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 Wednesday, January 13, 2016
B&H has the Tokina AT-X 14-20mm f/2 PRO DX Lens available for preorder with an expected availability at the end of February.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/13/2016 11:23:59 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Note: While this is primarily a tongue-in-cheek article, all the facts presented are accurate to our knowledge. [Sean]
 
Both Bryan and I recently had images featured in Flickr's Explore. Bryan's image was a view of Pittsburg during blue hour and mine was a shot of the Tybee Island Pier with stars shining above it. As such, Bryan and I had a brief discussion about the formula that Flickr uses to determine each day's most interesting – and thereby Explore worthy – images.
 
If you're not familiar with Flickr, the Explore feed is basically a gallery that Flickr uses to feature the most "interesting" (their term, not mine) images that have been uploaded recently.
 
I mentioned to Bryan that while I was unsurprised that his image made it to Explore, I was very surprised that mine had. Why? It was never posted to a single group (which can garner a lot of views) and didn't seem to have much activity after being on Flickr for almost an entire day. When I went to bed, I the picture had about 50-60 views and one favorite. But when I woke up the next morning, I found the image had been viewed roughly 3,000 times and had garnered almost 50 favorites while I was sleeping and the stats continued to rise. For some reason, the activity from my contacts alone had pushed the image into Explore (but what that activity was, I'll never know).
 
The algorithm used to determine Explore worthy images (via an "Interestingness" calculation) is proprietary to Flickr and, by all accounts, top secret. There's no doubt that the formula is tweaked from time to time, but what is known is that views, favorites and comments are all positive factors. But if your image is posted to a large number of groups, that can count against your image in the calculation. So that's basically all we know. But does Flickr actually weigh the actual subject matter into the Interestingness equation? Or to put it anothe way, are some subjects more likely to boost your image into Flickr's Explore?
 
Then Bryan sent me an email around 7:45pm last night. It read,
"I just figured it out. Buttons are the key subject to get into today’s Explore pool. Why???"
I wish someone could have seen the look of confusion on my face. I had absolutely no idea what Bryan was talking about. Buttons?? What are you talking about, Bryan?
 
Then I took a look at Flickr's Explore feed. My jaw dropped. Buttons were seemingly everywhere. Shirt buttons, coat buttons, pants buttons, political buttons, computer and game controller buttons...
 
That's when I decided to collect some data.
 
I captured a screenshot of Flickr's Explore feed and analyzed the first 50 rows containing a total of 145 images. Of the set, 26 of them featured buttons as the main subject, or very nearly 18% (17.931% to be exact).
 
Now, I would completely understand if 18-20% of the images in Flickr's Explore featured landscapes, animals, people or buildings as the primary subject matter. But buttons?!
 
Which begs the question – do specific subjects get more weight on any specific day in the Interestingness equation (allowing for an image theme), or was the surprising number of buttons shown in Flickr's Explore yesterday just a really big coincidence?
 
The world may never know.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/13/2016 8:42:23 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
eBay (via RobertsCamera) has the Refurbished Nikon D7000 DSLR Camera available for $349.00 with free shipping. Compare at $459.95 refurbished.
 
Note: This is a Nikon authorized reseller of refurbished equipment and therefore the camera comes with a 90-day Nikon USA warranty.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/13/2016 5:52:30 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, January 12, 2016

 
Mitch Aunger of Planet5D noticed something odd in one of Nikon's official videos demonstrating the capabilities of their new flagship DSLR, the D5.
 
At around the 4:00 mark of My Nebraska ( seen above) you'll notice a time lapse showing the moon and the stars over Nebraska. The issue is that you can see stars passing over the shadow side of moon, which simply isn't possible. For that to be possible, those stars would have to be between the Earth and the moon.
 
Nebraska Time Lapse Screenshot

That means, most likely, two time lapses have been combined and layered for that particular sequence.
 
Of course, Nikon never prefaces the video by saying that it has been created with stills taken straight out of the camera. And we'd expect some minor editing to take place for a time lapse sequence such as the one shown. But as Mitch rightly asks,
"...how much post-processing is OK in a promotional video for a new camera?"
Should edits be taken so far as to defy the laws of physics when promoting the capabilities of a new camera?
 
Check out the full post over at Planet5D and then let us know – what do you think?
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/12/2016 1:48:52 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
With plentiful wildlife and beautiful scenery, Katmai National Park ranks very high on my list of favorite places to photograph.
 
In this photo, the large, bare, coarse-edged mountain peak, the more-gently sloping mid and lower elevations covered in green, and the various waters below, all being large in the frame, are obvious to the viewer. With a little more attention paid, a sow and her standing cub, concerned about the risk presented by the boar that is eyeing and potentially approaching them, come into view and give the photo that extra element I always like. Additional elements (and not as visible at this resolution) are the large number of salmon splashing their way up the stream in the foreground and a pair of brown bears on the distant shoreline.
 
The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens was practically glued to one of my Canon EOS 5Ds R bodies while in Katmai NP and a great complement to my big lens, the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II. The 100-400 L II, with its long focal length range, can capture wildlife images ranging from environmental portraits to close-ups, depending on the subject distance of course. That 100mm was nearly too long to frame 1,000+ lb brown bears at times was ... a very exciting part of this trip.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr, Google+, Facebook, Instagram and 500px. If reading from a news feed reader, click through to see the framed image.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
142mm  f/9.0  1/320s
ISO 200
5792 x 8688px
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/12/2016 12:17:46 PM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
From the Guinness World Records YouTube Channel:
 
A spectacular display of drone technology by Intel Corporation (USA) involving 100 small aircrafts being launched skywards in formation has earned a new world record title for the Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) airborne simultaneously. Read the full story Read the full story here.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/12/2016 11:02:26 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
As I was creating yesterday's post about the New York Public Library releasing 180,000 images into the public domain, I began thinking of ways in which the wide range of images could be used.
 
With a primary interest in portraiture, the first idea that came to my mind was incorporating one of the public domain images in a portrait simulating a multiple exposure. With that in mind, I picked up my 5D Mark III and favorite portrait lens – the 85L II – and captured a profile of Amanda lit with a 580EX flash diffused by a small soft box positioned in front of (and slightly behind) her and another flash pointed at the background. This left me with a significant portion of Amanda's profile in shadow, meaning that I could use a public domain image set to a Lighten blending mode in Photoshop CC to easily blend the two images.
 
After cleaning up the background (making sure it was completely white) and a few adjustments (including a Black and White adjustment layer), the base image looked like this:
 
Profile Portrait with Public Domain Image Base

For the overlay, I settled on an image in the public domain library that seemed to indicate that the wheels were turning in the subject's head. I thought this overlay image would work well because with the subject's eyes looking to the right, she looks as if she's thinking about something.
 
New York Public Library Public Domain Image no. 1691644

I adjusted the brightness and contrast of the overlay layer in order to obtain an optimal balance with the base portrait (a matter of taste, of course) and placed the overlay below the same Black and White adjustment layer so that the adjustment applied to both images. The final composite can be seen above and the full resolution image can be found on my Flickr photostream.
 
Do you plan on using public domain images in your work? If so, let us know how in the comments.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/12/2016 8:30:18 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Induro Alloy 8M AT014 Tripod available for $64.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $102.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Load Capacity: 8.8 lb (4 kg)
  • Maximum Height: 56" (142.3 cm)
  • Minimum Height: 5.4" (13.6 cm)
  • Folded Length: 18.1" (46 cm)
  • Weight: 2.4 lb (1.1 kg)
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/12/2016 8:23:45 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has Auray Windbusters for Digital Recorders on sale for $19.99. Regularly $34.99.
 
Auray has models to fit:
 
  • Zoom H4n, H2n, H1, Q2-HD, H6 X/Y Mic
  • Tascam DR 100 Mark II, DR-40, DR-07
  • Marantz PMD-620
  • Nagra Lino, Pico
  • Olympus LS-100, LS-12, DS-7000, DS-3500
  • Roland R-05
  • Yamaha PCM-M10, PR7
  • Sony PCM D1, D50
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/12/2016 6:02:47 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the following B+W circular polarizing filters reduced by $27.00 each with free expedited shipping:
 
B+W 55mm Kaesemann XS-Pro Circular Polarizer MRC Nano Filter - $72.00 (Reg. $99.00)
B+W 49mm Kaesemann Circular Polarizer MRC Filter - $62.00 (Reg. $89.00)
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/12/2016 5:25:43 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
For a limited time, B&H has the E-Image EK60AAM Fluid Drag Video Head and Tripod available for $179.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $359.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 17.6 lb Capacity Fluid Drag Tripod Head
  • Sliding Balance Plate with Safety Lock
  • Spring Loaded Counterbalance System
  • Fixed Tilt and Pan Drag
  • 75mm Claw Ball
  • 2 Stage Tripod with Mid Level Spreader
  • 31 to 63" Height Range
  • Independent Leg Adjustments
  • Removable Anti-Slip Pads / Spike Covers
  • Travel Soft Case
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/12/2016 5:12:53 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, January 11, 2016
The New York Public library recently released 180,000 of its digital scans into the public domain. The works include manuscripts, sheet music, stereoscopic photographs as well as maps that are free to use for any purpose.
 
These images should be especially useful to those photographers who like to combine and overlay images for graphic art or illustration purposes. A rather interesting tool for browsing the images can be found here. [Sean]
 
From the New York Public Library Blog:
 
Today we are proud to announce that out-of-copyright materials in NYPL Digital Collections are now available as high-resolution downloads. No permission required, no hoops to jump through: just go forth and reuse!
 
The release of more than 180,000 digitized items represents both a simplification and an enhancement of digital access to a trove of unique and rare materials: a removal of administration fees and processes from public domain content, and also improvements to interfaces — popular and technical — to the digital assets themselves. Online users of the NYPL Digital Collections website will find more prominent download links and filters highlighting restriction-free content; while more technically inclined users will also benefit from updates to the Digital Collections API enabling bulk use and analysis, as well as data exports and utilities posted to NYPL's GitHub account. These changes are intended to facilitate sharing, research and reuse by scholars, artists, educators, technologists, publishers, and Internet users of all kinds. All subsequently digitized public domain collections will be made available in the same way, joining a growing repository of open materials.
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/11/2016 2:08:34 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Nikon Europe YouTube Channel:
 
The wait is over. The Nikon D500, our latest DX-format flagship is here! A class-leading DX-format digital SLR camera that condenses the power of an FX-format Digital SLR into DX-format agility with always-on connectivity & powerful 153-point AF system and much more.
 
D500 Primary features
 
  • Powerful 153-point AF achieves superior subject acquisition performance across a wide range of situations
  • High-speed continuous shooting at approx. 10 fps for up to 200 shots (14-bit lossless compressed RAW)
  • Unique benefits of a compact DX system — added agility in telephoto shooting
  • 4K UHD video, suitable for professional productions
  • New EXPEED 5 image-processing engine achieves sensitivity up to ISO 51200, expandable to Hi 5 (equivalent to ISO 1640000).
  • Touch-screen, tilting 8-cm/3.2-in. high-resolution monitor ensures more comfortable shooting for professionals and advanced amateurs.
  • SnapBridge support lets you link with a smart device via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
  • WT-7/A/B/C Wireless Transmitter (optional) enables high-speed wired/wireless LAN communication
B&H has the Nikon D500 DSLR Camera and MB-D17 Battery Grip available for preorder.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 1/11/2016 1:31:27 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Photoshelter:
 
Ready to make 2016 your best year yet?
 
The 2016 Photo Business Plan Workbook is a step-by-step guide to help you create a strong business plan, target the clients you want, and make more money this year.
 
Inside the workbook, get strategies and examples to help you:
 
  • Define your products & services
  • Determine your audience and addressable market
  • Create a marketing plan
  • Fix your finances
  • Tune-up your website
  • Build your Search Engine Optimization
  • Get social
  • Create an advisory group
  • Follow up with old clients
Build your photo business plan and stick to it this year. Get started with these smart business tips packed into an easy-to-read workbook.
 
Download your copy of the The 2016 Photo Business Plan Workbook today!
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/11/2016 12:14:16 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
According to the Egami Blog, Sigma has filed a patent for a 120-600mm f/5-6.3 optical design which could indicate that the current 150-600mm Sports and/or Contemporary models may receive an even larger focal range when replaced.
 
Description of Patent
 
Patent Publication No. 2015-203827
 
  • Published 2015.11.16
  • Filing date 2014.4.16
Example:
 
  • Zoom ratio 4.66
  • Focal length 125.15 250.18 583.80
  • F number 4.86 5.84 6.50
  • Total angle of view 2? 19.47 9.76 4.18
  • The image height Y 21.63
  • Overall length of the lens 314.20 371.31 424.96
Posted to: Canon News,
Post Date: 1/11/2016 5:25:47 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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