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 Saturday, May 19, 2018
While some fences can be great photo subjects themselves, they often contain another photo subject, including captive wildlife and those participating in sporting events (and sometimes subjects that the paparazzi are chasing). I'm going to primarily focus on the wildlife photography aspects of fencing today, but the same tips are applicable to many through-the-fence situations.
 
For wildlife, not everyone can afford a safari to Africa and not everyone can take enough time off of work to track down more-locally-occurring wildlife such as a wild mountain lion. Zoos make these great animals readily available for observation and enjoyment. Photographing the animals in zoos, however, remains a challenge and the biggest challenge is usually the fence.
 
A key to a great zoo animal photo is avoiding any signs of the fence, including a patterned background blur, in the photo. To that goal, here is a list of photography tips relevant to fences.
 
  • The most important tip: move the lens as close to the fence as possible. Doing so aids immensely in the foreground fence becoming blurred out recognition. Getting against a fence, at least at some exhibits, may require attendance at a special program designed for this access (ZooAmerica's Photography Tour in this case), but others are readily approachable. Removing the lens hood permits a closer-to-the-fence position, but caution is required to avoid scratching the lens. A UV/Clear Protective Filter can help minimize the risk of damage to your lens' front element.
  • The second most important tip: use a wide aperture, allowing the shallow depth of field to obscure the obstruction, including both the foreground and background fence.
  • Similarly, use a long focal length to enlarge the blurred obstruction, making it less obvious. Though an ultra-wide angle lens may cause a background fence to be so small that it is barely visible in the frame, wide angles are more likely to leave even a practically-against-the-front-element fence very recognizable. So, use a long telephoto lens to blur both the foreground and background fences away.
  • Dark-colored fences (dark colors absorb more light than bright ones), remain more obscured in an image than bright silver fences (very common). If you have a choice, go for dark.
  • Avoid brightly-lit fences. For the same reason I prefer dark fences, I prefer shaded ones. If you have a choice, opt for fences in the shade (including in the background). If the sun is behind you, the opportunity to create your own shade exists and the lens with your hand around it may be all that is needed to accomplish this.
  • Attempt to align your subject inside the fence so that there is a natural background, avoiding the background fence that most fenced enclosures have. This may mean shooting from a low position to look over the background fence or aligning the subject with flora (as seen here). Using a long focal length lens provides a narrow angle of view that makes smaller background scenes easier to work with.
  • Shoot from over the fence. While the looking-down angle is not often my favorite for wildlife, it may be the best available option.
  • Find the widest opening available in the fence and center the lens in it. Finding a hole to shoot through (do not create one unless you own the fence) can be a great find. Take advantage of existing fence damage to gain a larger portal for photography purposes. Quality fencing likely has all-identical-sized openings and this tip will not be helpful in that scenario.
  • Use the fence as a steadying aid. While the fence may detract from your image quality by some amount, if the subject is stationary enough, you might be able to shoot braced against the fence with longer shutter speeds than otherwise possible, enabling lower ISO settings that improve image quality through lower noise levels.
  • Avoid fence shadows falling on your subject and in your backgrounds. This may require shooting at a specific time of the day or even a certain time of the year. Cloudy skies are often optimal for this reason.
  • Lighting, subject pose, the background and all of the other important requirements for a good image are still in place. Don't lose sight of what makes a good image just because a fence is obscuring your view and/or the subject is unusual for you.
  • Low contrast and low saturation are likely image quality issues with photos captured through a fence. Consider adding these adjustments during post processing.
  • A last resort for removing fencing in the frame is via photo editing software with Photoshop's healing brush tool being especially helpful if individual fence wires remain visible.
If you can't obscure the fence, your option may only be to capture a memory photo. Memories are very important too, so capture the memory and move on.
 
Have any photography-through-a-fence tips? Please share them with us!
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
400mm  f/5.6  1/125s
ISO 2000
5304 x 7952px
Post Date: 5/19/2018 6:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Thursday, May 17, 2018
B&H has a Used Really Right Stuff PG-01 Compact Pano-Gimbal Head with Screw-Knob Clamp and Flat Dovetail Base (Condition: 8) available for $189.00 with free shipping. Compare at $240.00 new.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Load Capacity: 8 lb
  • Height: 7.5"
  • Weight: 1.1 lb
  • Arca-Type Compatible Clamp
  • Panning Range: 360°
  • 3/8"-16 Tripod Mounting Thread
  • Laser Engraved Degree Scales
  • Aluminum and Steel Construction
  • Hex Key with Magnetized Storage
B&H typically offers a 90-day warranty on used items. Please check the product listing above to verify.
Both B&H and Adorama will be closing for the Shavous holiday, May 18-21, 2018. If you need something in the near future, order now to avoid a delayed shipment.
 
From B&H:
SuperStore & Offices
B&H will be closed starting at 2pm Fri May 18. We will reopen at 9am Tue May 22.
 
Online Orders
Online ordering will be unavailable from 8pm Fri May 18 until 9:30pm Mon May 21.
 
Shipping
Orders placed before 12 pm Fri May 18 will be processed prior to the holiday closing.
 
Orders placed after this time will be processed when we reopen at 9am on Tue May 22.
 
Store Pickup
Orders placed up to 1 hour before store closing time will be available for same-day pickup until store closing time. Orders placed within 1 hour of store closing, or while the store is closed, will be available for pickup 45 minutes after the store reopens.
From Adorama:
Adorama will be closed in observance of Shavous from Friday, May 18th at 1pm EST through Monday May21st. All Orders placed during those times will be shipped after we re-open.
 
Online Ordering & Phone Orders
Orders submitted before our holiday closing time (5/18/2018 1:00PM) will be processed on the day submitted - subject to our verification process.
 
Orders submitted to us during the Shavous Holiday (Friday May 18th after 1:00PM thru Monday, May 21st) will be shipped Tuesday, May 22nd.
Categories: B&H News, Adorama News
Post Date: 5/17/2018 8:35:11 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Image quality test results have been added to the Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD Lens page.
 
This Tamron lens has a very nice design and a good value price. Here are some comprisons you might find entertaining:
 
Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC Lens compared to Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS Lens
Tamron 70-210mm f/4 vs. 70-200mm f/2.8 G2 Di VC Lens (at f/4)
Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC Lens compared to Nikon 70-200mm f/4G AF-S VR Lens
 
The Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.
Post Date: 5/17/2018 8:11:52 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From Adorama:
 
A single day event simply isn’t enough to bring together everything Adorama has to offer. Starting with our important brand partners we aim to provide an even larger community with the education, inspiration and tools they need to create anything they imagine.
 
This year Adorama will provide a week of designed-to-share experiences, workshops and panels designed to bring the industry’s best talent directly to our customers. We aim to inspire creators, encourage collaboration and spark new ideas. This week will culminate with a completely overhauled version of our annual street fair.
 
Full days will be dedicated to photography, professional video, professional audio and drones. These custom experiences provide not only education, but also the opportunity to try new gear in real-life, on-location scenarios.
 
Learn from Experts – Choose from more than 40 sessions, workshops and panel discussions.
 
Meet Your Peers – Have some fun and make connections with other creators at receptions and workshops.
 
Brand Partners – Try the latest gear and technology from our top brands.
 
Workshops
 
Drone Photo & VideoMaternity Photography
Rooftop PortraitsWedding Photography
Night Sky PhotographyBuilding a Social Community
Architecture PhotographyVlogging
Portrait PhotographyFashion Photography
Travel PhotographyKids' Fashion Portraits
Food Photography 

Experiences – Full days will be dedicated to photography, professional video, professional audio and drones. These custom experiences provide not only education, but also the opportunity to try new gear in real-life, on-location scenarios.
 
  • Aerial Photo & Video
  • A Day at the Races (Belmont Track)
  • Sunset Skyline Photography
  • Gallery Reception
  • NYC Photowalks
Adorama Expo – The Adorama Expo will focus on creating hands-on opportunities for customers to try equipment in real-life situations. Join us at the Metropolitan Pavilion June 29 & July 1.
 
For more information, including a list of presenters and a shedule of events, see here.
Category: Adorama News
Post Date: 5/17/2018 8:12:37 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, May 16, 2018
B&H's Optic 2018 Outdoor Photo/Video, Travel & Imaging Conference is just around the corner, taking place June 3-6, 2018. Registration is free but seating is limited, so register today!
 
RSVP Now
 
From B&H:
 
A four-day imaging event exploring inspiration, techniques and equipment essential to capturing the great outdoors, the annual OPTIC conference and trade show features the world's top outdoor photographers.
 
Presented by B&H and Lindblad Expeditions as well as top imaging companies, OPTIC 2018 will bring your passion for travel and photography to the next level of excitement and engagement.
 
To find out more about the OPTIC 2018 Event and see a schedule of speakers, click here
Category: B&H News
Post Date: 5/16/2018 11:48:54 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Tested YouTube Channel:
 
While attending the NASA Insight rocket launch recently, we have our first opportunity to set up a remote camera to photograph the nighttime launch. Norm goes over his gear used for his setup and the excitement of leaving that gear so close to a rocket in hopes to capturing a photo of the blast off!
 
Shot and edited by Norman Chan. Thanks to Trace Dominguez from Seeker for helping with filming!
 
Note that Chan uses a Miops Camera Trigger to capture the event, the same trigger I use to capture lightning. Chan also utilizes one of Bryan's favorite (and cheapest) accessories that he keeps in all of his camera bags.[Sean]
Post Date: 5/16/2018 11:32:00 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
As many of you are aware, I recently made an instructional photo tour available.
 
I am gauging interest in additional photography workshops / tours / expeditions / experiences ("workshop" hereafter) and if you are interested in joining me on such, I would be grateful for some feedback in the form of answers to a short survey.
 
Please take the short photography workshop survey
 
I am grateful for your time!
 
Bryan Carnathan Initials
Category: Workshops
Post Date: 5/16/2018 9:07:03 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, May 15, 2018
From Nikon:
 
Changes from Firmware Version 1.1 to 1.2:
 
Fixed the following issues:
 
  • In certain locations, location data could sometimes be inaccurate, unavailable, or unreliable.
  • The shutter-speed display would not flash in shutter-priority auto mode if optimal exposure could not be achieved because the subject was too bright.
Download: Nikon COOLPIX S9900 Firmware v.1.2
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 5/15/2018 5:33:22 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, May 14, 2018
It looks like Yongnuo will soon be releasing a new 50mm f/1.8 lens, the YN50mm f/1.8 II. No word yet on the release date or retail price.
 
Specifications
 
YONGNUO YN50mm F1.8 II Lens Specifications

Category: YONGNUO News
Post Date: 5/14/2018 9:34:04 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Saturday, May 12, 2018
The ideal height to photograph wildlife, especially birds not flying (perched, standing, walking, swimming, etc.) is most often when the camera is level (pitch) and the bird is properly framed. Basically, this is the same level as the subject.
 
If the bird is on the ground and the ground is flat and void of visual obstructions, getting flat on the ground is a great option and a ground pod is a great support for this position.
 
If the bird is in or on the water, getting to their level immediately becomes more complicated. The embankments of most water bodies are raised at least somewhat over the water and that makes it hard to get down to bird-level from outside of the water. If possible, and you are OK with the risks involved, getting in the water can be a great way to get down to close to the ideal level. Still, the comfortable/safe height of the camera (and likely the tripod head) above the water usually leaves the bird at a still-lower elevation.
 
The next option is to get farther away. If the bird is near you, the camera will be angled downward more than if the bird is farther away. Of course, moving farther away means the bird is smaller in the frame. That is, unless a longer focal length is used.
 
Very long focal lengths are ideal for bird photography for a couple of reasons. The obvious reason is that they make the bird appear large in the frame from a less-frightening (mattering only to the bird usually) distance. The other reason coincides with one of the reasons for shooting from a level: to strongly blur the background.
 
Long focal lengths magnify the background blur, giving images a more-strongly blurred background that makes the subject stand out. Aside from the perspective making the bird look good, shooting from a lower position pushes background farther into the distance, farther outside of the depth of field and making your long focal length lens blur powers even more magical.
 
For this image capture, I was wearing chest waders and a Gore-Tex coat and sitting in the water up to my elbows (where the Gore-Tex jacket became an important part of the wardrobe). The temperature was in the 40s F (single digits C) on this day, so I had many layers on in addition. The tripod was positioned so that the apex was just above the water line and I was bent over to reach the viewfinder. Note that I'm not saying that a low shooting position is comfortable, especially after over 4 hours of not moving. But, what is comfort when making a good image is at stake?!
 
Being as low as I could go and using a long focal length (840mm) on a full frame body provided a great background blur right out of the camera. Of course, it is hard to take a bad picture of a subject as beautiful as a wood duck.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Post Date: 5/12/2018 6:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, May 11, 2018
From Sigma:
 
Ronkonkoma, NY – May 11, 2018 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading still photo and cinema lens, camera, flash and accessory manufacturer, today announced that its 70mm F2.8 DG MACRO Art, the first prime macro lens to be adorned with the Art badge, will be available in Canon mount in the end of May for $569.00 USD through authorized US retailers. The Sigma mount model is expected to ship in June. The release of the Sony E-Mount version will be announced later.
 
The First Macro Lens in the Sigma Global Vision Art Line
 
Elevating the legendary Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG to the Art line, the brand new Sigma 70mm F2.8 DG MACRO Art prioritizes optical performance that defines the Sigma Art line, delivering stunning resolution and incredible clarity, while at the same time offering extremely smooth autofocus performance for a weightier, high-performance lens.
 
To achieve optimal results at every shooting distance, the lens features an extending, floating, two-group focus mechanism, which minimizes aberration at all focal lengths. In addition, the lens’ optical elements design increases resolution at close shooting distances, allowing for a razor-sharp in-focus area contrasted with a bokeh area free of color streaking.
 
Other feature highlights include focus-by-wire system featuring newly developed coreless DC motor for comfortable and precise focusing typically required for macro photography; compatibility of the Canon mount lens with the Canon Lens Aberration Correction function; and compatibility with Sigma Electronic Flash Macro EM-140 DG and Sigma Teleconverters.
 
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG MACRO Art Lens Preorders: B&H | Adorama
Categories: Sigma News, Preorders
Post Date: 5/11/2018 9:59:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Making the long backstory short, my wife gave my father-in-law a Jack-in-the-pulpit seed for Christmas. My in-laws planted it in the spring and it grew, only to be dug out by an animal. It was replanted and the next year it was crushed by a bear. After installing three different types of fencing around the vulnerable plant, their Jack bloomed splendidly this year.
 
That led to the phone call from my mother-in-law, suggesting that I might have interest in photographing the plant. I was nearing the completion of a review and really wanted stay heads-down until it was finished. But, I felt the strong encouraging and started asking questions and for location pics via text.
 
Flowers do not often stay at their peak appearance very long (and who knew what might try to destroy this plant overnight). With the initial assessment leaning favorably to decent image potential, I went over with a MindShift Gear BackLight 26L full of gear, including a multi-off-camera flash setup and reflectors.
 
One of the challenges I faced was the background. Winter seemed to hang on forever this year and only a few days earlier a warm spell finally and very quickly accelerated leaf growth. Still, the available leaves, able to add a green color, were minimal and mostly brown was the surrounding forest and ground color, with dead leaves on the ground and bare tree trunks primarily visible. My tongue-in-cheek suggestion that we cut the flower was not found humorous.
 
Another challenge was the lighting. Good lighting is always key to a good picture. As the forest canopy had barely started growing leaves, I expected mottled direct sunlight to be a problem. The flashes and reflectors (able to provide shade as well as reflected light) were my insurance, ensuring that I could create my own lighting if necessary. Also, waiting until the sun set would give me full shade and completely even lighting.
 
As the background did not compare in attractiveness to the plant, blurring the background away was going to be a high priority and that meant long focal lengths and wide apertures. I contemplated taking the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens with a 25mm extension tube, but the sloping ground was not going to give me optimal positioning from the subject distance that focal length would have required. I needed a shorter telephoto lens and opted to take the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro and the Canon TS-E 135mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Macro lenses with me. While the macro lens may be an obvious good choice, the tilt-shift lens has a 0.5x maximum magnification and with a narrow aperture desired, I thought the movements feature could be useful. That turned out to be a good choice as in the end, I only used the tilt-shift lens option.
 
Upon arriving on the scene, I found the sunlight to be mostly diffused on the plant with some of the background being touched by direct sunlight. Shade is typically cool in color temperature and late day sunlight is usually warm. That means a properly white balanced subject in the shade results in the sunlit background turning especially warm and that scenario often works well.
 
The composition was a bit of a challenge. I wanted to see the full flower without obstruction and the large leaves growing on two sides immediately limited the available angles. I also wanted to see the curved top of the jack in the frame and from the side or front of course. Upon working the scene, I saw that, with a low/level camera position, a pair of background trees were framing the Jack and keeping some border around those trunks framed the trees.
 
The inside of the pulpit (the spathe) and the Jack (spadix) of this particular Jack-in-the-pulpit are very bright in relation to everything else in the frame. Thus, my exposure goal was to make just a tiny part of the Jack blinking overexposed in the image review. I wanted the background to be as blurred as possible, emphasizing the Jack-in-the-pulpit in the image and that meant using the wide open f/4 aperture for this lens. I was using a tripod and wind was not an issue, so ISO 100 was selected for the lowest noise levels with the camera's mirror lockup and the self-timer mode being used. The shutter speed was adjusted until that small portion of the Jack was blinking during review on the camera's LCD.
 
As I worked the scene, adjusting/refining the camera position, I captured some bracketed exposures in case I wanted to the background to be brighter in the final image. In the end, I opted to use the original exposure for most of the image and dropped the Jack and pulpit by 1/3 stop to bring the brightest details down on the tone curve, slightly increasing contrast and bring a small amount of detail out on the nearly detail-void Jack.
 
Notice the tiny fly with red eyes sitting on the Jack? It is difficult to see at this resolution (I'll share a larger version on my Flickr account). Fortunately, I think he was only parking and not eating. Flies are attracted to Jacks by smell and in turn do the pollinating. He was an incidental subject that I didn't notice while photographing and he was only in a few frames. I liked the additional point of interest and opted to not stamp him out during post processing.
 
For this image, I used the tilt-shift lens as a normal lens with the movements in their zero position. But I did use movements for some images including this Jack-in-the-pulpit image.
 
As I was leaving, my mother-in-law mentioned "If they turn out well, I want to have a metal print made." Phew, going to take the pics was definitely the right decision.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Post Date: 5/11/2018 8:25:13 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
In this video, Benjamin Warde gives a quick overview of the recently updated profile browser in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 5/11/2018 7:17:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, May 10, 2018
 Wednesday, May 9, 2018

 
From the Will Burrard-Lucas YouTube Channel:
 
I was challenged to recreate my African wildlife at night images on home soil. This is the resulting film in which I use a Camtraptions PIR Camera Trap Sensor to photograph barn owls in infrared.
 
Learn more about infrared camera conversions in our Infrared Camera Conversion by LifePixel Review.
Post Date: 5/9/2018 9:53:33 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
by Sean Setters
 
Before I get into the five tips for hood-mounted camera photography, it's important to note that having a reliable method for attaching your camera to the hood of an automobile is a requirement for this type of photography. The best tool I have found for the job is the RigWheels RigMount X4 Camera Platform with one of the magnetic mounts replaced with an RMH1 RigMount with Ball Head. The duo allows you to securely mount the X4 platform supported with 3 RML1 Long Magnetic Mounts on one side and the Ball Head Magnetic Mount on the other side, which can be adjusted to provide a secure magnetic connection on the side of the car.
 
With the absolutely required gear out of the way, let's get rolling (pun intended) with the tips.
 
1. Wash the parts of the car that will be visible in your image, including the hood.
 
I'm leading off with this tip because a) you'll want to complete this step ahead of time because washing a car with a camera attached is not advisable and b) it's something I forgot to do before taking the shot above. I did wipe down the hood with a cloth to get most of the loose dirt off the hood, but I completely forgot about the windshield. Dirt on the windshield will really stand out when light is reflected at certain angles and can cause a less clear/hazy view into the car's interior. Do yourself a favor and wash [minimally] the parts of the car that will be within the lens' field of view. Doing so will ensure you can easily see your subject/the car's interior and will reduce the amount of time needed for spot removal in post-processing.
 
2. Use a fisheye lens.
 
So why is a fisheye lens important? First, a fisheye lens gives you a very wide angle of view which makes the hood of the car look bigger/more prominent while also allowing any details on the hood (like a hood scoop) to be fully framed. And second, the fisheye lens' distortion makes the lines of the hood curved, leading to a much more intriguing, almost futuristic-looking image.
 
Note that one downside to using a fisheye lens is that such lenses do not accept front filters. Therefore, in order to obtain a slow enough shutter speed for optimal motion-blurred surroundings, shooting when the ambient light is minimal (in other words, at night) will be necessary.
 
3. Park under a street light to figure out your framing and exposure.
 
The best way I've found to figure out the best exposure values and obtain focus is to park under a street light. This has several benefits. For one, as street lights will likely be the primary source of illumination for the car, it makes sense to use a street light to dial in your exposure settings. As the hood will not be constantly exposed by a single light source in any of the desired moving images, it's best to set your exposure so that the hood is slightly overexposed in testing. Doing so will help account for the time the car is less illuminated between light poles. Of course, not all of the images the camera takes will be optimally exposed, but by using the street light to dial in your desired aperture, shutter speed and ISO, those images that are well-illuminated by one (or two) street lights will likely be in the ballpark of your test exposure.
 
Another benefit of parking under a street light is that you can usually set manual focus on the lens by using any light that is illuminating the car's interior and 10x Live View magnification on the camera.
 
And last but not least, the street light will help you set your desired framing. In most photography disciplines, getting your camera level is an optimal technique. However, significantly tilting a hood mounted camera makes it look like the car is traveling on an angle, sort of like a NASCAR stock car in a banked turn. Using Live View, experiment with different angles to see which one you think looks best.
 
4. Use a remote flash to light your subject(s).
 
While the car is an integral part of any hood-mounted image, a well-lit subject will provide a necessary focal point for the viewer. However, the subject will not be well-lit from the ambient light without the car being overexposed (especially with lighter exterior car colors). What you need is a remote, radio-triggered flash inside the car to illuminate your subject(s) during the exposure. It can be tricky to position your flash so that it is flattering to your subject yet remains unseen from the camera's position, so you may have to experiment (and problem solve) to figure out a plausible flash mounting solution, especially if you want to include a modifier in the mix. Also, be sure to choose an interval setting that includes a buffer time between images so that your flash has adequate time to recharge before the next shot.
 
5. Compositing can help you get the "perfect shot."
 
One of the great things about this type of photography is that there's an unavoidable random quality to the images that are captured. The look of the images can change dramatically based on the speed of the vehicle and the types of lights affecting the scene. You could drive the same stretch of road a dozen times with the same camera settings and no two images would look the same. On the one hand, that means you'll always get something unique. On the other hand, nailing the perfect shot takes a decent amount of luck and/or a bit of Photoshop. Because much of the image is static (never changes) and with the changing parts being motion-blurred and mostly unrecognizable, you can easily combine those areas from several images using a soft edged brush to blend desired areas of each image together.
 
About the Shot
 
Not too long ago, I installed Magic Lantern on my Canon EOS 5D Mark III so that I could test out a particular feature of the firmware add-on. While I ultimately found out that the feature didn't work as I had expected (and, therefore, was useless to me), the other benefits of having Magic Latern installed on the camera led me to leave it installed on my memory cards. One such feature, an full-featured intervalometer, made me want to recreate my favorite driving self-portrait, except using the full-frame camera instead of the EOS 7D Mark II + Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye. The EOS 7D Mark II features a built-in intervalometer, making it really easy to use when mounted to the RigWheels RigMount X4 for the rolling car shot. However, the full-frame 5D Mark III was better at resolving fine details. With the intervalometer feature enabled by Magic Lantern, all I needed was a fisheye lens that would enable me to simulate the perspective of the Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 on the APS-C camera.
 
Considering that this would be a lens I intended to use sparingly, purchasing a used model seemed to make a lot of sense. Therefore, I started keeping an eye out for full-frame fisheye lenses in B&H's used inventory as well as eBay. After a couple of weeks, I ran across a Rokinon 12mm T3.1 Fisheye auction going for a very reasonable price and watched it carefully. For my intended use of the lens, autofocus was not necessary; a manual focus lens would work just fine. I ended up winning the auction with a bid significantly less than half the retail price, so needless to say I was very happy with the acquisition. Of course, there are some risks in buying a used lens, which is why I wanted to give it a thorough test after it arrived on my doorstep. Thankfully, it performed excellently.
 
The Setup
 
To get the shots used for the composite above, I mounted the Canon EOS 5D Mark III + Rokinon 12mm T3.1 Fisheye on the passenger side corner of my hood with the lens set to T4 and focused where the driver would be. The camera was set to Manual mode with a 2.5 sec. exposure at ISO 200. I used the Tungsten white balance setting because most of the streetlights in Savannah emit a very warm colored light. To light myself in the driver's seat, I used a background light stand situated in the floor of the passenger side with an umbrella swivel supporting a radio triggered full CTO gelled Canon Speedlite and Lumiquest Ltp softbox mounted on top. The flash and modifier were positioned as high as I could get them without the softbox being visible to the camera for more of a side light (as opposed to an under light) and the CTO gel allowed the color of the flash's output to closely match the light emitted by the streetlights, easing the color correction process.
 
With all the camera gear in place, I set Magic Lantern's intervalometer dialogue to take a picture every 6 seconds with a 20 second delay before the first shot. These settings gave my flash plenty of time to recharge between shots while also not wasting shots as I returned to the driver's seat after starting the sequence. After exiting the ML settings (triggering the start of the intervalometer), I hopped in the car and headed to downtown Savannah where I did a loop before returning home. In the relatively short drive, I captured 176 images.
 
Post-Processing
 
My ideal shot would meet the following requirements:
 
  • The subject would not be motion blurred or blocked by a street light's glare on window.
  • The hood would be well-lit without the camera's shadow detracting from the image.
  • The surroundings would be adequately blurred and interesting-looking.
Unfortunately, none of the 176 images captured met all of those requirements to my fullest satisfaction. However, several of the images met some of the requirements, with the net effect that all requirements could be met by combining a few of the images in post-processing.
 
Here was the base image:
 
Cruisin with the RigWheels RigMount X4 and Rokinon 12mm Cine Lens Base Image

I chose the above for the base image because the hood was well and evenly lit without an obvious shadow being cast by the camera rig, my facial expression was suitable and generally liked the background blur. However, I thought the area along the right side in the blurred area was lacking interest, so I found an image where I liked that part of the frame better.
 
Cruisin with the RigWheels RigMount X4 and Rokinon 12mm Cine Lens Image 2

After masking the second image and blending the desired areas of the frame, I ended up with this:
 
Cruisin with the RigWheels RigMount X4 and Rokinon 12mm Cine Lens Image 2 with Base

However, I still wasn't satisfied with the image. At this point, I didn't really like the dark area on the left side of the frame and I decided I wasn't completely happy with my facial expression and the direction of my gaze. Coincidentally, I had captured another image that solved both of those problems.
 
Cruisin with the RigWheels RigMount X4 and Rokinon 12mm Cine Lens Image 3

After blending in the desired parts of that image and a bit of spot healing, I ended up with the final result:
 
Cruisin with the RigWheels RigMount X4 and Rokinon 12mm Cine Lens

You can see a higher resolution version of the image on my Flickr photostream.
 
So who would be interestd in these types of images? Anyone who owns a car that they are proud of (or has a sentimental attachment to). You probably already know someone who spends evenings and weekends working on their pride and joy. Potential clients also abound at car meetups and race events.
 
Here's a recap of the gear you may need to create dynamic car shots:
 
Relevant Article
 
Post Date: 5/9/2018 8:00:22 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, May 8, 2018

 
From the Adobe Photoshop YouTube Channel:
 
Explore different blend modes that can be used for creative color and tonal edits in Photoshop CC.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 5/8/2018 12:02:39 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro and Pro+ v2.0 Quadcopters are available for preorder at B&H with free expedited shipping.
 
DJI Phantom 4 Pro and Pro+ v.2.0 Highlights
 
  • 1" 20MP CMOS Sensor
  • Gimbal-Stabilized 4K60 / 20MP Imaging
  • Ocusync Transmission
  • FlightAutonomy with Redundant Sensors
  • Four Directions of Obstacle Avoidance
  • Top Speed of 45 mph in Sport Mode
  • Maximum Control Range of 4.3 Miles
  • Visual Tracking of Moving Subject
  • Up to 30 Minutes Flying Time
  • Remote Controller Included
Categories: Preorders, DJI News
Post Date: 5/8/2018 8:37:15 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Photoshelter:
 
Presenting the American Photography Open 2018. A new competition to celebrate the best pictures submitted by photo enthusiasts, taken with any device.
 
For over 30 years American Photography has been holding a juried competition for pro photographers. Now with the proliferation of so much great photography taken by everyone we are introducing a new competition for photo enthusiasts at all levels.
 
Our judges will include members of the Pro Photo Daily staff, Julia Sabot from Blink, Alison Zavos Editor of Feature Shoot, Reuel Golden Editor at Taschen, Marc Asnin from Boulevard Artists, a Tamron Image Master and they, along with the community who register, will award prizes for the best images submitted in 2018.
 
Final Deadline: August 24, 2018
 
ENTER HERE
 
A Short List will be announced in September and a Community Voting Gallery will be available for voting.
 
In October ten finalists will be announced who will receive prizes including selected products/ services from our partners, an exhibit of their prints and recognition at our awards event at Photo Plus in New York City and a chance to participate in a Photo Walk conducted by one of the Tamron Image Masters during the show.
 
The Grand Prize of $5000, a Tamron 24-70 G2 lens (value $1200) plus additional prizes from our partners, will be announced along with the Community Voting Award winner at an event at Photo Plus on Thursday Oct. 25th. 2018.
 
The entire 2018 short list collection will be featured in a book that will be available to download for free or purchase as a hard copy.
 
HERE’S HOW IT WORKS
 
Your initial entry (one image) is free through July 1, 2018. You can enter an additional 2 images, for a total of 3, for $25; an additional 6 images for a total of 7 for $50; or an additional 15 images for a total of 16 for $100. If you have more images you would like to enter they can be added for $5.50 each. Once your entry has been paid there are no refunds provided.
 
You keep all rights to your images: AI-AP does not retain any rights to your work when you make your submission. Upon selection, permission is given only for use in the book, website, finalists exhibit and any promotion for American Photography relevant to the contest. Proper artist credit is always given along with contact information where applicable.
 
JPG files are required for submission. Upload files 72dpi, RGB, up to 1000 pixels on the LONGEST side, up to 20MB. Use any unique file name, but do not include special characters or spaces in the file name. Save file as a .jpg.
 
You don’t have to submit high-res files: If your image is selected as a finalist, we will request hi-res files at minimum 300 dpi, 20x13", CMYK for reproduction.
Post Date: 5/8/2018 8:03:45 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
The Canon Digital Learning Center recently posted tips for photographing different events: graduation, bridal and baby showers. Check out the links below for more information.
 
CDLC Articles
 
Post Date: 5/8/2018 6:48:27 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, May 7, 2018
Just posted: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus Lens Review.
 
This review did not have the typical Zeiss ending.
 
The Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus Lens is in stock at B&H (available used also), Amazon and Adorama.
 
Note that the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Classic Lens is currently available and is a bargain at B&H (used also available) and Amazon. A specially modified version (shade removed) is available for a $500 premium over the Milvus lens at Adorama.
Post Date: 5/7/2018 8:10:48 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Sunday, May 6, 2018
When there is a choice, I nearly always go after the elk with the nicest antlers. While everyone has opinions on what "nicest" means, I generally look for overall size (bigger is better with age, genetics and nutrition aiding this aspect), symmetry (or character if something unusual is present), shape (classic shape with long curved tines and a big whale tail) and color (dark with ground-polished white tips is perfect).
 
This bruiser checked most of those boxes and in this position, his primary flaw, a missing G2 (second point from the base) on the left side, is nicely hidden. This 6x5 had not long ago lost a fight with a bull with antlers that were smaller overall. In the battles, it is often the size of the elk's body that matters most and this one needed to go eat more. He is still talking to the nearby herd with a bit of food still in his mouth.
 
This pursuit started not too far from the car, but I eventually ended up on a ridge a good distance from where I parked. When a light rain ensued, I was thankful for weather sealed gear as I did not bring a backpack and would not have been pleased to have to leave a subject as nice as this one.
 
I usually use a shutter speed faster than 1/400 second when photographing elk. But, elk usually move slowly while bugling. So, I grabbed some immediate insurance shots and then rolled the shutter speed down to go after lower noise images. Manual mode was selected with a wide open aperture and auto ISO adjusting for the shutter speed change I made.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Post Date: 5/6/2018 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, May 4, 2018

 
I really like Ian Spanier's use of lighting diagrams to help explain the various setups covered in this presentation. The diagrams alongside the captured images make following his lighting descriptions very easy. [Sean]
 
From the B&H YouTube Channel:
 
Award-winning photographer (and author) Ian Spanier shares his techniques for capturing great photos through proper lighting and storytelling; preparing for shoots by outlining sketches, setups, and lighting concepts; and adjusting on the fly when things don’t go according to plan. This video contains a wealth of useful information for aspiring and professional photographers alike.
Post Date: 5/4/2018 8:51:00 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
In this video, Adobe's Julieanne Kost shows us how to use a smartphone to create seamless patterns in Photoshop CC.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 5/4/2018 6:40:26 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, May 3, 2018
From the Adobe Blog:
 
By Sharif Karmally
Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Creative Cloud for Education

 
05-03-2018 – I'm inspired by the educators I meet around the world who use technology to improve the way students learn and build creative problem-solving skills. Our research showed that this is important to nearly every educator and policymaker because professions which require creative problem-solving are less likely to be impacted by automation, and more likely to pay high salaries.
 
The study also confirmed that many of the barriers to teaching these skills that I’ve seen in classrooms are universal — some of the biggest of which are limited budgets, access to technology, and time to learn new apps. As teachers shift their classrooms to incorporate creative projects that build these skills, we at Adobe are also shifting our offerings to give them an affordable, easy, and quick way to succeed.
 
In January, we announced we were providing access to Spark for Education, a set of storytelling apps with premium features and additional capabilities for K-12 and higher education institutions, free of charge. And now, we’re pleased to announce that beginning May 15, 2018, the full suite of Adobe Creative Cloud apps will be available to K-12 schools via their authorized Adobe reseller for $4.99 per user license, per year, with a minimum purchase quantity of 500 licenses for a single school, or 2,500 licenses for a school district.
 
Like Spark for Education, Creative Cloud for K-12 provides a method for schools to deploy licenses to students of any age in a way that is consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and other data privacy laws. And, it can be set-up with a single sign-on so that students and teachers can use their existing school ID to access Creative Cloud.
 
What I’m most excited about is that it allows students to access apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, XD, and more, wherever they are — and on any device. I recall visiting a high school class where the students were creating posters for a social cause they care about using Photoshop. They were so excited to have a visitor from Adobe, they all applauded. But then a hush fell over the room, and one of them asked their teacher, “How will I finish my project if we can’t work on it during this class?” Talking to the teacher more, I learned that because access to Creative Cloud was limited to the computer lab, they had to dedicate much of their class to students working on their project. They could not spend as much time as they wanted teaching students the principles of design and visual communication. With the new user licensing we are announcing today, students can continue working on projects at home, and on any device, simply by logging in and opening the apps and services they need.
 
In addition to making Creative Cloud affordable, Adobe is working to provide additional professional development resources to educators, in partnership with Edcamp, an organization dedicated to building and supporting communities of empowered educators. Together, we will be bringing educators together to share projects and courses focused on implementing creative problem-solving in the classroom. And beginning next year, Adobe will begin conducting hands-on professional development workshops, both in schools around the country and online, to teach educators new project-based use cases for Adobe Spark and Creative Cloud. This is all in addition to the Adobe Education Exchange, a place where educators can access free courses, workshops, and teaching materials.
 
We are on an exciting journey, collaborating with educators to empower the next generation to be lifelong creators. With these two new offers, Spark for Education and Creative Cloud for K-12, we’re equipping teachers with the apps, training, and support they need to make this happen. We can’t wait to see all of the amazing things students create on their journey to becoming the creative problem solvers of the future.
Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 5/3/2018 12:35:57 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Days Inn, a Wyndham hospitality enterprise, is looking for a talented amateur photographer to photograph sunsets across the contitental US for an entire month to for use as artwork in its sun-themed hotels.
 
From Days Inn:
 
The Ask
 
Bring your SPF because this month-long Sun-ternship will have you snapping photos in America’s sunniest cities—from sunrise yoga in San Diego to a sunset sail in Miami, and lots of sunny moments in between.
 
What’s more, you’ll get major photo props. Photos captured along the way will be featured on our site, social media channels, and hotel walls. We are bringing the sunshine inside with sun-themed art in nearly 1,500 hotels across the country and your very own sun shots will star in select locations. See below for details.
 
Your summer mission in a snapshot? Seize the days. Take beautiful photos of the sun. See those photos featured in hotels and online. Get paid. Be the envy (and most sun-kissed) of all your friends.
 
The Perks
 
  • Travel to select sunny cities across America over the course of one month this summer.
  • Capture as many sun-inspired photos as your camera roll will hold.
  • A $10,000 stipend.
  • Photos featured on the brand’s website, social channels, and walls at select Days Inn hotels in the U.S.
  • Paid travel expenses to explore sunny destinations around the country for one month.
  • Wyndham Rewards Diamond status. Not Gold, not Platinum, but Diamond—which means early check-in, late checkout, and more. Learn how your status with our award-winning loyalty program can also get you free nights.
  • A glowing recommendation upon completion of the Sun-ternship from Barry Goldstein, Wyndham Hotel Group’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer.
Who We’re Looking For
 
We’re on the hunt for a creative amateur photographer* with a passion for adventure and the ability to travel across the U.S. for one month this summer. If you’re a thrill-seeker looking for new, unforgettable experiences, you might just fit the bill.
 
*Must be a U.S. resident and 21 years or older to be considered.
 
How to Apply
 
Send us your favorite original outdoor photo and tell us in 100 words why you’re the best person for the job. The deadline to apply is May 20, 2018.
 
Apply Now via Email
Post Date: 5/3/2018 7:29:59 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has UniqBall's new IQuick3Pod Carbon Fiber Tripods in stock with free expedited shipping.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 10-Layer Carbon Fiber Legs
  • Twist Locks
  • Built-In Leveling Base
Post Date: 5/3/2018 5:26:11 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, May 2, 2018
From Nikon USA
 
An Exciting Group of Talented Visual Storytellers Joins the Distinguished Roster of Industry Elite
 
MELVILLE, NY – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the addition of ten new visual artists representing a diverse variety of disciplines to the prestigious Nikon Ambassador Program. These exceptional individuals share in Nikon’s commitment to advancing the imaging industry through innovation, education and pushing the boundaries of creativity, all while making significant contributions to the field of modern photography.
 
“We are extremely proud of how the Nikon USA Ambassador Program has grown since its creation, and are excited to announce these ten new members, each of whom show an unparalleled desire to advance the photography industry and contribute to its overall growth,” said Michael Corrado, Senior Manager for Professional Photographer Relations and Marketing Business Development, Nikon Inc.
 
The new Ambassadors represent a mix of shooting styles and subject matter ranging from filmmaking, sports, travel, portrait, maternity, weddings, conflict and more. With the recent addition of these Ambassadors, the program now includes thirty-three members, each bringing their own unique style and perspective. Each of these elite photographers embody the philosophy of Nikon’s Ambassador Program, which is to empower creatives through education and inspiration, while working directly with Nikon to communicate valuable insights of the evolving industry.
 
Nikon’s Newest Ambassadors:
 
  • Stacy Pearsall
  • Jen Rozenbaum
  • Rod Mar
  • Deborah Sandidge
  • Chris Hershman
  • Kristi Odom
  • Keith Ladzinski
  • Julia Kelleher
  • Charmi Pena
  • Todd Owyoung
To learn more about Nikon’s Ambassador Program, please visit: www.nikonusa.com/ambassador.
Posted to: Nikon News
Category: Nikon USA News
Post Date: 5/2/2018 9:14:14 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Adorama YouTube Channel:
 
In Ep 113 of Two Minute Tips, David Bergman shows you how to use on-axis fill to enhance your pictures without changing the overall feel.
 
Note: In this example, the framing and distance to subject lead to a very small catchlight in the subject's eyes. For tighter subject framing, the circular catchlight caused by the ring light would be more obvious. Some people like the circular catchlight while others do not. Be sure to gauge how your subject feels about the circular catchlight before using a ring light (showing examples can help).
 
I used to own a dedicated ring flash, but it was so cumbersome to set up that I rarely used it and eventually sold it. Now I prefer to use a RoundFlash Magnetic Ringflash Adapter paired with an on-camera Speedlite. [Sean]
Post Date: 5/2/2018 8:57:22 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Post Date: 5/2/2018 8:04:50 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, May 1, 2018
The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) development team has just released a major update to its free, open source image editing (Photoshop alternative) application.
 
From GIMP:
 
The long-awaited GIMP 2.10.0 is finally here! This is a huge release, which contains the result of 6 long years of work (GIMP 2.8 was released almost exactly 6 years ago!) by a small but dedicated core of contributors.
 
Notable changes:
 
  • Image processing nearly fully ported to GEGL, allowing high bit depth processing, multi-threaded and hardware accelerated pixel processing, and more.
  • Color management is a core feature now, most widgets and preview areas are color-managed.
  • Many improved tools, and several new and exciting tools, such as the Warp transform, the Unified transform and the Handle transform tools.
  • On-canvas preview for all filters ported to GEGL.
  • Improved digital painting with canvas rotation and flipping, symmetry painting, MyPaint brush support…
  • Support for several new image formats added (OpenEXR, RGBE, WebP, HGT), as well as improved support for many existing formats (in particular more robust PSD importing).
  • Metadata viewing and editing for Exif, XMP, IPTC, and DICOM.
  • Basic HiDPI support: automatic or user-selected icon size.
  • New themes for GIMP (Light, Gray, Dark, and System) and new symbolic icons meant to somewhat dim the environment and shift the focus towards content (former theme and color icons are still available in Preferences).
  • And more, better, more, and even more awesome!
Check out the GIMP 2.10 Release Notes for more information.
 
Downlaod: GIMP 2.10
Category: GIMP News
Post Date: 5/1/2018 2:26:58 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
In Shenandoah National Park, early June brings bright green flora that provides a great environment for wildlife photography. Ferns are one of my favorite sources of bright green and there is no animal that stands out in starker contrast to ferns than a coal-black black bear.
 
This mother bear paused her food hunting task to look intently toward her two cubs, treed high in a large pine tree nearby.
 
While the green flora is very helpful in compositions, it also adds challenges. One flora challenge is that it frequently obstructs the view of the subject with small animals (including fawns and cubs) being most-easily obscured. While an eye-level shooting height often works well for wildlife photography, a higher level may sometimes be needed to clear the obstructions.
 
Another flora challenge is AF-related. The contrast and brightness provided by the green leaves and grasses along with their closer-to-the-camera position often gains the camera's AF system preference, causing a strongly front-focused image.
 
The bottom line is that the eyes (minimally the closest one) must be in focus. While MF may sometimes be required to work around obstructions, they can often be worked around by selecting a focus point off of the animal's eye, on a nearby part. Which nearby part depends on the animal and its head position. If the animal is looking sideways in the frame, much of the head, from nose to ear, may provide a sharp eye. If the animal is facing the camera, the challenge is often greater with long noses also being a big AF system lock-on favorite. Parts that situationally may work include the forehead, the base of an antler or the base of an ear.
 
Carefully watching what is sharp immediately upon focus lock can help identify any series issues in that regard. For this frame, focusing on the eye worked fine.
 
I have had the privilege of photographing a large number of bears and know that they are not equally attractive. Within a species, they have somewhat different shapes and especially their coats are not all the same. This one; however, was a quite beautiful specimen.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
400mm  f/4.0  1/320s
ISO 400
4618 x 3079px
Post Date: 5/1/2018 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, April 30, 2018
 Saturday, April 28, 2018
Having a selection of RRS parts is a bit like having a pile of Legos. Once you get started, you just want to keep building (and you find yourself "needing" more parts).
 
During an evaluation, I decided to put most of the items I was working with together into one setup. And, thought I'd share it with you. Supported in the Radical Rig are:
 
Used for support in the Radical Rig are:
 
While the rig looks cool, it is surprisingly usable. And, the gear is truly impressive.
 
Here is the back view:
 
Really Right Stuff Radical Rig Back View
 
Based on what you see here and knowing what I've already reviewed, you can likely figure out what the next review subject is.
 
Crazy rigs of course need a name. I decided to call this one the RRS Radical Rig with "Extravahead" in the running. Sean had some other good ideas – please share your own alternative name suggestions with us.
 
#MYRRS #RRS #ReallyRightStuff
Post Date: 4/28/2018 6:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, April 27, 2018
Whitetail fawns are cute and curious – and they are bundles of energy (when not sleeping). This one abruptly stopped after leaping around, intently watching something of interest.
 
Alert poses are one of my favorites for wildlife with the ear position usually being ideal. From a compositional standpoint, the direction of the gaze adds weight to the side of the frame being gazed toward. That means this fawn works well being positioned toward the left side of the frame to provide overall balance. Of course, the beautiful SNP spring green landscape nicely compliments the colors of the fawn.
 
Fawn photography at this location can make use of all available telephoto focal lengths, from short telephoto to the longest super telephoto focal lengths available. The flexibility offered by a zoom lens has its advantages and, in this case, the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens' built-in 1.4x extender was especially helpful.
 
I have a unique, limited opportunity for you: I'd love for you to join me for "Whitetail Fawns and More", a Shenandoah National Park Instructional Photo Tour. Our goal is to photograph these beautiful little creatures along with many of the other great subjects found in Shenandoah National Park while actively learning photography skills. Read the just-linked-to detailed description to learn more.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
560mm  f/5.6  1/1600s
ISO 2000
4308 x 2872px
Post Date: 4/27/2018 7:25:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Post Date: 4/27/2018 7:20:31 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, April 26, 2018
B&H has the Oben GH-30 Gimbal Head in stock with free expedited shipping.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Load Capacity: 44 lb
  • Height: 9"
  • Weight: 3.2 lb
  • Arca-Type Compatible
  • 360° Pan with Independent Lock
  • Ideal for Sports or Wildlife Photography
  • Balance and Maneuver Large Tele Lenses
  • 3/8"-16 Tripod Mounting Socket
  • Plate with Two 1/4"-20 Mounts & Bushings
  • Numbered Scales for Repeated Set Up
Post Date: 4/26/2018 1:41:00 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
The Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD Lens is in stock at B&H with free expedited shipping.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Aperture Range: f/4 to f/32
  • Ultrasonic Silent Drive Autofocus Motor
  • VC Image Stabilization
  • Fluorine-Coated Front Element
  • Moisture-Resistant Construction
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • Compatible with TAP-in Console
Post Date: 4/26/2018 11:52:51 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
by Sean Setters
 
About 8 years ago, I purchased a 4' x 6' (1.2 x 1.8m) softbox from eBay (they aren't even available anymore) and really liked the soft light it projected onto my subjects. However, the more I used it, the more I realized how impractical it was. The biggest problem was that the softbox's weight was too heavy for my studio strobes' spring loaded mounting fingers. The softbox would mount to a studio strobe under ideal conditions, but any movement of the softbox (repositioning, small gust of wind, etc.) would cause the it to dismount from the strobe and [usually] break the modeling light and/or flash tube in the process.
 
And even if the softbox stayed connected to the studio strobe, the studio strobes positioning handle couldn't be tightened tight enough to prohibit the softbox from slowly inching its way downward at the pivot point. The problems inherent to the weighty modifier meant that it was rarely ever used. That is, until I recently came across a solution to the problem.
 
EZ Lightstand 3 8in Mountable Speed Ring

Shown above is a Mountable Speed Ring, and it works with any soft box that features a traditional speed ring and spoke design (it won't work with collapsible/umbrella-like folding ones). The mountable speed ring features a threaded insert that can attach to a 3/8" stud which is mounted in a traditional umbrella swivel. This setup relieves the strobe's mounting fingers from supporting the weight of the modifier; instead, the fingers only have to support the weight of itself.
 
The mountable speed ring will be especially helpful for anyone suspending a large softbox above a subject or with the modifier pointed downward at a significant angle as gravity will be pusing the strobe into the mounted speed ring instead of pulling the speed ring away from a traditionally mounted strobe. However, if planning to do this, it would likely be best to permanently affix the 3/8" stud to the mountable softbox with epoxy/glue. The mountable speed ring's risk-reducing design may be the most economical insurance you ever buy.
 
There are three versions of the mountable softbox currently available for compatibility with Paul C. Buff/Alien Bees/White Lightning, Bowens and Profoto. However, while I cannot confirm that this is the case, if you have a similar non-mountable speed ring with interchangeable mounts (most third-party speed rings are designed this way), then you may be able to swap out any of the mounts available to make it compatible with your own strobes.
Post Date: 4/26/2018 8:34:37 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, April 25, 2018

 
Fair warning: This isn't the most entertaining or polished "How To" video that Adobe has released, but the narrorator does cover a lot of information in this lengthy walkthrough on creating profiles in Adobe's newly revamped Camera RAW plugin. [Sean]
 
From the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom YouTube Channel:
 
An advanced, step-by-step guide to creating Creative Profiles in Adobe Camera Raw for use in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) 10.3 and later, Lightroom Classic 7.3 and later, and Lightroom CC 1.3 and later. Please keep in mind that profiles are very different from presets, and as such, there's lots of stuff that can go wrong while making them. Experiment, have fun, and go slowly.
 
For more details and specifics, download the SDK with sample files from this link.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 4/25/2018 7:54:07 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Adobe:
 
Issues fixed in Lightroom Classic CC 7.3.1 (April 2018 release)
 
  • Some presets are not converting to new format. For more information about the solution, see this tech note
  • With B&W legacy presets, the profile resets to Adobe Standard
  • Develop presets not sorting correctly
  • Translation errors in other languages for some profiles
  • Black and White Mix settings - Unable to Copy/Sync
  • Lightroom backup catalog error issues. To resolve corruption issue in the backed up catalogs, update to Lightroom Classic CC v7.3.1 and then back up your catalogs again. If you're backing up your catalogs on macOS, see this known issue related to catalog compression below.
Known issue
 
(Only on macOS) When backing up your catalogs on macOS, Lightroom Classic doesn't compress (zip) catalogs that have a file size less than 4 GB. As a workaround to this issue, manually compress the backed up catalog files. Compressed files take up less hard disk space. By default, Lightroom Classic saves backed up catalogs to the following location on macOS:
 
/Users/[user name]/Pictures/Lightroom/[catalog name]/Backups
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Categories: Adobe News, Lightroom
Post Date: 4/25/2018 5:40:48 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Meeting more of you is always high on my to-do list, I have wanted to offer photo workshops/tours/experiences for a long time (many of you have requested such) and my Shenandoah National Park commercial use permit just arrived. While I enjoy others enjoying my images, my primary goal is always to help you get great images and I'd love for you to join me for nearly a week of wildlife and outdoor photography in this great location. I have cleared space in the schedule and made it through the logistical issues involved in making this trip happen, including acquiring the necessary SNP permit and having an important-for-wildlife-photography park policy change implemented (this will be one of the first tours falling under the new rules). Due to the latter issues, this is a relatively short-notice trip.
 
When and Where: Sun, June 3 - Sat, June 9, 2018 in Shenandoah National Park
 
The plan is to meet at the lodge on Sunday afternoon, just as the park's busyness of the weekend is winding down, and we will wrap up after a morning shoot on Saturday, as the park gets busy again.
 
Who
 
Hopefully you, along with 2 or 3 (at most) others. While large groups are far more profitable from a business perspective, photographing wildlife in the field is challenging in large groups and keeping the group small means better opportunities and more personal attention.
 
Cost
 
$2,250 due in full to lock in your spot. Email me at Bryan@Carnathan.com to sign up or ask questions!
 
Whitetail Deer Fawns in Big Meadows, Shenandoah National Park
 
What are We Photographing?
 
Our primary photo subject will be wildlife. Wildlife, by definition, is "wild" and that means it is unpredictable and there can be no guarantees. That said, Shenandoah National Park is one of the best locations in the world to photograph whitetail deer and whitetail fawns are one of the cutest creatures on the face of this planet (it seems that everyone loves pictures of them). The timing for this trip is such that most of the fawns will be recently-born and the foliage for the always-important image backgrounds should include beautiful bright green colors. Even with the high whitetail density found in SNP, fawns remain quite challenging to photograph, but the rewards are worth the effort. Deer are not the only wildlife subject found here and there is high likelihood that black bears will avail themselves as subjects along with a variety of birds and other smaller mammals. We will be opportunistic and take advantage of any subjects that we encounter - and those moments are part of the excitement. In addition to the immersive wildlife photography experience, there will certainly be opportunity for some landscape photography. My time in the field is very limited and I need to have a high probability of good opportunities when I make such time investment. SNP rarely lets me down in that regard. Basically, we will work hard to capture some great images, attempting to build out your portfolio and light up your social feeds as well as working on improving your photography skills. And, we'll have fun along the way.
 
There is a Sense of Urgency for this Trip
 
CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease) has been detected within 11 miles of SNP (according to the SNP wildlife biologist I talked to in Mar 2018). This awful disease is always fatal to deer and when it reaches within 5 miles of the park, implementation of an already-established plan will significantly reduce the deer population here. That means this awesome experience is at high risk and that is one of the reasons I chose this photographic opportunity first.
 
Shenandoah National Park Black Bear
 
Tour/Workshop/Adventure/Expedition
 
While the implied definitions of these terms varies, I see "workshops" typically laid out with a planned schedule and "tours" typically designed to put you in front of subjects at the right time. I'm calling this trip a "tour" because the primary goal is for you to get great images and we will be opportunistic in that regard, making a firm schedule difficult to implement. That said, we will spend a lot of time together and I will teach, answer questions (bring many), critique images, assist in editing, etc. throughout our time together. Thus, the educational element will certainly be there. In the field, we will photograph side-by-side. You taking great images home will be the primary goal, but you capturing those images yourself is important and I can best describe what you should do if I am doing it myself at the same time. This also provides the participant opportunity to watch how it is done. Your constant feedback and questions are important and will enable me to provide you with the best experience possible. An "expedition" is another type of immersive photography experience and this event involves multiple daily mini-expeditions. Certain is that we will have an adventure.
 
Physical Requirements
 
This will be a moderately strenuous trip, with much of the strain dependent on the size and weight of the gear you are carrying. There will likely be some easy wildlife photography opportunities encountered, but we will be carrying our gear through the woods, tall grass and light brush over hilly terrain, often attempting to keep ahead of moving wildlife. Thus, one needs to be in reasonable physical condition.
 
What is Included
 
Transportation during the experience (I am happy to provide free transportation to and/or from the park if you are directly on my route from the north - primarily RT 81) along with everything described in the Tour/Workshop/Adventure/Expedition section above is included. By not including the items listed below in the fee, individuals are able choose their level of spending.
 
What is Not Included
 
Transportation to/from Big Meadows Lodge including the required National Park entrance fee.
 
Lodging. We will be staying at the Big Meadows Lodge. I usually get a very basic lodge room, but other options are available, ranging from camping to cabins.
 
Food. Because of the remoteness of this location, our food will primarily consist of what is offered at the Wayside Diner or the park lodges along with any food brought along into the park or purchased at the camp store. Because it gets light very early at this time of the year (getting enough sleep will be one of our challenges), we will begin photographing before services are open. I usually pack breakfast to eat in my room prior to the morning shoots. I take a cooler with jugs of ice and ice is available at the lodge (you need bag/bucket to transport it from the ice machine). Typically, we will eat second breakfast/early lunch (or perhaps both) at the Wayside Diner (usually open 8-8 at this time of the year) or optionally the lodge and we will likely eat at the lodge for early or late dinner (it closes at 9:00). I suggest packing granola bars and/or bringing other snacks along while photographing (especially in case we find an amazing subject that we don't want to leave). Plan to have water or other drink available to take with you.
 
Schedule
 
At this time of the year, the days are long and the nights are correspondingly short. Our best opportunities will be found early and late in the day and we will target these times. Fatigue can kill mental and physical sharpness, so we will usually return to our rooms mid-day for some downtime and a nap. We will go back out mid-late afternoon and stay out until the light level drops too low for good images. These plans are all very flexible and we can target any specific interests the group has.
 
Cancellation Policy
 
Travel insurance is strongly recommended. As this tour is being scheduled close to the tour dates and because of the small group size, no refund can be offered for cancellation.
 
Let's Do This! Sign Up Now!
 
Email me at Bryan@Carnathan.com to sign up or ask questions!
 
Camera Gear Needed
 
Aside from a great attitude and a strong interest in photographing wildlife, you are going to need some gear and mid-upper-grade gear should be considered for good results from this event.
 
For fawns, a camera with a reasonably fast frame rate (fawns are almost constantly moving) and high-performing AF system is preferred, but not required. This generally means a DSLR camera or a late-model MILC (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera) should be in your bag.
 
A telephoto lens or lenses will be needed with a full-frame equivalent of at least 400mm (250mm on an APS-C) suggested and having longer focal lengths available is preferred. Wildlife activity is greatest early and late, so wide apertures are often an advantage and the wide aperture's ability to blur the background can be useful. Any telephoto lens can work, but there may be times when an f/4 or wider aperture is preferred. This is a great event to break out your big lenses for and it is also a great time to try a new one, perhaps via renting.
 
My current plan is to take a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II along with the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens (with built-in 1.4x extender) and Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens as my primary wildlife kit. In addition, I'll take at least one Canon EOS 5Ds R body and will likely bring a Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens. I'll bring a variety of other lenses and accessories including a Black Rapid shoulder strap to carry the big lenses with.
 
I primarily use a monopod while photographing wildlife in this location. It is not as stable as a tripod and requires more effort to use, but it is much faster to set up and adjust. While neither are mandatory, one or both is preferred. I always take both to this location.
 
We can potentially make use of a full range of landscape photography gear, including ultra-wide to wide angle lenses and circular polarizer and ND filters.
 
It is highly recommended to bring a laptop, enabling review of your images throughout the time we have together. Bring an external hard drive for an additional level of backup. Bring adequate memory card capacity, enough batteries to last at least a day with enough chargers to restore that capability overnight.
 
Consider what failure of any piece of gear means for your experience. Consider bringing a backup for items identified as critical.
 
As always, feel free to ask us for gear advice.
 
Weather / Clothing
 
The weather in early June is typically very nice in Shenandoah National Park. However, the mountain can create its own weather and that can be at least somewhat unpredictable. Rain gear may be very appreciated at times, including rain covers for camera gear while in the field.
 
Plan for walking in brush (including mild briars) and woods. The wildlife we are pursuing is acclimated to humans and they do not seem to care what we are wearing (though you might get their attention if you look like a black bear, a primary deer predator). Camo clothing is not necessary, but it is a good option. I wear mostly camo and part of the reason is to be less obvious to other park visitors.
 
Insects can be annoying and ticks are reportedly present (I have yet to find one on me at this location). Permethrin and other insect repellent may be appreciated and I also wear a ball cap to help keep gnats out of my eyes (and avoid sunburn). Especially mid-day, shorts may prove the most comfortable option at times.
 
Sign Up or Ask Questions!
 
Contact me at Bryan@Carnathan.com.
 
Whitetail Fawns – Cutest Animals on the Face of This Planet?

 
From NVIDIA:
Researchers from NVIDIA, led by Guilin Liu, introduced a state-of-the-art deep learning method that can edit images or reconstruct a corrupted image, one that has holes or is missing pixels.
 
The method can also be used to edit images by removing content and filling in the resulting holes.
 
The method, which performs a process called “image inpainting”, could be implemented in photo editing software to remove unwanted content, while filling it with a realistic computer-generated alternative.
 
“Our model can robustly handle holes of any shape, size location, or distance from the image borders. Previous deep learning approaches have focused on rectangular regions located around the center of the image, and often rely on expensive post-processing,” the NVIDIA researchers stated in their research paper. “Further, our model gracefully handles holes of increasing size.”
Read the entire article on NVIDIA's website.
Category: NVIDIA News
Post Date: 4/24/2018 6:40:36 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, April 23, 2018

 
From the Adorama YouTube Channel:
 
In the episode (Ep112) David Bergman shows you how and why you might use a right angle finder on your camera.
 
Right Angle Finder: B&H | Adorama
Post Date: 4/23/2018 11:04:45 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Just posted: Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art Lens Review.
 
It is a good lens, with some complexities encountered.
 
The Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.
Post Date: 4/23/2018 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
From the Profoto YouTube Channel:
 
Photographer Michael Anthony creates engagement and wedding portraits with different Profoto OCF lighting set-ups in three different locations.
 
B&H carries Profoto gear.
In a recent publication directed to its investors and based on a reevaluation of future cash flow, Nikon announced that it will suffer "extraordinary losses" from its investment in Nikon Metrology NV, its Belgium subsidiary that produces "...laser scanners; coordinate measuring machines; portable measuring solutions; and in-process measurement, video and microscope measuring, X-ray and computed tomography (CT) inspection, large scale measurement, microscope, and semiconductor systems." (Bloomerg)
 
The reevaluation revealed that the fair market value of the investment in Nikon Metrology NV decreased by almost $95.6 million (10,343 million yen).
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 4/23/2018 7:03:01 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Saturday, April 21, 2018
I had been watching this pair of red fox kits (what baby fox are called and not to be confused with the kit fox species) at a relatively close distance, within photo range, for perhaps an hour with essentially no good images captured. They were running, resting, wrestling, eating (the mom or dad would occasionally bring them captured food), nursing and simply being extremely cute.
 
While I was thoroughly enjoying watching the adorable babies, I of course wanted photos to take home. The problem was the thick brush including vines, trees, limbs, grasses, etc. constantly obscuring the view and creating hard shadows that were nearly as problematic as the obstructions. There were very limited unobscured areas to shoot into at this location and the kits seemed to seldom go into these.
 
At one point, the kits started running together in a big circle. I saw that the arc, if followed, was going to lead them through one of the small openings. I told the small group I was with to get ready, followed my own advice and when they hit the opening, I hit the shutter release.
 
The result of anticipating the shot was one of the few images worth processing I captured on the trip and anticipation is often the key to successful wildlife photography. Wildlife is frequently moving and determining where that movement will correspond with a good composition is often what is required for good results.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
600mm  f/4.0  1/1600s
ISO 160
5901 x 3934px
Post Date: 4/21/2018 7:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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