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 Friday, August 15, 2014
Upperman High School 2014 Football Program Cover
Bee image courtesy of USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab
Edited from original
Creative Commons License
 
The Booster Club from nearby Upperman High School hired me to create their football program cover again this year. Here's how it all came together.
 
Concept
 
Upperman High wanted to feature their eight senior football players on the program cover. The team is celebrating this season with a military tribute theme, so I was asked to somehow incorporate military symbolism or something symbolizing American pride. With those guidelines in mind, I had creative free reign to formulate the shot.
 
Planning and Preparation
 
As luck would have it, the only date we could find to schedule the session left little time between the shooting date and the printing date. The time crunch meant that we couldn't risk a cancellation due to inclement weather, so an outdoor setup was not a possibility. We decided to plan for an indoor setup instead.
 
Knowing I would only have to include eight players in the vertically-oriented image, I looked around the school for a relatively tall stretch of blank wall. My initial idea was to use the gym, but there were no blank wall spaces in there. I ended up finding a decent spot located in the entryway of the school. My only concern about the location was a large metal security shutter which might reflect my front light sources. I asked the booster club to purchase a large piece of fabric to cover the shutter opening, with a shade to contrast with the players' uniforms (light grey fabric with black uniforms, black fabric with grey uniforms).
 
Considering how much space there would be above the players, I decided to use my Light Blaster to project an image of a bee (the school's mascot) just above the players. I knew that if the projection didn't work as well as I wanted that I could always add the same image in using Photoshop. To satisfy the military/American pride theme, I decided to fill the rest of the blank space with an American flag in post-production.
 
I found an intimidating looking bee image in the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab Flickr photostream. The images in the USGS Bee Inventory account are licensed under Creative Commons and can be used for personal and commercial projects as long as attribution is displayed. I printed the logo onto a transparency using a template provided by Light Blaster. So that covered my mascot logo projection needs. I knew I had a picture of an American flag buried deep in my image archives, so that wouldn't be a problem.
 
The Shoot
 
The cover shoot was scheduled to commence just after the team's practice (about 6pm). I arrived early to unpack my gear and set up my equipment. For lighting I used two monolights in front diffused by silver parabolic umbrellas with white diffusion covers in place and two Canon 580EX Speedlite flashes for rim light in the back (left/right). I set up the Light Blaster with another 580EX flash to project the bee image onto the wall just above the metal shutter. I fitted a Canon EF 85mm f/1.2 L II USM on the front of the Light Blaster for two reasons – 1) the focal length worked well for the distance to the background and 2) the huge aperture meant that I could project a reasonably bright image from my Canon Speedlite. I'd need all the power I could get from that flash considering the relatively narrow aperture and low ISO I intended on using.
 
As for the camera gear, I used a tripod-mounted EOS 5D Mark III with an EF 17-40mm f/4 L USM. EXIF for the final image was 35mm, f/10, 1/160 sec at ISO 250.
 
Unfortunately, there was an issue with the background fabric that I had requested. When it arrived on set, it was both too small and the wrong color. It was the same shade as the grey uniforms being used. With no suitable background fabric available I had to concede to leaving the metal shutter in the shot.
 
As the players arrived, I still hadn't decided on how I wanted them to pose for the picture. I had a few ideas but nothing definitive stood out. We tried a few things – like arms folded across the chest in "V" formation – but I still wasn't satisfied. The final pose came about organically when I positioned two of the tackles in front and asked them to get down in their ready position. When those two players were in place, one of the other players suggested that the center get between them as if he were hiking the ball. After that, it was logical to have the center hiking the ball to the quarterback (who was thankfully a senior) with the other players gathered around him in a football-esque formation.
 
Post Processing
 
I used Photoshop CC to edit the image and typeset the text. I desaturated and darkened the background so that the players stood out more. While the Light Blaster did a good job of projecting the bee image, I wasn't 100% happy with it. Therefore, I decided to overlay the same bee image I had used for the Light Blaster slide in the very same place it had been projected. This gave me much more detail in the bee logo and allowed me to make it stand out in the image (using a black stroke and a drop-shadow). I used a flag image that I captured nearly a decade ago for the top graphic.
 
Summary
 
The Booster Club was very happy with the cover they received. It should be heading to the presses very soon. Feedback from Upperman fans has been very positive. Through pre-visualization and careful planning, the shoot went relatively smoothly and the cover was delivered within two days. As happy clients, I'm pretty sure they'll be giving me a call next year.
Post Date: 8/15/2014 10:15:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the My Nikon Life YouTube Channel:
 
Love Is Now – Behind The Scenes Episode 1
 
Production is well underway on Love is Now – the feature film shot entirely on Nikon DSLRs and Nikkor lenses. Watch an exclusive behind the scenes glimpse of where Director Jim Lounsbury of Eponine Films is getting his inspiration and how they’re pushing Nikon technology to its limits.
 


 

 
Love Is Now – Behind The Scenes – Episode 2: Location, Location
 
As Director Jim Lounsbury of Eponine Films puts it, “It’s not often you’re shooting location stills on the same camera you’ll be shooting the film on.” See how the Nikon D810 is rising to the challenges of the Feature Film ‘Love is Now’.
 
B&H has the Nikon D810 DSLR Camera available for preorder.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 8/15/2014 7:20:43 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, August 14, 2014
HandeVision IBELUX 40mm f/0.85
From the LensRentals Blog:

"I try to start these articles by putting my preconceptions out there first. Every reviewer or blogger has them, they affect our opinions, and you have a right to know them. So I’m writing this introduction the day before our first copies arrive.
 
The lens is designed by IB/E Optics GmbH in Germany and manufactured by Kipon (aka Shanghai Transvision Photographic Equipment Co. Ltd). IB/E has developed a number of lenses and adapters for the Cinema world and other optics, so I figured the design would be good; probably a telecentric lens with a built-in speedbooster-type element or group. Kipon is known as a lens adapter company, although Shanghai Transvision has also manufactured and distributed video and photo accessories. They are rumored to manufacture lenses for other brand names, so they have some lens manufacturing experience. But, I have to say, my expectations for build quality weren’t great.
 
Okay, so much for what I expected. There are now five new copies sitting on my desk so let’s take a look."

Check out the rest of the article at the LensRentals Blog.
 
B&H carries the Handevision IBELUX 40mm f/0.85 Manual Lens for EF-M Mount.

Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/14/2014 3:27:27 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
creativeLIVE Logo
From Adobe creativeLIVE:
 
The challenge of senior photography is taking portraits that capture the one-of-a-kind energy and spark of high schoolers.
 
Join Leslie Kerrigan right now to learn the marketing, communication, artistic, and business skills that will help you connect with your clients and stand out as a senior portrait photographer. Over the next three days, you’ll learn how to:

  • Design shoots that are unique experiences, not just portrait settings
  • Effortlessly connect with, and sell to, teens
  • Create a style closet and build wardrobe consultation skills
  • Market to teens through social media and more!

Don’t miss this opportunity to become the dynamic, must-have senior photographer for every teen in your area.
 
Watch Live Now

Post Date: 8/14/2014 11:42:44 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Ubertronix Strike Finder Touch
B&H has the Ubertronix Strike Finder Touch in stock and available with free expedited shipping.
 
Product Highlights

  • Five-in-One Camera Trigger
  • Programmable Touch Screen Interface
  • Less than 1 ms Triggering Time
  • Event-Driven Time Lapse Capabilities
  • Detects Lightning Strikes
  • Laser Trigger Mode
  • Can be Triggered by Sound
  • Infrared Motion Sensor with 30' Range
  • Runs on 4 AAA Batteries
  • Optional AC Power Adapter

Post Date: 8/14/2014 10:56:05 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Flying By the Morning Moon
As I stood on my front porch this morning, I noticed the conditions looked optimal for using a circular polarizing filter. But what could I use as a subject in my uninspiring front yard? A glance to the left provided the answer – the moon set against a nearby tree.
 
I quickly set up a Canon EOS 5D Mark III, an EF 300mm f/4 L USM, a Kenko 1.4x teleconverter on a tripod positioned on the corner of my front porch. After snapping about five frames I noticed something odd on the LCD screen. It seems I had inadvertantly captured a commuter jet flying just past the moon. It immediately reminded me Bryan's Airplane Over Harvest Moon at 1680mm posted last fall.
 
EXIF: f/8, 1/125 sec, ISO 160
 
I post-processed the image in Photoshop CS6 using Nik Viveza 2 and Topaz Labs Clarity plug-ins.
 
Sometimes a little luck is a wonderful thing! [Sean]
Post Date: 8/14/2014 8:51:29 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 8/13/2014 4:29:31 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Handevision IBELUX 40mm f/0.85 Lens for Canon EF-M
Want the widest aperture lens for your EOS M? Look no further!
 
B&H has the Handevision IBELUX 40mm f/0.85 Manual Lens for EF-M Mount in stock and ready to ship.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/13/2014 10:48:04 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Canon Logo
From Canon USA:
 
MELVILLE, N.Y., August 13, 2014 - Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the launch of a multi-year partnership with the Little League International, which kicks off with the "Print to the Little League Baseball World Series" event in South Williamsport, PA. From today through the end of the tournament on August 24, baseball fans from around the world can utilize Canon PIXMA Printing Solutions and cloud technology to share photos and words of encouragement printed on-site to create "The Great Wall of Fandom." With the new partnership, Canon becomes the official camera and printer sponsor of Little League Baseball and Softball, the world's largest youth sports organization.
 
To celebrate the tournament and cheer on all of the competing teams, fans from around the world can submit their supportive comments and images via a custom microsite, thegreatwalloffandom.com. Canon will then print high-quality versions of the photos and messages on a Canon PIXMA MG7120 Wireless Inkjet Photo All-In-One printer, made possible via cloud connectivity, and the Canon team in Williamsport will add them to "The Great Wall of Fandom." Series attendees will see the photos and messages posted throughout the tournament, and images of how the exhibition evolves will also be shared online daily for the enjoyment of supporters worldwide.
 
Brand ambassadors will also be available at the World Series sites using Canon EOS Rebel T5i Digital SLR and Wi-Fi equipped PowerShot SX700 HS Digital Cameras to take photos of attendees and post the content directly to "The Great Wall of Fandom." In addition, Best Buy has partnered with Canon to lend on-site support at the batting cage installation to answer any PIXMA printer or PPS questions.
 
"From input to output with Canon cameras and printers, the multi-year partnership with the Little League Organization will allow Canon to connect with a new generation of young families who want to capture and share quality memories of this exciting sporting event," said Yuichi Ishizuka, President and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. "We are thrilled that the 'Print to the Little League Baseball World Series' initiative allows us to demonstrate the ability to print from virtually anywhere to anywhere via PIXMA Printing Solutions (PPS). Moreover, we're connecting with fans who can't be there in person, but want to show their support and encouragement for the players."
 
While anyone can submit photos to "The Great Wall of Fandom" from virtually anywhere during each game, Canon will also produce keepsakes for on-site spectators and attendees of the Little League Baseball World Series by inviting them to pose in a Canon-branded batting cage located in the Family Fun Zone area, where on-site brand ambassadors will take photos using Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR cameras and then print the captured images directly on Canon PIXMA MG7120 printers as tokens of the attendees' experience.
 
This year marks the 75th Anniversary of Little League, and part of its longtime success in providing a healthy, safe environment for 2.4 million children in more than 80 countries can be attributed to the assistance provided by sponsorships. Canon joins Little League as its 20th National Sponsor, which help Little League maintain low team affiliation fees and provide valuable training and educational resources to coaches, parents, umpires, and volunteers. Many of Little League's national sponsors also participate in enhancing the fan experience at the Little League Baseball World Series Family Fun Zone.
 
"We are excited to welcome Canon as Little League's newest national sponsor and to the Little League Baseball World Series this August," said Liz DiLullo Brown, Little League Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships. "Little League is more than a youth sports organization, it is a youth leadership organization, and thanks to the support of our national sponsors, Little League is able to provide parents a healthy, affordable recreational outlet for their children."
Posted to: Canon News
Category: Canon USA News
Post Date: 8/13/2014 9:47:00 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Canon YouTube Channel:
 
Canon is continuing to make efforts to help protect our customers from potentially dangerous counterfeits. How can you tell if your Canon battery is genuine? Select Canon products communicate with their battery to identify if the battery is genuine Canon. Watch this video to learn more. For more information, please visit:
http://usa.canon.com/cusa/about_canon/standard_display/aboutcounterfeits
 
Sean's Take: Canon has been on a crusade against counterfeit batteries and other accessories:

However, I think this latest video does a poor job of differentiating between third-party batteries and counterfeit batteries. It lumps both types of batteries into the same, scary "non-genuine battery" category.
 
Personally, I'd be much more concerned about using a conterfeit battery than a third-party battery. If a company is dishonest enough to slap a Canon logo on its battery, then there's a good chance the company doesn't care about the performance and safety of the product. And why would they? The dishonest comany's reputation is not at stake.
 
However, when a company puts their own name on a battery intended to be used in a Canon product, I'm more willing to believe that the company has taken sufficient precautions to ensure the battery will work as advertised and won't damage my camera. And if it does damage my camera, I know that Canon isn't responsible for the repair bill.
 
I understand that Canon wants to protect and educate its customers. There's nothing wrong with that. However, I think labeling third-party batteries and counterfeit batteries in the same way goes a bit too far, and I start questioning whether the movie's motive is really about public safety or the bottom line.
 
Share your thoughts in the comments.

Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/13/2014 8:17:20 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Canon USA YouTube Channel:
 
In this video, see how back button autofocus can be a useful tool.
 


 

 
From the Canon USA YouTube Channel:
 
In this video, learn more about dust delete data option in your camera.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/13/2014 7:05:23 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, August 12, 2014

 
This is an easy and extremely useful tip for highlighting specific color ranges in your images. I can't believe I went this long without exploring the color range slider in the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. [Sean]
 
From the Phlearn.com YouTube Channel:
 
In today's episode, we show you how to select a specific color range and make those colors come to life! The images we used were from 2 of our awesome fans, Dusan & Morey Spellman!
Post Date: 8/12/2014 9:16:32 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Adobe Photoshop YouTube Channel:
 
Photoshop Principal Product Manager Bryan O'Neil Hughes explains how get a still image from a video in Photoshop.
 
You can get Photoshop CC as part of the Adobe Photoshop Photography Suite for only $9.99 per month.
Post Date: 8/12/2014 9:02:55 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, August 11, 2014
Kim Frick-Welker in the Lounge Chair
By Sean Setters
 
I run a small photography business and typically shoot high school senior photos, family portraits, maternity sessions as well as the occasional corporate work.
 
Last week I was hired by the Cookeville Performing Arts Center's Cultural Arts Program Assistant, Kim Frick-Welker, to shoot headshots to be used as promotional material for an upcoming show. After completing that assignment, Kim invited me back to CPAC to shoot another round of headshots for her own portfolio (Kim wanted various headshots because she occasionally acts in or directs theater performances).
 
Kim asked that her headshots be photographed using a black background. As she was wearing a black shirt, this requirement made the setup a little challenging. I had to push quite a bit of light onto the black curtain behind her (as well as use a hair/shoulder light) in order to provide enough separation between the subject and the background. Overall, Kim was happy with the images we got. The following was my personal favorite:

Kim Frick-Welker Headshot on Black

After shooting the headshots with the black background, Kim had what she had asked for. But the last time I was on stage, I was captivated by some of the set pieces being prepared for the upcoming play. I had imagined using the lounge chair as a prop and the understated, yet beautiful wallpaper as a backdrop. And I couldn't get that idea out of my head. So after we wrapped up the headshots Kim had asked for, I suggested we take a few more minutes and try something completely different. I explained to her what I was thinking and she readily agreed to extend our session a little longer. She decided a change of clothes might work better for the new setup, and I agreed.
 
Setting up the shot (seen at the top of this post) took 5 - 10 minutes. I used nearly the same lights and light modifiers that I had used in the previous setup, so it was merely a matter of moving around some furniture, a few light stands and my tripod.

Kim Frick-Welker Lounge Chair Setup

It only took a few shots to dial everything in. And after that, we captured some of the best images of the day. No, they weren't the images Kim had asked for – but she liked them even better (as did I).
 
So what did I take away from this experience? When clients hires you, they may have a set of guidelines (or restrictions) for you to follow in order to achieve specific goals. And there's nothing wrong with that. You have to give the client what they need.
 
But many times it's difficult to create the image that's in someone else's head, no matter how well they communicate it to you. So you do your best to give the client what they've asked for.
 
It may sound obvious, but here's something to keep in mind – anyone who hires you was likely impressed with the work you've already created. So if a shot really inspires you, it will likely inspire your client as well – so try to devote a few minutes to getting the shot you want to get, even if it's not a part of your agreed shot list. And then maybe both of you can walk away from the table getting more than you bargained for (in a good way).

Post Date: 8/11/2014 12:12:40 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
Canon has created a fun and informative video explaining the differences between VGA, HD and Full HD video and various frame rates. While it may be targeted towards PowerShot customers, if you're new to shooting movies on your DSLR, the information presented in this video will still be relevant.
 
B&H carries Canon PowerShot and EOS cameras.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/11/2014 7:06:21 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, August 08, 2014
Digital Photo Professional Splash Screen
From the Canon Professional Network:

"Digital Photo Professional (DPP) version 4.0 is the latest release of Canon’s free RAW image management and editing software, and this incarnation is heralded as the first major update since the software was launched. Canon has responded to feedback from Digital Photo Professional users and incorporated feature requests and suggestions into version 4.0 to create a better looking package that offers a smoother, faster workflow. In this article CPN writer George Cairns examines how DPP 4.0 is better equipped to support your photographic workflow – as you import, browse and develop large numbers of RAW images – and investigates new features, such as the ability to make selective hue, saturation and luminance adjustments for eight colour gamuts."

Read the entire article on the Canon Professional Network.

Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/8/2014 12:17:45 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
The-Digital-Picture.com Discussion
I've been using our site-reviewed Canon EOS 7D for years (I received it not long after the review was published). I have thoroughly enjoyed using the camera and I have taken many memorable shots with it. However, being a bit long in the tooth, I can't help but wonder how it might be better...
 
Keep in mind, Canon has never indicated that it is working on an EOS 7D successor. However, it's fairly logical to assume they are working on something to fill the EOS 7D's market space (top-end APS-C DSLR).
 
So today, we'd like to know – what [relatively feasible] upgrades would you put into an EOS 7D Mark II? What new specs would make it the undisputed king of the APS-C camera line? [Sean]
 
Leave a comment below or comment on the Facebook feed.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/8/2014 8:36:01 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From KickStarter:
 
A paper USB business card with full analytics and remote access. Meet the new standard for premium business cards.
 
What is a swivelCard?
 
A swivelCard is a premium paper business card that includes a USB drive--a smart business card. It includes analytics and can be updated even after giving it out.
 
What Can swivelCard Do?
 
We patented a system for turning regular paper into a USB drive. Now we've included this technology in a business card. When you own swivelCard, you own the premium business card on the market.

  • Paper comes alive with embedded USB technology. Imagine giving your business card with pictures, videos, presentations, and websites for the recipient to interact with!
  • Analytics through a back-end software interface will allow you to access helpful information about your cards and how they are being used.
  • You can edit the destination you've selected remotely. Remote access to your swivelCard gives you many opportunities to continue interacting with the card's recipient. With the back-end interface you'll be able to log in to your account and remotely make changes to the destination. Plus, this can be done individually for each specific card. Want that potential client to go to a list of testimonials instead of your standard video greeting? You can make that change on the fly after they've left with the card!

Check out SwivelCard's Kickstarter Page for full details.

Post Date: 8/8/2014 7:09:56 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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