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 Monday, September 18, 2017
For several years I've been looking for a program or plugin that was able to convert my photos into a realistic looking pieces of painted artwork. A few months ago, I finally found a solution that gave me the results I was hoping for.
 
The solution – called Topaz Impression – is software that can be used as a standalone program (accessed via Topaz Studio) or as a plugin for Adobe Photoshop and/or Lightroom.
 
With tons of presets and the ability to personalize those presets for your own unique look, Impression gives you another tool to improve sales conversions with your clients. Take your shot, process with Impression, then have your converted image printed on canvas for an impressive result.
 
You can see a before/after example of a shot I took recently atop this post with additional processed examples shown below.
 
Topaz Impressions Example 2

Topaz Impressions Example 3

Topaz Impression Example 4

While the retail cost of the software may seem a bit steep, I think it is well priced considering the convincing quality of the images I've processed with the software. Fortunately, for a short time you can save 40% (through Sept. 29, 2017) on the software making it a really great deal. [Sean]
 
Purchase Topaz Impression
Post Date: 9/18/2017 11:53:25 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Through 9/20, use coupon code EMWALL18 at AdoramaPix to save 18% on the following:
 
  • Metal Prints
  • Canvas Prints
  • Photo Collages
  • Framed Prints
  • Wood Prints
Post Date: 9/18/2017 7:37:01 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Through October 31, Gitzo is offering mail-in rebates up to $50.00 on its carbon fiber monopods, including Bryan's current favorite, the Gitzo GM4562 Series 4 Carbon Fiber Monopod. For details, see below.
 
Gitzo Sept - Oct Monopod Rebates
 
DescriptionModelRebate
Amount
CARBON MONOPOD SER.2 4SGM2542$40.00
CARBON MONOPOD TRAVELER SER.2 6SGM2562T$40.00
CARBON MONOPOD SER.4 3SGM4532$50.00
CARBON MONOPOD SER.4 4SGM4542$50.00
CARBON MONOPOD SER.4 6SGM4562$50.00
CARBON MONOPOD SER.4 5S LGM4552L$50.00
Post Date: 9/18/2017 7:09:21 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Through midnight tonight Eastern Time, B&H has the Rotolight NEO On-Camera LED Light available for $199.95 with free shipping. Regularly $399.95.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 3150 to 6300K Variable Color Dial
  • 1077 Lux Brightness at 3' Distance
  • Color Temperature & Brightness Display
  • 9W Power Draw
  • 0-100% Flicker-Free Dimming
  • CRI > 95, Skin Tone CRI > 99, TLCI > 91
  • Flicker Free at Any Frame Rate
  • Accepts 6x AA Batteries
  • 1/4"-20 Threaded Hole, Swivel Shoe Mount
  • AC Adapter Included
Post Date: 9/18/2017 5:30:32 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Through midnight tonight Eastern Time, B&H has the Tascam DR-10L Digital Audio Recorder with Lavalier Mic (White) available for $139.99 with free shipping. Regularly $199.99.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Mono Digital Recorder with Lavalier Mic
  • Records 24-Bit/48 kHz BWAV File Format
  • Up to 32GB on microSD or microSDHC Card
  • 1/8" Stereo Headphone Output
  • Single AAA Battery Records 10 Hours
  • Built-In Limiter Function
  • Low-Cut Filter Reduces Wind and Rumble
  • Dual Recording Mode
  • Easy-to-Read OLED Display
  • Case, Windscreen, Mic Clip & USB Cable
 Saturday, September 16, 2017
It was late (about 10:30 PM) and I still had a nearly-4-hour drive home. But, I couldn't help myself and made another stop in Jersey City/Newport. I had been in New York City since early afternoon, walking many miles with a heavy pack as I finalized my scouting in the Brooklyn Bridge Park area around Dumbo. The date was September 11th and the goal was to get at least a high quality image of the city with the Tribute in Light illuminating vertical miles of the night sky.
 
I hope to share an image captured from the primary-selected location later, but periodically the tribute lights are turned off to allow the attracted-by-the-light birds to disperse. I had my initial location images and, not knowing how long the lights would remain off, I decided to pack up and head for a completely different view of the city.
 
The attraction from of this different location? Along with a great city skyline view including the tribute lights being visible closer to the ground than from my first destination, seawalls reduced the wave action on the Hudson River, producing a cleaner reflection in the image and providing interesting leading lines. What I could not have planned for was the black-crowned night heron choosing to roost on a nearby piling. A sidewalk lamp provided just enough foreground illumination for the bird and wall to be brightness-balanced with the city lights in a set of four images bracketed up to a 1 minute exposure at f/11, ISO 100. And, the bird remained motionless long enough to be sharp in one of those frames.
 
After photographing here for nearly two hours, I decided that I had this location covered, including alternative framing using two camera/tripod setups. It was 12:15 AM when I packed up and headed to my car. Then I saw a slightly different angle that I needed to capture. I unpacked a camera and captured one more set of images. As it turns out, that last set was my favorite from the entire trip, the one I am sharing here.
 
A key for composing this image was to use a camera position that was level for both tilt and roll. While the city buildings being rendered rather small in the frame and the tallest building, One World Trade Center, having a tapered shape and being positioned close to the center of the frame, can take a slight camera tilt without looking bad, the bold-in-the-frame pair of bright lines running up the border of the frame were completely unforgiving. Any camera tilt up or down results in those lines tilting inward or outward (respectively) from perspective distortion, appearing unnatural.
 
To create this final image, four 1-stop-bracketed images were processed in Photomatix and the result was polished in Photoshop.
 
For this daytrip, I was focused on getting the best-possible image quality from known-excellent gear. For me, that meant a MindShift Gear BackLight 26L loaded with a pair of Canon EOS 5Ds R bodies and three lenses, the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II and Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II.
 
Yes, I also have the f/4 versions of all three of these lenses and carrying those would have meant a lighter load. While the f/2.8 aperture was not important to me for the amount of light it could take in, I like the lights in a cityscape to become starbursts and wider aperture lenses typically render more prominent starbursts than their narrower max aperture counterparts when used at narrow apertures. The f/2.8 lenses were my choice primarily for that reason alone. The overall focal length range covered by these lenses was ideal for my pursuit. I used all three (and I had the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens in the car if needed).
 
For support, I used the RRS TVC-34 and RRS TQC-14 Carbon Fiber Tripods with RRS BH-55 and RRS BH-40 Ball Heads used respectively. Really Right Stuff gear is among the best made and these particular models are simply excellent.
 
While the World Trade Center building attack being memorialized by the Tribute in Light was extremely tragic, the lights themselves are beautiful and add a great element to the New York City skyline. On each September 11th, when the Tribute in Light becomes visible in the night sky, south Manhattan and the New York City perimeter become especially inspiring for photographers. I no longer remember the 4:15 AM arrive-home time and how tired this trip made me the next day, but I'll long remember the time there and the images captured, reinforcing the "Never Forget" slogan.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Post Date: 9/16/2017 8:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, September 15, 2017
From the LensRentals Blog:
So, a while back I wrote a not quite complete article on UV filters. To do that, I had to buy new testing equipment and learn to test filters. This was not what I wanted to do when I grew up. But somebody has to do it, and I did get to buy new toys.
 
More importantly, Tyler (Who handles the purchasing) asked me why, many years ago, I chose the Circular Polarizing filters that Lensrentals stocked. A better person than me would have confessed that I’ve never known the first thing about Circular Polarizers; that I just bought the most expensive to be our ‘best’ and the cheapest to be our ‘basic.’ But instead, I just said, “Well, we should do some scientific-type testing and a more thorough evaluation now.”
Read the entire article on the LensRentals Blog.
 
B&H carries Circular Polarizing.
Post Date: 9/15/2017 2:49:29 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Tamron Europe:
 
September 15, 2017, Saitama, Japan -Tamron Co., Ltd. (President & CEO: Shiro Ajisaka), a leading manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, announces the development of a new ultra-telephoto 100-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD zoom lens (Model A035) for full-frame DSLR cameras. The advanced optical design of Model A035 includes 3 LD (Low Dispersion) lens elements for greater aberration reduction and Tamron’s original eBAND Coating for superior anti-reflection performance. At 1,115g (39.3 oz) the new lens is the lightest weight in its class and features magnesium material in key areas of the lens barrel to improve weight reduction, strength and portability. The Model A035 delivers fast and precise autofocus performance and consistently powerful VC (Vibration Compensation) benefits thanks to the high-speed Dual MPU (Micro-Processing Unit) control system that is found in the latest Tamron lens models.
 
Model A035 is fully compatible with Tamron’s 1.4X tele converter that multiplies the lens’s focal length, and the Tamron TAP-in ConsoleTM which enables lens customizations for focus adjustments, VC mechanism adjustments and more. Additionally, an Arca Swiss compatible tripod mount is available as an optional accessory.
 
This combination of features and optional accessories join to create a lens that photographers everywhere will enjoy using in various shooting situations, including low-light conditions that require handheld operation as well as those where convenient attachment to a tripod is preferred.
 
PRODUCT NAME
 
  • 100-400mm F/4.5-6.3 Di VC USD (Model A035)
DATE OF LAUNCH
 
  • Launch planned by the end of 2017
Main features
 
  • 3 LD (Low Dispersion) lens elements effectively compensate for axial chromatic aberrations, a potential issue for ultra-telephoto lenses, and other various aberrations
  • eBAND (Extended Bandwidth & Angular-Dependency) Coating, with superior anti-reflection performance to eliminate flare and ghosting, provides flawless, crystal clear images
  • High-speed Dual MPU (Micro-Processing Unit) control system delivers quick and highly responsive autofocus performance and outstanding vibration compensation
  • Lightest weight (1,115 g / 39.3 oz.) lens in the ultra-telephoto zoom lens category
  • Optional accessory tripod mount is Arca Swiss-compatible
  • MOD (Minimum Object Distance) of 1.5 m (59 in) and maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.6
  • Moisture-Resistant Construction and fluorine coating for enhanced weather protection
  • Fully compatible with tele converters and TAP-in ConsoleTM
Post Date: 9/15/2017 7:05:47 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom YouTube Channel:
 
Learn how to blaze through photos quickly! In this week's Lightroom Coffee Break, Ben Warde explains how to utilize 1:1 previews.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 9/15/2017 5:33:37 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Through midnight tonight Eastern Time, B&H has the YUNEEC Q500 4K Typhoon Quadcopter with CGO3 Camera, SteadyGrip, and Camera Aluminum Case available for $499.00 with free shipping. Regularly $899.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Designed for Aerial Photo and Video
  • Capture Up to UHD 4K30 / 1080p120 Video
  • Take Up to 12MP Still Photos
  • 3-Axis Gimbal Stabilizes Camera
  • ST10+ Ground Station / Transmitter
  • 5.5" Touchscreen to View/Operate Camera
  • OSD Overlay of Flight Telemetry Data
  • No-Fly Database
  • Includes Two Flight Batteries
Included in Kit
 
  • YUNEEC Q500 4K Typhoon Quadcopter with CGO3 Camera, SteadyGrip, and Camera Aluminum Case (RTF)
  • CGO3 4K 3-Axis Gimbal Camera
  • ST10+ PERSONAL GROUND STATON f/Q500 4K
  • 2 x 5400mAh 3S LiPo Flight Battery for Q500 4K Quadcopter
  • Balancing Connector Lead
  • SC 3500-3 DC LiPo Balancing Charger
  • AC Adapter for Charger
  • Car Adapter for Charger
  • USB Interface / Programmer for Q500 Quadcopter
  • 8GB microSD Card with SD Adapter
  • Motor Holder / Prop Installation Tool
  • 2 x Complete Set of Four Propellers for Typhoon Quadcopters
  • CGO Steady Grip for CGO2-GB Camera / Gimbal
  • Aluminum Case for Q500 4K Typhoon Quadcopter
  • Limited 6-Month Warranty
 Thursday, September 14, 2017
Granted, this isn't really a photography-related deal. However, there's a lot of crossover between tech and photography enthusiasts, so I thought I'd share the info. Although, now that I think about it, if the watch ensures that you make it to your prescheduled photo session on time, maybe it really is a photography related deal? [Sean]
 
B&H has the Apple Watch Series 2 42mm Smartwatch (Space Gray Aluminum Case, Black Sport Band) available for $319.99 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $399.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Aluminum Chassis with Ion-X Glass
  • 1.5" 312 x 390 1000-Nit Display
  • Activity and Heart Rate Monitoring
  • Changeable Faces with Widgets
  • Siri Integration
  • Displays Notifications and Runs Apps
  • Water Resistant to 164'
  • Integrated GPS
  • Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Apple watchOS 3
Through September 17, use coupon code FREE50PRINTS at Amazon to get 50 free 4x6" prints.
Post Date: 9/14/2017 10:43:06 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
NEW YORK, September 12, 2017 – Sony Electronics, a worldwide leader in digital imaging and the world’s largest image sensor manufacturer, has today announced several updates related to their Sony Imaging PRO Support organization.
 
Sony’s organization to support working professional photographers and videographers now features a domestic 24/7 call center and new walk-in service centers in New York City and Los Angeles. Additionally, Sony Imaging PRO Support has launched a full in-the-field technical team to support professionals across all of North America. The team is providing in-the-field service and on-site depot support at major sporting events, media events and shows across North America, offering camera cleanings, evaluation loaners, education and seminars.
 
Also announced today is the launch of Sony Imaging PRO Support Canada, offering all of the benefits of the program to pros throughout the Canadian market.
 
Membership to Sony’s Imaging PRO Support organization has grown over 40% year over year in North America, while consistently striving to minimize customer costs and maximize efficiency and turnaround time for all repairs and services.
 
“Our team is fully committed to building an ecosystem that supports the needs of digital imaging professionals today and tomorrow,” says Sony VP Neal Manowitz. “We are focused on reducing downtime, removing costs and improving overall satisfaction. New walk-in locations, a 24/7 domestic hotline and a field team supporting event depots are just a few of the many steps we are taking to provide the best-in-class solutions for professionals.”
 
These updates come on the heels of the introduction of Sony’s new flagship a9 camera earlier this year. Featuring the world’s first full-frame stacked CMOS sensor with 24.2MP of resolution, blackout free, completely silent shooting at up to 20 fps4 with full autofocus, a 693 point focal plane phase detection AF system and more, the a9 is revolutionizing the professional imaging market.
 
Existing benefits of the Pro Support program including dedicated email and call support, expedited three-day repair turnaround time, evaluation loaners, up to three free camera and lens maintenance services per year, complimentary shipping fees for repairs and access to a variety of exclusive members only events held throughout the year.
 
B&H carries the Sony a9.
Category: Sony News
Post Date: 9/14/2017 9:32:24 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head with Full-Size Lever-Release Clamp (Open Box) available for $400.00 with free shipping. Compare at $489.00 new.
 
Note: These open box RRS ball head deals usually don't last long. If interested, don't delay in adding it to your cart. [Sean]
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 50 lb Load Capacity
  • Max Height: 3.7"
  • Dual 90° Notches for Portrait Mode
  • Separate Tension Control Knob
  • Panning Base with Engraved Degree Marks
  • Base Diameter 2.9", Ball Diameter 2.2"
  • Weight: 1.96 lb
  • Accepts Optional Arca-Type Plates
Through midnight tonight, B&H has the Auray CFP-58B Carbon Fiber Telescoping Boom Pole with Internal Cable & Bottom XLR Base (8') available for $199.95 with free shipping. Regularly $499.95.
 
Note: Other size booms accessible by the link above – including 7', 10', 12' & 16' poles – are also reduced.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • For ENG and EFP Recording Projects
  • Sturdy, Lightweight Carbon Fiber
  • Extends from 2.3 to 7.8'
  • 5 x Telescoping, Locking Sections
  • Anti-Twist Tube Sections
  • High Performance, Anti-Tangle Cable
  • Removable Tip for Easy Cable Replacement
  • Solderless Replacement of Internal Cable
  • Right Angle XLR Connector
  • Expandable with Optional Extension Tubes
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