Changes from Firmware Versions “A” 1.00/“B” 1.00 to Versions “A” 1.01/“B” 1.00
Fixed an issue that caused the camera to stop responding if an ML-L3 remote control was used to take pictures in live view with On selected for Image review in the PLAYBACK MENU after red-eye reduction was selected as the flash mode.
Today I'm going to update my "Useful Photography Apps for Android" (circa 2013) to include a few new apps I've come across over the past three years. I'll also be including the apps from my original post so that all of the apps appear in the same post.
All of these apps are designed for use on Android devices. However, if you're using an iOS device, don't worry. Many of the apps listed here have iOS versions, too, or else comparable apps can usually be found in the Apple App Store.
1.Lenstag (Free / $19.00 annually for Lenstag Pro) [iOS version]
Lenstag offers "free, easy theft protection for all your cameras and lenses." Here's how it works:
Take pictures of the items' serial numbers and upload the images to verify ownership.
If your item(s) is/are missing or stolen, Lenstag will create a public webpage with the relevant information (gear/serial numbers) which will be found if anyone searches for the gear online to verify it hasn't been stolen.
Granted, the protection is only helpful if a potential buyer does a preventative, online serial number search, but... it's a free service and can't hurt. Plus having a central location for all your serial numbers is a nice resource to have on hand.
Lenstag also offers free customers access to a standardized model release and a DMCA takedown notice (*.docx files). For $19.00/year, the Lenstag Pro service allows access to many more customizable documents and enables a $500.00 reward benefit if your gear is stolen.
Spectrometers – devices used to analyze the color of light – are expensive. I often need a ballpark figure for the color of ambient light in a scene in order to properly gel my flashes or otherwise determine the closest setting on my variable color LED lights.
While I don't think the app is as precise as the devices I linked to above, it does a good job of giving me the ballpark figure I need to find the right colored gel (or LED light color setting) for a particular scene.
For anyone planning to do night sky photography, this app is for you. The app displays which areas have the least light pollution so you can make the most of your starry night captures. The Pro version gets rid of the ads, features higher resolution maps, cloud overlays and the ability to save your favorite locations. While certainly more expensive than the typical app, I thought it was worth the cost of the Pro upgrade.
Even though I'm a huge fan of Swiss Army knives with their ability to tackle a huge variety of needs, I also enjoy it when a something does just one thing extremely well. And that's exactly how I would describe Exposure Calculator. The app is useful for calculating exposures when ND filters are used. While calculating the exposure required when a 2-stop ND filter is used, the calculation gets more complicated as the filter density goes up. Of course, you could do the calculation in your head as you mount your 10-stop ND, but... why bother?
Note that development on this app has ceased. It may not work with newer devices.
While I have yet to fully utilize the capabilities of the Lightroom app (like editing on-the-go), I usually keep the last wedding I shot synced with Lightroom Mobile so that I can show potential clients the kinds of results they can expect if they wish to hire me.
If you've ever used DOFMaster online, then you will immediately understand the usefulness of this app. Plug in your variables such as camera sensor size, focal length, aperture and subject distance and the app will calculate how much depth-of-field you can expect (total / in front of and behind the subject) and the hyperfocal distance when using those specific variables.
gps4cam allows you to geotag your images using your phone or tablet's GPS. Just start the app, put the mobile device in your pocket (or bag) and head off for your photography adventure. The neat thing about gps4cam is that your phone and your camera's dates and times don't have to be synchronized in order for it to work. The program uses a QR code (the last image captured should be the QR code) to properly synchronize the track log with the times that the images were captured. Download the free gps4cam Desktop Client on the gps4cam website.
While this app's relevance has diminished recently with many newly released Canon DSLRs featuring built-in GPS, there are still quite a few that do not and this app can provide GPS-tagging functionality at a very fair price.
The Photographer's Ephemeris is a fantastic app that can show you where the sun and moon will be in the sky for any specified date, time and location. I often use the app when planning potrait sessions to determine the optimal session time according to the position of the sun in the desired location. It's also incredibly handy for planning landscape photography trips, too.
Be sure to also check out the free web app for easy desktop viewing.
Easy Release - Model Releases is an app I have used many, many times. The app generates model or property releases on your phone. You simply fill in the details (Shoot Name, Location, Date, Subject Info, etc) and a release is automatically generated. Once generated, signatures using the phone's touchscreen are required to complete the process. Once complete, a PDF of the release can be emailed to the Photographer and/or the model/property owner. The releases generated by Easy Release are approved for use by Getty Images, iStockPhoto and Alamy (among others).
There is a good reason why I've listed the Canon Camera Connect app last in this list and why the screenshot above wasn't taken directly from my phone (like the others above). I don't actually have the Canon Camera Connect app installed because none of the Canon DSLRs I use feature built-in Wi-Fi, so I cannot attest to how well it works first-hand. With my W-E1 Wi-Fi Adapter on preorder I look forward to adding the capabilities of the Canon Camera Connect app very soon. The two ways I currently control my camera using a mobile device – CamFi and my own DIY battery-operated Wi-Fi router paired with DSLR Controller – require me to have the camera's compatible USB cord on hand as well as requiring another battery to be kept charged.
Using the W-E1 and Canon Camera Connect app with my EOS 7D Mark II should prove to be a simpler, easier-to-pack solution that should provide much (but not all) of the same functionality as the solutions requiring a separate device. If you already own a Wi-Fi enabled Canon DSLR, or else have the W-E1 (when available) and compatible camera, installing the free Canon Camera Connect app is a no-brainer.
Well, those are my selections for the most useful apps for photographers. Do you have any suggestions to add to the list?
The Wilcox Pass Trail is one of the highest-rated trails in Jasper National Park (Alberta, Canada). While I have not hiked most of the trails in this park, I have hiked a lot of trails and can say that this is one of my favorites.
The 6.8 mile round trip hike (we stretched it closer to 10 miles) starts just below the tree line and quickly ascends above it into the alpine meadows. From that point on, the views are continuously excellent. The Athabasca Glacier, a significant toe of the Columbia Icefield, is always visible to the west and a multitude of mountain peaks surround the entire area.
If I hike this trail again, I will have a second camera body along as I spent too much time changing lenses. The primary driver for the lens changes were frequent wildlife encounters and telephoto landscape photo ops interspersed with wide angle landscape opportunities. To take advantage of all situations, I was constantly changing between the two lenses I brought.
Yes, another camera body would have added a bit of weight to my kit (the reason I didn't take it), but I probably exerted more energy changing lenses than I would have simply carrying the additional camera body. And, changing lenses at a high altitude often means wind, which often means risk of dust finding its way onto the sensor, leaving spots in the images. Fortunately, the 5Ds R did a great job of avoiding the dust and I had no cloning tasks to add to the post processing of this hike's take home.
I selected this image to share with you because I like how the lines in rock and the clouds point (lead the eye) to Wilcox Peak. As you likely already guessed, the 16-35mm f/4L IS was used to capture it.
Absent from my short gear list above is a tripod and for weight reasons, I was sans tripod on this hike. While the 1/80 second shutter speed may seem easily hand-holdable at 16mm even on a 5Ds R, that was not the case as the wind was very strong. Image stabilization proved quite valuable to me in this situation.
Earlier this year, I posted a Ben Franklin Bridge image and talked about running back and forth between two camera setups during the shoot. At that time, it was requested that I share an image captured by the second camera and ... I am crossing that request off of my to-do list with today's post.
As is often ideal for cityscapes, the timing for this image was such that just a touch of color remained in the sky and the sky brightness balanced nicely with the city lights. With this camera's closer-to-the-bridge perspective, the closest bridge support was emphasized and the broad dark line from the underside of the bridge leads deep into the frame. The river keeps the bottom of the frame somewhat clean (giving the image a foundation) and many of the city's best-known tall buildings are framed between the two in-the-river supports, adding interest to the frame. (full disclosure in case you go here: I removed a small conduit from the center of the bridge support for a cleaner look.)
With good gear and basic skills, this image is not that challenging to capture and as is often the case, being there is the biggest key to success.
Get your creative juices flowing in this fun-filled class meant to educate and inspire! Fashion photographer Lindsay Adler breaks down her creative process and explains how she is able to come up with unique and eye-catching photographs time and time again!
You'll learn how to get creative in-camera without relying on special tools in Photoshop.
Lindsay shows you how to:
Shoot double exposures in camera
How to use mirrors or prisms for abstract effects
Unique lighting techniques
Creative bokeh effects
Plus several other approaches to ignite your creativity!
The serial code is located on the CD Sleeve and is labeled "Serial Number"; Organize - All your memories at your fingertips. Order, label, find and view your photos and videos your way.
Edit - Go from so-so snapshots and video clips to amazing photos and videos. Make quick photo edits, create movies in a snap, add artistic touches like a pro, or transform your photos and videos to wow friends and family.
Create - Show your creative side. Make scrapbook pages and cards to share lasting memories. Bring style to your movies with cool effects, transitions, themes, titles and more.
Share - Share memories with the people who matter the most the way that works for you - Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter, and more.
Find - Your stuff, fast. Every memory at your fingertips. Quickly find photos and videos by favorite people, where you were, or what you were doing.
The 600mm focal length may not be the best for creating a sense of presence for the viewer, but ... it certainly helped me to distance myself from this bear's presence. And, I think the bear did a nice job of creating a presence all by himself.
The bear has apparently experienced trauma in its life as it is missing the bottom of its right front leg and one of his canine teeth is broken. Although such an accident would be enough to make any bear angry, I really don't know for sure if this one was angry or not. But, saying that it is angry sounds more dramatic and people seem to like drama these days. And, almost universally, animals lay their ears back when angry, helping to justify the thought.
The EOS-1D X Mark II has been very reliably focusing on the bears' eyes (bear noses often get in the way of this) even in bad weather conditions and this camera and lens combination easily erased the distant background, making the bear the unmistakable subject.
The world's best photographers use Profoto and we are pleased to officially announce our very own Instagram page; Profoto USA. We want to celebrate light and show off the amazing images our Profoto users, including you, put out on social media.
Tag your posts with #ProfotoUSA and show us those amazing images and behind the scenes shots of Profoto gear in use and you could be featured on our Instagram page.
Not long ago I detailed how you can use photomosaics to add value to your wedding services and attract more clients. Today we'll be looking at another technique – multiple exposures – which can serve the same purpose.
In the film days, a multiple exposure was created by neglecting to advance the film between successive exposures. Years ago, many of them were created by accident. However, the advent of auto-advancing film cameras reduced accidental multiple exposures dramatically, though most higher-end film SLRs still allowed for multiple exposures to be recorded on the same piece of film (when desired).
Fast forward to today and several of Canon's higher-level DSLRs feature the ability to record multiple exposures in-camera. Those bodies are:
EOS 1D X Mark II
EOS 1D X
EOS 5D Mark IV
EOS 5Ds / 5Ds R
EOS 5D Mark III
EOS 7D Mark II
While most of the DSLRs above can be set to record the final multiple exposure image and the images used to create the final exposure, the EOS 70D, 80D and 6D only allow for saving the finished image (not the component images). This feature limitation can be important. More on that later.
Why target wedding clients?
With the prevalence of economically-priced DSLRs, ample online education and the fact that weddings are a fairly consistent market opportunity, wedding photography is a crowded market these days. Your competency, personal style and unique creativity can help set you apart from the pack. And that's where multiple exposures come into play.
When it comes to wedding pictures, many shots are not just common, but expected:
Bride and groom getting ready
The wedding dress/shoes
Ring and bouquet macros
Wedding parties (groomsmen/bridesmaids)
Bride walking down the aisle
Bride and groom together
Family group pictures
etc, etc, etc...
The list above just barely scratches the surface, but the prevalence of what's expected (and the fulfillment of those expectations) can lead to a lot of wedding pictures looking similar. And while any photographer can certainly differentiate his or her work based on those shots listed, adding something like a multiple exposure (which may likely be a combination of any of the two images above) can easily gain recognition for one's photography services and increase client satisfaction. Considering the small amount of time it takes to create a multiple exposure image, it's definitely worth the effort.
And the good news is that you don't actually need a camera with the multiple exposure feature to create an exposure blended image; you can do it in Photoshop. However, having the feature in-camera can allow you to determine just how good your images will look when combined into a single image. And with the Live View preview option, proper framing of the two images is significantly easier.
Case in point – I shot a wedding in July and intended to capture an in-camera multiple exposure the day of the wedding. However, as the day dragged on I completely forgot about capturing the multiple exposure. I didn't realize the omission until the clients had already received their wedding images.
With the RAW images still on hand, I tried to see if I could find two images that might blend together well. It took me about 5 minutes of searching, but I settled on two images – one of the bride's dress and another of the couple's first dance. To be perfectly frank, neither image on its own would be considered exceptional. In fact, the wedding dress shot was a throwaway as I had much better shots of it against a dark curtain (I removed the image from the Lightroom catalogue before batch processing/converting the wedding images but never deleted it).
In Photoshop, I used the dress picture as the base layer and placed the first dance picture above it set to a "Lighten" blending mode. I also used Brightness/Contrast clipping masks on both layers to adjust how the images blended together. The final result is shown above.
Am I completely happy with the image? Not really. I think I could have done better if I had purposefully attempted the multiple exposure the day of the wedding. However, my satisfaction with the final image is rather irrelevant from a client satisfaction perspective. When I showed the new bride the multiple exposure image, she seemed extremely happy with it. She later posted the picture on Facebook with a glowing review of my wedding photography services.
If considering adding multiple exposures to your wedding services, here are a few tips:
Set the camera as follows:
Multi expose ctrl
No. of exposures
Save source imgs
* The option to save source images may not be available on some cameras.
Create a silhouette image to use as the base layer. Note that the brighter areas of the each image will be what comes through prominently in the final image. An underexposed profile/silhouette set against a bright sky tends to work well for a base layer.
Turn on Live View. Use the LCD's preview to help you align the next shot. Note that you may need to use negative exposure compensation (for both the base and second image) to keep from overexposing the final image.
Preview your results. If you don't like the final image, simply go back into the Multiple Exposure options and designate your original base image to be used for your next attempt.
The best way to become proficient at creating multiple exposures is to practice. Last week I was practicing some multiple exposures and created the following self-portrait.
Here's where saving the source images can be really beneficial even when creating an in-camera multiple exposure. Try as I might, I couldn't get the right framing and depth of field that I wanted in-camera. However, I was able to pick out two of my attempts (one base image and one Spanish moss image) and craft the final multiple exposure in Photoshop. The second layer required enlarging (in relation to the base image) to achieve the look I was going for.
So the next time you're about to shoot a wedding, try a multiple exposure. Your clients will likely enjoy your unique style in capturing their wedding.