection of the least-influenced and to give your camera opportunity to lock in proper AF distances.
 
How Heat Waves Affect Photography Summary
 
The summary is short. The reason why some of your telephoto images are not sharp is because heat waves are bending the light and confusing your camera's AF system. The basic lesson here is that using the long focal lengths to photograph distant (and sometimes no-so-distant) subjects must be done with consideration to the effect of heat waves.
Post Date: 6/4/2015 9:23:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Lightroom CC Cheat Sheet Screenshot
Graphic designer Jamie Spencer of SetupABlogToday has created an Adobe Lightroom CC Quick Keys Cheat Sheet that may prove useful for Lightroom customers. You can find the full cheat sheet on their website or you can simply download it here (PDF).
 
Adobe's Creative Cloud Photography Plan (USD$9.99 per month) is an excellent value and includes Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC.
Post Date: 6/4/2015 7:57:21 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Photoshelter Logo
From Photoshelter:
 
Break into the exciting world of commercial photography
 
How should you pitch your work to agency art buyers? What’s it like working with ad agencies, or big brands on set? How can you attract commercial clients? These questions and more are answered in our latest guide, Breaking Into Commercial Photography. Dive in to discover how to begin building your client list, marketing tactics to stay relevant in an ever-changing field, and how to integrate your personal style into commissioned work.
 
Get the Free Guide
 
Inside this guide you’ll find:
 
  • What art buyers want from photographers
  • How to keep your cool on set
  • Marketing tactics to keep you top of mind
  • How to stay true and authentic to your work
  • Tips on estimating and negotiating
Download your copy today!
Post Date: 6/3/2015 10:20:37 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Waterfalls and Going with the Flow
When it comes to photographing waterfalls, one needs to go with the flow. Water flow that is. And spring is often when that flow is just right.
 
While too little flow can be detrimental to waterfall photography for obvious reasons, too much flow can also be a problem. When the water rises, features that can add to a composition (such as rocks) are often covered. Too much water flow can also result in mud-colored water. While I sometimes like tannin creating streaks and paths in the water, a photo with muddy water is not usually going to hit my favorites folder.
 
Start monitoring the weather (both recent and forecasted) at your favorite waterfall location and proactively plan to be there at the right time. My forecast preference often includes some rain and plenty of clouds, allowing a saturated landscape with even lighting.
 
After a heavy rain, B. Reynolds Falls in Ricketts Glen State Park was flowing very strongly on this mid-May day (though the needed rocks details remained exposed). The water was so loud that by the end of the day, I was ready for some quiet time in the car. My ears would have been happier during a drought, but ... my images would not have been nearly as good.
 
To get this particular image, I climbed down the rocks beside a small walking bridge and precariously positioned myself and the tripod legs on the strongly-sloped wet rocks just above the water. I often place the tripod in the water for such shots, but ... that only works if the water flow is not strong enough to cause vibrations in the tripod. The final composition emphasizes a balance of the features contained with most lines moving toward the center of the frame.
 
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.
Post Date: 6/3/2015 8:47:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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