Environmental Sustainability Initiative Achieved Goal of Contributing to the Planting of 50,000 Trees in 2015
MELVILLE, N.Y., — As part of its ongoing commitment to environmental sustainability, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce that the Company’s partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation has helped contribute to the planting of 50,000 trees this year. The achievement is the latest result of Canon U.S.A.’s long-lasting support of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Community Tree Recovery Program, which helps to rebuild communities affected by natural disasters through the planting of trees.
Since 2009, Canon U.S.A.’s contributions to Arbor Day’s reforestation efforts and the Community Tree Recovery Program have helped in the planting of over 360,000 trees across national forests and communities that have been impacted by natural disasters.
“As a cornerstone of our corporate philosophy of Kyosei, Canon is a strong believer in community involvement,” said Junichi Yoshitake, senior vice president and general manager, Business Imaging Solutions Group, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Through our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, we are proud to have achieved this goal in helping communities where natural disasters have struck.”
This year, the Community Tree Recovery Program has provided recovery support to 11 states across the nation, including New Jersey, Kentucky, Texas and Washington. Through the Canon Forest Program, which supports the Community Tree Recovery Program, Canon supported the planting of one tree for every eligible imageRUNNER ADVANCE multifunction system sold from April 1, 2015, up to the now-achieved goal of 50,000 trees planted. Various imageRUNNER ADVANCE multifunction systems have achieved outstanding Total Energy Consumption (TEC) ratings, received ENERGY STAR certifications, and have also received various EPEATi ratings, which is the global registry for greener electronics.
"We are thankful for the partnership with Canon as they help in the rebuild of communities across the country," said Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation, president. "Planting trees is a powerfully inspiring experience that will help to bring hope and healing back to the good people affected by these natural disasters."
I've been a photographer for many years but somehow never got around to adding a set of Christmas lights to my kit – until now. On a recent trip to CVS Pharmacy, I wondered down the newly stocked holiday seasonal aisle to find dozens of sets of Christmas lights.
When my eyes landed on a set of "icicle" lights, I immediately thought about how great they'd look as a background for a shallow depth-of-field portrait. After a quick checkout I was ready to set up a portrait session with Amanda.
I gelled both flashes with a full CTO so that the light hitting the subject would closely match the light emanating from the warm, tungsten Christmas lights. Gelling the flashes with a full CTO helped to create the illusion that the light hitting the subject's face might have been caused by another string of Christmas lights just behind the camera. I know that's a bit of a stretch, but at least the color of the light hitting the subject is at least somewhat motivated by the components within the scene. And with the color of light closely matching, I could use a global color correction to dial in just the amount of warmth I wanted in the image.
For the camera and lens, I used a tripod mounted Canon EOS 5D Mark III and an EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM. The 85L II worked perfectly in the relatively small amount of space, providing a field of view narrow enough to fill the frame with the collapsible background and an aperture wide enough to throw the background out of focus.
Here's a shot of the setup that I took this morning:
The EXIF details for the final portrait were f/1.6, 1/60 sec, ISO 200. While I could have used an even wider aperture to further accentuate the bokeh, I thought f/1.6 was a good compromise between DOF and the effect in the background that I was going for (Amanda's nose is still a touch out of focus at f/1.6).
At the end of the evening, I was really glad I had finally added a set of Christmas lights to my kit. They're fun, relatively inexpensive and a great source of creative inspiration – be sure to pick some up this holiday season for enjoyment year round!
You can click on the image atop this post to see a larger version on Flickr.
Considering the quality of their ND filters we have no reason to doubt the claims regarding their X3 circular polarizing filter. Supporting the Kickstarter campaign will allow you to get an X3 CPL filter at a nice discount vs. retail pricing.
From the Breakthrough Photography:
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – Breakthrough Photography, a San Francisco-based research and manufacturing startup, has announced a new circular polarizer called the X3 CPL. They claim the X3 CPL to be “the world’s sharpest and most color neutral circular polarizer.”
Aimed at professional outdoor photographers, the X3 CPL features SCHOTT B270 optical glass, MRC16, nanotec nano coatings and an all-new internally developed circular polarizing film, called CrystalVision, manufactured in California.
Coming off the success of the X3 Neutral Density filter launched on Kickstarter last year, the X3 CPL adapts the same proven weather-sealed “traction frame” design as the company’s X3 ND, which is CNC machined from brass.
“We took all that we learned from the success of the X3 ND and adapted it to a circular polarizer. At the core of the X3 CPL lies our internally developed, American-made CPL film, and it sets the X3 CPL apart from all other competing circular polarizers. And we’ve even designed a X3 CPL specifically for Leica shooters, and for Canon’s CINE Lens Lineup, too.” said founder and photographer Graham Clark.
The X3 CPL is immediately available for pre-order on Kickstarter in limited quantities with a December 2015 delivery schedule. Pre-ordering and product information can be found by visiting the company’s website at http://www.breakthrough.photography/
“We’re really excited to bring the X3 CPL to the photography community on Kickstarter first. We’ll be offering a one-time launch sale price of up to $50 off, in limited quantities, just in time for the holiday season.”says founder and photographer Graham Clark. “If this Kickstarter campaign proves successful, the X3 CPL will be available for purchase on Amazon Prime, B&H and Adorama directly following the Kickstarter campaign.”
Mobile app and parabolic motorized slider combine to speed setup, enhance interview intimacy
Dallas, TX and Hollywood, CA - Redrock Micro, the recognized leader in affordable professional cinema accessories, today announced the release of the new iOS remote app for One Man Crew Director. The mobile app enables wireless setup and control of the One Man Crew motorized parabolic slider, and adds features for streamlining small crew workflow and enhancing on-set intimacy for interviews. The app is available for immediate download from the Apple App store.
Streamlining Interviews and Enhancing Set Intimacy The remote app for iOS works on iPhone or iPad, and connects wirelessly to the One Man Crew Director. Once connected, all of the functions of the One Man Crews side panel are available on the app. Building on the remote functions, the App adds new Gesture Screen so camera movement can sync with the interview's tempo and emotion without looking away from your subject.
Benefits of the iOS One Man Crew Remote App include:
Faster setup with touch-screen control of all the unit's side panel operations.
More convenient operation to start and stop camera movement, change speed, and start and stop camera recording, saving time and effort.
Enhance interview intimacy with the new Gesture Screen to sync camera movements to tempo and mood of interview without looking away from the subject or having additional crew on set.
Improved support with mobile access to the One Man Crew operating manual.
"The OMC Remote App is fantastic," said Matthew Allard of Newsshooter.com. "It is intuitive and very straightforward to use. This makes operating the One Man Crew Director so much easier. The ability to control your device while standing next to another camera saves you a lot of time and gives you the added versatility of being able to change the speed or modify your parabolic moves..."
Great Interviews for Solo or Small Crews The iOS remote app works with the award-winning One Man Crew Director, the only parabolic motorized slider that adds camera movement without requiring a dedicated operator while keeping the subject in focus and anchored in frame. This feature makes the One Man Crew Director uniquely well-suited for interviews, reality television, talking head, corporate, and documentary work.
"(We) Love the new One Man Crew Director app. It's really convenient to operate the slider from anywhere on set," said Zach Rutledge, Co-Owner of Songbird Media Group. Songbird Media is a full-scale, state-of-the-art media production company. Songbird relies on gear including the One Man Crew Director to create polished, higher quality interviews for their clients.
The latest version of the iOS Remote App includes an API for developers. Using the API, the One Man Crew Director control can be integrated into third party applications.
One notable deal on the list is the LumiQuest Big Bounce Kit with Cinch Strap. I purchased the Big Bounce when it was featured as B&H's Daily Deal in May and I've been using it for many of my most recent macro shots. To use it, I simply handhold a flash with the Big Bounce attached and use a camera-mounted ST-E2 for triggering. It's a quick and easy setup that can provide especially good illumination for macro subjects.
Safe to say is that nearly everyone reading this post has their eye on a piece of camera kit, that one piece that will take their capabilities to the next level.
Usually, money is the barrier to taking that next step, so let's talk about increasing available cash.
Raising funds generally involves earning money by working, selling something of value and/or spending less.
Sell Your Images and Photography Services
Since photography is our love, most of us will find the best option to raise money for camera gear is to sell our images and/or photography services.
This is of course easier said than done, but get a sales channel going and you will have a recurring revenue stream to support your photo kit growth long term.
Advertise your portrait services to your Facebook friends.
Ask your kid's teammates' parents if they would be interested in spending a few dollars for some great sports action pics.
Hang prints for sale in local establishments.
An upside to selling prints and services is that, if you sell enough, your accountant will likely allow you to write-off your gear costs and other expenses,
saving you a lot of money by effectively reducing your costs significantly.
Sell Your Old Camera Gear
You have likely been upgrading to the latest camera and lens models as they are released.
But, are you cleaning out what doesn't get used any longer?
If there is gear in your kit has not been used in a year or two and is not needed for backup purposes, it is probably not worth keeping and is a potential source of funding for the hot new gear.
Selling camera gear direct to a buyer can bring you the most revenue, but ... it doesn't get easier and the risk doesn't get lower than
selling to B&H.
They take care of everything and you can count on getting paid.
Sell Something Else
For many of us, the camera gear is the priority, so ... what else can you sell?
What is taking up space in your house, garage, attic, basement, etc. but has been unused for a year? Are you really going to use it again?
Sell it on eBay.
The process is easy and you might be surprised at what other people want.
Even if you don't make a lot per item, repeat the process enough times and the funds start adding up.
Available space in your house also increases. Perhaps enough to make room for a new photo setup, even if it is only a product/macro setup.
Offline, the "Bake sale" suggestion keeps bubbling to the surface around here. Beats selling a body part for sure and a good sandwich sale could finance an L lens.
Get More Money from the Day Job
If your day job is not photography related, I hesitate to recommend that you work more hours as doing so may cut into your photography time, but ... a little overtime in your off season (winter perhaps?)
could go a long way in financing some new glass.
Another option with longer term payback: spend some time educating yourself to qualify for a position that commands a higher salary.
If your day job is commission based, put in more sales time and effort for a greater compensation reward.
Finding a side job that you find enjoyable, even if for only an evening or two each week, can raise considerable funds over a period of time.
I should note here that time with the family should not suffer if you are working more hours.
Make your family your highest priority. Take the extra working hours out of your personal time (put away the video games).
Increase Your Rates
Do you charge a rate for the work you do?
Being the low-priced option might be necessary for someone starting out in an industry, but the goal is to quickly leave the bargain basement pricing behind you.
Increase your rates. Get good enough to become worth more in the eyes of your clients or your employer.
Study your craft and deliver the highest quality of work possible. Then educate why your work is better.
Work More Efficiently
The amount of time we have cannot be increased, but better utilizing the time we do have is the goal.
Post processing consumes a large part of many photography jobs and especially with the additional bandwidth requirements of the
ultra-high resolution DSLR cameras arriving on the scene, computing performance is a common bottleneck.
There are likely few of us who find the anticipation of an image loading to full resolution to be worth the time spent watching it do so.
I recently replaced the lab laptop with a model that processes images twice as fast.
It is not hard to justify an expense that frees time like this.
Another consideration is to outsource the work that is not core to your services (or that you do not like, or are not good at).
This work can include accounting, payroll, lawn mowing, cleaning, etc.
Or, hire an assistant that complements your skill set and/or handles the tasks that do not require your skills.
Working smart includes working carefully (mistakes are very time consuming), quickly and of course, hard.
Tighten the Budget
Increasing available cash from an existing revenue streams (such as the day job) can be accomplished by tightening the budget.
Even a modest $20 per week savings will net over $1,000 in a year in after tax dollars.
Pack a lunch a couple of days per week.
Give up a few of the fancy cups of coffee each week.
Ride a bike to work.
Look at where your money is going and stop some of the flow.
How Not to Fund Camera Gear
Your credit card makes it easy to place an order for any gear that you want right now.
But, I strongly recommend not using your credit card as the source of a loan for camera gear.
While I very highly recommend using credit cards (pick a good rewards card with the warranty extension feature), credit card companies charge extremely high interest rates that can become a long term burden.
Pay the credit cards in full every month to avoid this additional cost. Find another source for a loan if necessary.
Get a Loan
I was not going to include this option, but since I strongly discouraged using a credit card as a loan source, I wanted to note that a loan is not always a bad decision for camera
and post production gear purchased for business use.
If you think that a capital investment in camera gear will allow you to increase your business opportunities and revenue, a loan from a reputable source with a reasonable interest rate may be a valid consideration.
Before signing for the cash, make sure that you have a business plan in place that includes loan repayment.
Lenses hold their value especially well, meaning that aborting the plan early will not likely prove disastrous. Even so, go into debt only with careful forethought.
Watch for Deals
One of our goals here The-Digital-Picture.com is to maximize your kit improvement per dollar.
The retailers we promote (especially B&H) always offer low prices combined with excellent customer service.
The highly relevant short term deals we search out and share on the news page/feed range from very good to amazing.
Make sure to check in at least daily to insure that you don't miss the opportunity to save on the gear you want or need.
Basically, the camera gear kit funding strategy is: make more, spend less, sell what you are not using and shop smart.
Then watch your kit grow.
Sounds simple, right?