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 Monday, February 2, 2015
Canvas On Demand Logo
Through midnight Tue 2/3, use coupon code 50CUPID at CanvasOnDemand.com to get 50% Off your entire order.
 
As I have said before, I have numerous Canvas On Demand prints as large as 40x60" hanging throughout the studio and house. All are very nicely done. This really is a great deal. And, if you order multiples of the same canvas, the price becomes even more amazing. Select your favorite pic and give them a try!
Post Date: 2/2/2015 8:00:28 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
AdoramaPix Logo
Through 2/8, AdoramaPix has several promotion codes available for select Valentine's Day gifts.
 
ProductCodeDiscount
8x8 Hard Cover Photo BooksPX88PB40% off
Photo Greeting CardsPXPGC4040% off
CollagesPXCOL2020% off
Metal Heart Shaped PrintsPXHSPM2020% off
Acrylic Heart Shaped PrintsPXHSPA2020% off
Post Date: 2/2/2015 7:36:04 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, February 1, 2015
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
Adorama has the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM in stock.
 
This lens has been in extremely short supply. If you've been wanting to add it to your kit, don't hesitate to add it to your cart (it may not be in stock very long).
Post Date: 2/1/2015 6:15:32 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Saturday, January 31, 2015
Imaging USA Logo
From Imaging USA:
 
Professional Photographers of America Reporting Record Attendance Numbers
 
Nashville, Tenn. – January 30, 2015 – Imaging USA, PPA’s photographic convention and tradeshow, opens this Sunday at Gaylord Opryland in Nashville. The show runs through Tuesday, February 2.
 
This year, the show looks to be the event’s biggest yet in its history. Well over 9,000 photographers have already registered for the show, with 4,000 to 5,000 more on-site registrations expected at the event. The demand has surpassed the Opryland hotel to capacity, with registrants now directed to overflow accommodations.
 
“This will be our biggest event in our 146-year history,” said PPA CEO David Trust. “More importantly, it will be our best. The response this year has been fantastic. We can’t wait for photographers to enjoy the charm of Opryland and the Music City and get all the photography fuel and deals on gear they need to be more in 2015.”
 
All-access registration passes as well as expo-only tickets are still available at ImagingUSA.org/Register.
 
Imaging USA is the longest-running international photographic convention, tradeshow and image exhibition in the world. The event dates back to 1869, when PPA began organizing its annual convention and tradeshow, ran by professional photographers for professional photographers.
 
More than 10,000 photography enthusiasts will descend upon the Music City for three days of photography education and inspiration as well as some exclusive photography-related shopping.
 
Highlights of this year’s event include the three-day Imaging Expo tradeshow, featuring more than 600 booths, giving photographers the opportunity to demo and purchase the latest products at deeply discounted and tradeshow-only prices. The event also includes more than one hundred speeches, presentations and hands-on demonstrations by some of the most respected names in the industry. Photographers will also find mentoring opportunities, portfolio reviews and 10,000+ photographers to network with and create career-spanning relationships—a real bonus for photographers, who typically work for themselves. There is also three days of more intimate, pre-convention classes for an extra learning opportunity.
 
New to Imaging USA this year will be a new mobile app and game, extended viewing hours for the International Photographic Competition (IPC) exhibit, a special, exhibit of super-sized images from record-breaking, acclaimed landscape photographer, Peter Lik, the PPA Charities 5K run, fundraiser and shoe drive, and an opening night Super Bowl viewing party, sure to be the biggest around.
 
It’s not too late to register. Photographers have the option to sign up for an Imaging USA all-access pass, or join PPA as a Professional Active member. PPA offers a free full-registration to Imaging USA as a perk for new members. Professional Active PPA memberships are available for $27.92 a month.
 
There is also an expo-only option available to those who just want to check out the tradeshow. Complimentary expo passes are available online by using the promo code TSC2015.
 
Visit ImagingUSA.org for complete program and registration information.
 
Note: If you go to Imaging USA, you might just see me there! I plan on checking out the Expo tomorrow. [Sean]
Post Date: 1/31/2015 11:54:27 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Google Earth Logo
Google has just announced that Google Earth Pro, formerly $399.00 per license, is now free. Google Earth allows users to "View satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, galaxies far in space, and the deepest depths of the ocean." The Pro version takes these capabilities up a big notch.
 
From Google:
 
Google Earth Pro includes the same easy-to-use features and imagery as the free version of Google Earth, but with additional professional tools designed specifically for business users. [And I suspect for some photographers]
 
  • Utilize data layers to locate your target demographic
  • Compute distances and areas using measurement tools
  • Use Movie Maker to produce media collateral
  • Print high-resolution images for presentations and reports
  • Import large vector image files to quickly map GIS data
  • Map addresses with the Spreadsheet Importer
Learn more about Google Earth Pro, including comparison charts with the standard version, here.
 
Getting Google Earth Pro for Free, Step-by-Step:
 
Post Date: 1/31/2015 9:03:10 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, January 30, 2015
 Ruggard Memory Card Case
Ever think you would like to try a nice SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card case? You know, something nicer than the basic little plastic SD card cases? If so, B&H has a deal to share with you.
 
Today only, get the Ruggard Memory Card Case (holds up to 8 SD cards) for only $7.95 with free shipping. This case is normally priced at $17.95, making the deal price an approximately 55% discount.
Post Date: 1/30/2015 11:09:30 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, January 29, 2015
Tokina AT-X 11-20mm f/2.8 PRO DX Lens
B&H has the Tokina AT-X 11-20mm f/2.8 PRO DX Lens available for preorder.
Category: Preorders
Post Date: 1/29/2015 4:55:41 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Winter Photography Tips: Go Shadow Hunting
Normally, the ground is covered in detail including grass, leaves, sticks, stones, etc. and that detail is generally on the dark side of brightness. When it snows, those details are covered over and the ground becomes a smooth bright white palette mostly void of detail except possibly an even snow texture. As all kids know so well, what a blank white palette needs is something on it.
 
Shadows are a great option for that something. Especially helpful in this pursuit is that winter brings a low angle sun that casts long shadows even at mid-day. Additionally helpful is that the deciduous trees are bare in the winter and cast clean shadow lines (instead of complete shadows from a leaf canopy).
 
While trees cast great shadows, there are plenty of other options. Look for shadows beside fences (as shown in this example). Make your own shadows using your body (for a shadow selfie) or anything else your creativity can come up with.
 
This winter, if you are fortunate enough to live or travel to a location where there is snow on the ground, take advantage of that blank white palette. And remember, the clock is ticking after a snow storm. Fresher is better in the case of snow.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
55mm  f/11.0  1/80s  ISO 100  5760 x 3840px
Post Date: 1/29/2015 9:01:56 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Sony 128GB SDXC Memory Card
Post Date: 1/29/2015 8:15:19 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Rogue FlashBender 2 XL PRO Lighting System
From Rogue:
 
Rogue Photographic Design Updates the XL Pro Lighting Kit with New Attachments and Design Improvements, Including: New Strip Grid, Lighter Weight Materials, Quicker Attachment, and New Travel Bag. The New FlashBender 2 XL Pro Lighting System Includes the Versatile XL Pro Reflector with Two Quick Change Attachments to Create the Soft Box or Strip Grid.
 
Watsonville, California – January 29, 2015 – ExpoImaging, Inc., creators of Rogue FlashBender light modifiers for event and location photographers, today announced availability of the Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Lighting System.
 
“The idea behind the original FlashBender XL Pro Kit was to create a larger light source with studio-style control while retaining the portability and easy setup fundamental to all the FlashBenders,” said Erik Sowder, CEO of ExpoImaging. “With the FlashBender 2 XL Pro, we worked hard to decrease the weight of the original XL Pro as well as to further refine its attachment design. The new FlashBender 2 XL Pro Reflector is 20% lighter. We know that every bit of weight reduction is welcome for location shooters.”
 
“We also know that photographers will be excited by the inclusion of the new XL Pro Strip Grid attachment in the XL Pro System. Combining diffusion fabric with a black fabric grid, the XL Pro Strip Grid provides precise rim and edge lighting control. It attaches quickly to the front of the XL Pro Reflector and is compatible with the original XL Pro Reflector design.”
 
The FlashBender 2 incorporates new custom reflective fabric. The new fabric allows the reflector to be more easily shaped to control light. The new FlashBender 2 integrated attachment strap is adjustable to fit all popular brands of accessory flashes with a flash head circumference measuring from 8” to 9 3/4”.
 
“To keep it portable, the FlashBender 2 XL Pro Lighting System is sized to fit a 15” laptop compartment, or lay flat to allow more room for lenses and other essential equipment in the gear bag. We also include a handy Travel Bag,” said Sowder.
 
The Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Lighting System includes: FlashBender 2 XL Pro White Reflector, XL Pro Strip Grid, XL Pro Soft Box Diffuser, and XL Pro Travel Bag.Pricing and Availability
 
The Rogue FlashBender 2 XL Pro Lighting System retails for $99.95, and is available through ExpoImaging’s distribution partners worldwide.
 
B&H carries Rogue products.
Category: Rogue News
Post Date: 1/29/2015 7:39:01 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H Photo Video Logo
B&H has rolled out a new incentive program for those who share our northern border – free shipping to Canada on orders over $99.00 or more (some exclusions apply). (thanks Dave)
 
From B&H:
 
Now, in order to better service our Canadian Customers, orders over $99 ship free to Canada! Simply select "B&H customs clearance", and select "Canada Free Shipping" as your Shipping Method.
 
Notes:
 
  • Certain items are excluded from this offer based on the item's characteristics. Look for the following under these items: Shipping Charges Apply
  • The $99 order total is calculated after all rebates and bundle discounts have been applied. Gift Cards, freight charges, duties, and taxes do not count towards the qualifying order total.
Category: B&H News
Post Date: 1/29/2015 7:00:36 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Dell Inspiron 15 i5547-12500sLV 15.6
For today only, B&H has the Dell Inspiron 15 i5547-12500sLV 15.6" Multi-Touch Notebook Computer available for $699.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $1,049.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 2.0 GHz Intel Core i7-4510U (Haswell)
  • 16GB of 1600 MHz DDR3L RAM
  • 1TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
  • Integrated Intel HD Graphics 4400
  • 15.6" Full HD LED-Backlit Touchscreen
  • 1920 x 1080 Native Resolution
  • 5-in-1 Media Card Reader
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
  • Built-in Webcam, Mic, & Speakers
  • Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
 Wednesday, January 28, 2015
WD My Passport Ultra USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive
eBay (via Buy) has the WD My Passport Ultra 2TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive available for $79.99 with free shipping. Compare at $99.00.
Winter Photography Tips: Get Out of Your Comfort
Yes, it is winter and your comfort "mode" is likely staying in your warm house. While I do encourage you to get out of that "mode", I'm referring to a different "mode". Your camera's Auto mode to be more specific.
 
Today's DSLR cameras have a wide range of fully or semi-automatic modes available, but I still shoot in manual exposure mode at least 95% of the time (as do a significant percentage of other professional and enthusiast photographers). There are many reasons for choosing manual mode, but having full control over image brightness in a snowy environment is the base reason directly related to winter photography. The camera's exposure meter is confused by the bright color of snow and attempts to make it mid-gray in brightness. Yes, you can use exposure compensation to adjust the brightness of the various auto exposure modes, but if the lighting is not changing frequently, I highly recommend using the manual exposure mode alternative. And, winter is a perfect time to perfect your manual exposure skills.
 
Have no fear: Using Manual Exposure Mode is Not Difficult.
 
In manual mode, there are three settings that work together to affect the brightness of an image. These three settings are fundamental to photography and learning them is going to be worth your effort. These are shutter speed (the exposure duration), aperture (how wide the lens opens) and ISO (the amplification of the image received by the imaging sensor).
 
Working backwards, I can't think of a time when I wanted a higher ISO setting for image quality purposes. I want ISO 100 if the other two parameters allow it and adjust upwards as required with noise as the penalty.
 
My aperture setting is usually selected to control the amount of depth of field in the image. The higher the number, the narrower the lens aperture opens and the greater near-to-far distance that remains in focus. So, if everything in the image needs to be in focus, select a high aperture setting number. There is a caveat with going to a very high number and that is diffraction causing the image to become soft. My compromise is usually to shoot at f/8 on an 18-20 MP APS-C body and f/11 on a 20-22 MP full frame body (I go higher/narrower at times). If I want a maximum background blur, I select a wide open aperture (the smallest number available – such as f/1.4).
 
The shutter speed is selected to control (show or avoid) motion blur in an image. If avoiding all motion blur, I can't think of a penalty for using a too-high shutter speed (unless flash is being used and that is a topic for another day). If handholding the camera, there will be a point where a too-high percentage of your images become blurred due to camera shake and usually those images will be sent straight to the recycle bin. Motion blur is sometimes desired in an image (such as moving water) and the right exposure duration is needed to capture this effect.
 
In a perfect world, you would simply select the three perfect parameters for your photo. In reality, there are compromises that are often required and the primary example is a lack of light. If there is not enough light, the shutter speed must be reduced, the aperture must be opened and/or the ISO increased with potential penalties for any of the three adjustments.
 
Dialing In Settings for Manual Mode
 
The more experience you gain, the easier it is to set your manual settings. However, it is not hard for even a beginner to get started and with digital technology where it is today, the learning curve is very short. In the old days (when film was popular), this is the time when the light meter would be pulled out. That piece of equipment is no longer needed for most situations and the meter built into the camera is all you need.
 
There are multiple ways to get the proper manual settings established. You can turn the camera to fully automatic mode and use the settings it picks for you as your initial manual mode settings. You can use the Sunny 16 rule: For a subject under a full sun, set the aperture to f/16 and shutter speed to the 1/ISO setting. Or you can take a guess (what the most-experienced can do).
 
After establishing the initial settings, the next step is to take a picture of a typical scene you can expect to be photographing in (ideally with bright whites included). Then check the camera's histogram for adjustments needed. The histogram shows a graph of the relative brightness of the pixels in your image. This chart is your best friend – learn how to use it. Here is the Canon DPP histogram from the title image.
 
Histogram Example
 
Press "Info" while reviewing an image to turn the histogram on in Canon cameras and I recommend using the RGB histogram to allow all three color channels (Red, Green Blue) to be monitored. Dark details are mapped on the left side (RGB=0) and bright are on the right (RGB=255). Usually to be avoided are pixels stacked on either side of the graph, indicating a loss of details due to blown highlights or blocked shadows. If possible, adjust your manual mode settings to bring the details within the limits of the chart, but use discretion. Pay attention to the brightness of the details in your scene and reflect their relative brightness on the chart. You don't often want to make black or white colors into mid gray.
 
I highly recommend shooting in RAW and adjusting the final image brightness to perfection during post processing. Shooting in RAW, I generally like to expose to the right, commonly referred to as ETTR. This means that the brightest pixels in the image are at or very close to 255, the right-most extent of the chart. This method allows the maximum amount of color information (the most photons) to be captured for each pixel with dark areas especially benefitting from this strategy. Image brightness can later be reduced as desired in Lightroom, DPP, etc. ETTR does not work well in all situations and shutter speed is often what is compromised to get a brighter image, so as always, use this technique with discretion.
 
Especially Useful in Snow
 
As I create this tip, this is the New York City weather forecast:
 
New York City Blizzard Forecast
 
As mentioned, if shooting in the auto zones, cameras will usually underexpose snow images (unless adequate exposure compensation is called for). A manual exposure allows you to dial in the ideal settings and, unless the lighting is changing (such as dark clouds moving over), every image will be identically exposed, making batch adjustment (if necessary) a fast post processing task.
 
When shooting in bright snow, you are going to want the histogram to show pixels with very close to 255 brightness values (regardless of your ETTR strategy) and you might even want to allow some very small areas to go completely white (enable Highlight Alert and watch for the blinkies during image review). The brightest pixel in the tile image has a max RGB component value of 253. I know, this image is of ice, but there is enough air in the ice to appear nearly as white as snow and similarly confound an auto metering system.
 
While exploring a small stream deep in the winter, I came across this smooth ice with interesting patterns under it. Capturing this photo and many others like it was very easy. The day was very cloudy, giving me even light without shadows. I setup the tripod with the camera directed straight down, focused on the surface of the ice, determined the manual exposure needed to make the ice as bright as possible without blowing the highlights and took the picture. I then slid the tripod on the ice to the next composition and took that picture. Repeat.
 
With a manual exposure locked in, the biggest photographical challenge presented by this opportunity was finding a composition that I liked. The patterns were completely random and, in the end, I captured a number of images to sort through. This one is my favorite. I think.
 
Your turn. Get the camera out and turn the dial to the "M" mode. Learn to make your own fundamental camera setting decisions and your photography will be improved in all seasons.
Post Date: 1/28/2015 10:48:56 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
LensRacks Sample Image
From LensRacks:
 
About LensRacks
If you love photography as much as we do, then we are sure that you have a collection of lenses and other camera gear. We all know lenses can get very expensive and they are investments that can last a long time under good care. Our patent pending LensRacks system is the perfect way to store and organize your precious investments with style.
 

 
Who is LensRacks for?
LensRacks is designed for owners of Nikon or Canon lenses who want to be organized with their camera gear. With LensRacks’ modularity and expandability, the LensRacks caters to amateurs, professionals, and everyone else in between.
 
Check out the LensRacks Kickstarter Campaign for more information or to back the project.
Post Date: 1/28/2015 10:39:01 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon D810 DSLR Camera
eBay (via GetItDigital) has the Nikon D810 DSLR Camera available for $2,299.99 with free shipping. Compare at $2,996.95.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore not eligible for Nikon USA warranty or service.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/28/2015 10:17:47 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Photoshelter
From Photoshelter:
 
In The 2015 Photo Business Plan Workbook, get a step-by-step guide to help you implement a rock solid business plan, target the photo clients you want, and land more gigs. Download the guide today!
 
Download the Free Guide
Post Date: 1/28/2015 9:58:19 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Impact Collapsible Background - 5 x 7' (Black/White)
For today only, B&H has the Impact Collapsible Background - 5 x 7' (Black/White) available for $39.95 with free shipping. Regularly $69.95.
Post Date: 1/28/2015 9:15:43 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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