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 Thursday, August 3, 2017
by Sean Setters
 
I recently shared my experience making a DIY Automotive Photography Boom Rig and I thought I'd share another example image created using the same setup. My goal in creating the image above was to capture a moving vehicle during the daytime without over exposing the sky. The best method I could come up with was to use a location that blocked out most (if not all) of the sky in the frame.
 
The first location that came to my mind was a parking garage. However, parking garages are generally busy during the day, offer little wiggle room for maneuvering in the aisles and require a [minimal] fee to use them. The second location that came to mind was the nearby Wormsloe Historic Site which features a long avenue flanked by live oaks whose branches are filled with Spanish moss. As I already have an annual pass to Georgia's Historic Sites, and the avenue was wide enough to provide plenty of room for boom rig testing, I decided on the latter option.
 
To get an idea of how dense the tree canopy is, here's a shot of the avenue (with early morning fog) that I took in late 2016:
 
Wormsloe Historic Site Morning Fog

After arriving at the location and setting up the boom rig, I set my Canon EOS 7D Mark II (fitted with the EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM + 4-stop ND filter) to interval mode at f/11, 0.8 sec, ISO 125 and drove down the dirt/gravel avenue at 10 mph (16.1 kph) for roughly 3/8 mile (0.6 km) before parking along a small side road. At that point, I removed the camera from the rig and previewed the images.
 
Every single image was blurry. I had underestimated just how bumpy the dirt/gravel road was.
 
Unfortunately, I needed to keep the shutter speed open as long as possible to capture a significantly blurred background at such slow driving speeds. However, driving faster would decrease the interval between bumps in the road. I settled on increasing the shutter speed by 1/3 stop (to 0.6 sec) for my next attempt. I backed out of the side road onto the main avenue, turned my wheels toward the park's entrance and drove back to the parking lot. With the only available spot, I had to swing the wheel pretty hard to park in the open space after passing a sign that marked the beginning of the avenue. It was a shot captured during my turn into the empty parking space that provided the sharpest results while also recording enough movement to significantly blur the background, with every other shot from the second attempt too blurry for practical use.
 
In post processing, I limited the area used by Photoshop when determining how to fill in areas using "Content Aware Fill", and the technique worked very well for removing the boom rig as well as the boom rig's shadow on the ground.
Permalink: Going for a Spin
Post Date: 8/3/2017 10:47:29 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
In this behind the scenese video, photographer Markus Hofstaetter shows us how he captured a single exposure image of a wedding couple's embrace in front of a wall of fire.
 
I must admit; when I saw this image, my jaw dropped. The concept and execution are, in my opinion, top-notch. [Sean]
Post Date: 8/3/2017 8:37:31 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
Yesterday, the Adobe YouTube Channel posted 7 videos in a new tutorial series called "3, 2, 1... Photoshop!" in which various features of Photoshop CC are explained.
 
Adobe 3, 2, 1... Photohop! Videos
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 8/3/2017 8:20:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Nikon has posted its first quarter financial results for the year ending March 2018.
 
The Imaging Products Business revenue and operating profit were both down year over year, with Nikon providing the following footnotes:
 
Q1 YoY change:
 
  • Product mix change of new DSLRs decreased the profit (exceeding forecast)
    • Major Products launched prior fiscal year: D5, D500 ; launched current fiscal year: D7500
  • Unit sales of DSLR increased as a result of proactive marketing in the US
Nikon Q1 of the Year Ending March 2018 Financial Results
 
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 8/3/2017 7:59:52 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Dracast LED500 Silver Series Daylight LED Light with 2x L-Series Battery Plates available for $259.00 with free shipping. Regularly $399.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Daylight Color Balance: 5,600K
  • 10 x 10.4 x 1.8" Panel, Weighs 2 lb
  • 45-Degree Beam Angle
  • AC or DC Operation
  • 100-0% Dimming, CRI: 95
  • Low Power Draw: 29W
  • 100-240 VAC Power Adapter Included
  • Carry Case
For a limited time, use coupon code C117722270 ($50.00 off) at BuyDig.com to get the full-frame compatible Rokinon 35mm f/2.8 FE Lens for Sony E available for $349.00 with free standard shipping. Regularly $399.00.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 8/3/2017 6:09:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, August 2, 2017
From Canon USA:
 
New Binoculars are the Ideal Tools for Outdoor Enthusiasts, Travel, and Sports
 
MELVILLE, N.Y., August 2, 2017 – Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced three new additions to its portfolio of Canon Image Stabilized Binoculars with the 14x32 IS, 12x32 IS and 10x32 IS. While all current Canon binoculars are equipped with an image stabilization (IS) function, new to these binocular models is Lens Shift Image Stabilization Technology. The IS technology, found in Canon EF lenses, allows users to see an even sharper image by moving the IS lens to correct optical axis. This technology incorporates a vibration gyro mechanism that assists in canceling out the effects of user-shake or movement.
 
In addition, the new binoculars are the first Canon binoculars to feature Powered Image Stabilization, a feature frequently found in Canon digital cameras and camcorders. Even the slightest shake when using high- magnification binoculars could translate into a blurred or unstable image from the binocular. When a user utilizes the Powered IS user-shake and movement can be quickly corrected and image quality remains intact.
 
“Canon is very proud of its imaging heritage and ability to utilize technologies and solutions across a broad spectrum of products, including our line of Canon Image Stabilized Binoculars,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “The technology implemented into these new models will enhance users’ experiences while offering the familiarity and quality they trust in Canon optics.”
 
Additional features include:
 
  • Microcomputer Control Technology
  • Improved Design and Comfortable Grip
  • Field Flattener Lens
  • Super Spectra Lens Coating
  • 6.6 ft. (2m) Minimum Focusing Distance
Pricing and Availability
 
Canon’s new 14x32 IS, 12x32 IS and 10x32 IS binocular models are scheduled to be available November 2017 for an estimated retail price of $1,449.00, $1,399.00 and $1,349.00 respectively.
 
B&H has the Canon 14x32 IS, 12x32 IS and 10x32 IS binocular available for preorder.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/2/2017 10:21:25 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Approximately once every 18 months (on average) a total solar eclipse is visible from some place on the Earth’s surface. However, the average duration between solar eclipses that are visible from any specific location on earth is roughly 375 years. If you live in the U.S. and miss the upcoming opportunity on August 21, 2017 to see the total solar eclipse, you won't have another opportunity until April 8, 2024 when the path goes from Texas to Maine. And if you miss that one, your next two chances will occur in August 2044 and 2045.
 
In other words, the upcoming total solar eclipse is so rare that you have few opportunities in your lifetime to see (and photograph) the event in North America. Don't wait! Prepare for the solar eclipse today.
 
Here's a list of suggested gear for photographing the event:
 
As to which telephoto lens you should choose, that depends on how large you want the sun to be in your frame. Generally speaking, the longer the focal length, the better. Below you can see how the sun will appear at various full-frame focal lengths.
 
Sun at Various Full-Frame Focal Lengths.gif

A couple of things to keep in mind:
 
  • During totality, you won't be photographing the sun, you'll be photoraphing the sun's corona, so the area of the frame taken up by the sun's corona will be larger than what is shown above.
  • With APS-C sensor cameras, you need to multiply your lens's focal length by 1.6 to get the full-frame equivalent focal length.
There are several great options in regards to long focal length lenses, including the following 400mm+ lenses:
 
** Budget consideration with an MSRP less than $1,500.00 USD.
 
Of course, the benefits of having a long focal length telephoto lens in your kit extend far beyond the August 21 event.
 
Total Solar Eclipse Resources
 
Post Date: 8/2/2017 10:00:26 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
MELVILLE, N.Y., August 2, 2017 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to congratulate the team behind the National Geographic’s live television special “Earth Live”. The two-hour broadcast featured a live-production first, by using Canon’s ME20F-SH Multi-Purpose Camera along with a variety of Canon lenses, including the CINE-SERVO 50-1000mm T5.0-8.9 EF to show television viewers live images of illusive nocturnal wildlife from around the world at night, in color, without using artificial lighting. Hosted by award-winning actress Jane Lynch and award-winning television personality Phil Keoghan, the unprecedented two-hour event gave viewers an unfiltered, real-time broadcast feed to see Earth’s wildlife in various natural habitats with the use of 51 cameras shooting simultaneously in 25 different locations across six continents. The show premiered on National Geographic, Nat Geo WILD and Nat Geo MUNDO on Sunday, July 9, and aired in 171 countries and 45 languages.
 
Working closely with National Geographic, executive producer Al Berman’s idea for “Earth Live” involved several locations that were in total darkness during the live production and those dark locations would either require lights that would disturb wildlife, or the use of infrared or thermal cameras, which didn’t suit Berman’s idea. It wasn’t until 2015 when Canon debuted the ME20F-SH Multi-Purpose Camera that Berman saw the opportunity to broadcast undisturbed nocturnal wildlife in color. The announcement of this revolutionary four million ISO, full-frame sensor camera that can shoot full-color video in extreme low-light conditions, immediately caught the attention of Berman, who approached Canon U.S.A. with his idea. The Company’s technical support team worked closely with Berman and his crew to provide and test equipment to help bring this concept to life.
 
See the entire press release on the Canon USA website.
 
B&H carries the Canon ME20F-SH Multi-Purpose Camera.
Ultra-high resolution DSLRs like the Canon EOS 5Ds R offer great cropping and framing flexibility, but... the high resolution files require increased storage requirements. As well as online and remote backup solutions, it's handy to have a sizable hard drive for local storage.
 
B&H has the HGST 8TB Deskstar 7200 rpm SATA III 3.5" Internal NAS Drive Kit available for $259.00 with free shipping. Regularly $289.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 8TB Storage Capacity
  • 3.5" Form Factor
  • SATA III 6 Gb/s Interface
  • 128MB Cache
  • 7200 rpm
  • 1 Million Hours MTBF
Just posted: Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens Review.
 
This is a very fun little lens – especially for the price!
 
The Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/2/2017 7:33:33 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, August 1, 2017
In addition to the image quality results shared recently, vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs and measurements are now available on the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens page.
 
You already how good the image quality results are, but I expect that you will like the f/1.8 vignetting results, dislike the amount of geometric distortion and like the flare test results.
 
The Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Post Date: 8/1/2017 8:13:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
I have the much-anticipated Canon EOS 6D Mark II in my hands and it is time to set up the camera for use. Following are the 35 steps I take to make an out-of-the-box 6D II ready for use. While 35 sounds like a large number of steps, nothing here is difficult. Just take one step at a time.
 
  1. Open the box, find the battery and charger and plug it in. If you have another charged LP-E6/LP-E6N battery available, you can continue to the battery-required steps without a wait.
  2. While the battery is charging, unpack the other items you want from the box. This is also a good time to grip the camera, taking in the new-camera grippyness that is right up there with new car smell.
  3. Download and install the Canon Solution Disk software on your computer to get support for the latest camera(s). Canon Digital Photo Pro (DPP), EOS Utility, Photostitch and Lens Registration Utility are the options I manually include in the install.
  4. Attach the neck strap.
  5. Insert the battery (after charging completes).
  6. Power the camera on.
  7. Insert a memory card (don't forget to format the card via the tools menu option before taking pictures).
  8. Set the camera's mode to Av, Tv or M (some modes provide only a small subset of available menu options).
  9. Scroll through all of the menu tabs to configure the camera as follows:
  10. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image quality: Use top dial to set RAW to "RAW" and Rear Control dial to set JPEG to "-"
  11. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Image review: 4 sec.
  12. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Release shutter without card: Disable/off (this should be the default and I highly recommend turning this for-showrooms feature off)
  13. Shooting Menu, Tab 1: Lens aberration correction: All disabled (though I suggest leaving CA correction enabled for most uses – all can be applied in DPP)
  14. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: ISO Speed Settings: ISO Speed range: 100-H2(102400), Auto ISO Speed range: 100-40000
  15. Shooting Menu, Tab 2: White balance: AWB-W (Auto: White priority)
  16. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Picture Style: Neutral with Sharpness Strength set to "1" (Note: the low contrast "Neutral" picture style provides a histogram on the back of the camera that most-accurately shows me blown highlights and blocked shadows on the camera LCD. I usually change the Picture Style to "Standard" in DPP after capture.)
  17. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: Long exposure noise reduction: I usually have this option set to "Auto", but my choice varies for the situation.
  18. Shooting Menu, Tab 3: High ISO speed noise reduction: Off (noise reduction is destructive to images details – I prefer to add NR sparingly in post)
  19. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Highlight alert: Enable (flash portions of images that are overexposed)
  20. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Histogram disp: RGB (I want to monitor all three color channels for blown or blocked pixels)
  21. Playback Menu, Tab 3: Magnification (apx): Actual size (from selected AF point)
  22. Tools Menu, Tab 1: Auto rotate: On/Computer only (this provides the largest playback image size on the camera LCD)
  23. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Date/Time/Zone: Use the Rear Control dial and the Set button to update this information.
  24. Tools Menu, Tab 2: Viewfinder display: Viewfinder level: Show, VF grid display: Show, Flicker detection: Show
  25. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Mode guide: Disable
  26. Tools Menu, Tab 3: Feature guide: Disable
  27. Tools Menu, Tab 4: Beep: Disable
  28. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Custom shooting mode (C1-C2): Auto update set: Enable (see also: Configuring Custom Shooting Modes)
  29. Tools Menu, Tab 5: Copyright information: Enter information as desired
  30. Custom Functions: C.Fn I:Exposure: Bracketing auto cancel: Disable
  31. Custom Functions: C.Fn II:Autofocus: AI servo 1st image priority: Focus
  32. Custom Functions: C.Fn II:Autofocus: AI servo 2nd image priority: Focus
  33. Custom Functions: C.Fn II:Autofocus: Orientation linked AF point: Separate AF pts: Pt only
  34. Custom Functions, C.Fn III:Operation/Others: 4 Custom Controls: AF-ON: One shot AI Servo; Multicontroller: Direct AF point selection
  35. My Menu: Add the first tab; Register the following options for Tab 1: Long exposure noise reduction, Mirror lockup, Format card, Date/Time/Zone (great for monitoring what time it is), Sensor cleaning, Expo.comp./AEB (back up near the top of the list)
I always make additional menu and setting changes based on current shooting scenarios, but the above list covers my initial camera setup process.
 
To copy this configuration means that you intend to shoot similar to how I shoot - including shooting in RAW-only format. My setup works great for me, but your best use of this list may be for tweaking your own setup.
 
If you can't remember your own menu setup parameters, keeping an up-to-date list such as this one is a good idea. Anytime your camera goes in for a service visit, the camera will be returned in a reset-to-factory state (unless you request otherwise). Your list will ensure that you do not miss an important setting when putting the camera back into service.
 
More Information
 
Canon EOS 6D Mark II
 
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 8/1/2017 7:43:37 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, July 31, 2017
It looks like Canon underestimated the demand for the EOS 6D Mark II + EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM kits. In a recent statement, Canon Japan admits that orders have exceeded supply and that the kits won't likely be available on August 4 as originally intended.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 7/31/2017 3:10:57 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
The Transportation Security Administration recently modified their screening procedures so that travelers will now have to remove items "larger than a cell phone" – including DSLRs and mirrorless cameras – from their carry-on bags and place the isolated items in bins for separate screenings.
 
The new standard screening procedure will surely be an inconvenience to most photographers, especially as the rules regarding "electronics" may seem a bit ambiguous. For instance, during a call with the TSA this morning, the service representative could not provide a definitive answer as to whether or not lenses would also have to be removed with each being put in a separate bin, ultimately advising that the procedure for lenses would be determined by a TSA checkpoint agent at his/her discretion.
 
Few (if any) photographers will want to place each individual camera and lens into separate screening bins because of the increased screening time and frustration and increased probability of lost/stolen/mishandled (dropped) gear.
 
Thankfully, there's a relatively easy (though not free) way to avoid the complications of the new screening procedures – get TSA PreCheck certified.
 
Benefits of getting TSA PreCheck certified include:
 
  • Not having to remove shoes, laptops, camera gear, 3-1-1 liquids, belts and light jackets.
  • Avoiding body scanners (traditional metal detectors are used), important for those with radiation and privacy concerns
  • Shorter line wait times
Getting TSA PreCheck certified is relatively straight-forward and easy, assuming you meet the specified criteria. According to the TSA:
It takes five minutes to submit an online application and schedule an in-person appointment that includes a background check and fingerprinting at an enrollment center.
The cost of receiving PreCheck benefits varies depending on the program you wish to qualify for. The regular TSA PreCheck certification costs $85.00, lasts 5 years and is available for U.S. citizens and U.S. lawful permanent residents. For $15.00 more, you can choose the Global Entry program which receives the benefits of TSA PreCheck plus "expedited processing through CBP at airports and land borders upon arrival in the U.S.," but also requires a passport or other lawful resident card for the application process. If planning on traveling outside the U.S. within the next 5 years, the extra $15.00 will likely prove to be a worthwhile investment. To learn about other programs which receive TSA PreCheck benefits, click here. Note that if your application is denied for any reason, the application fee is not refunded.
 
Following are some important details regarding the TSA PreCheck program:
 
  • Applicants may be ineligible due to incomplete or false application information, violations of transportation security regulations, or disqualifying criminal offenses and factors.
  • The name on your application must be an exact match to the name on the identification and proof of citizenship/immigration documents you provide at enrollment. The name provided must be the name used when making your airline travel reservations.
  • Participating airlines print a TSA PreCheck indicator directly on your boarding pass if you are eligible for TSA PreCheck on that flight. In addition to the indicator, TSA PreCheck eligibility is embedded in the barcode of the boarding pass. Once the boarding pass is scanned at the checkpoint, the TSA officer may refer you to the TSA PreCheck lane. If you do not have a valid boarding pass with TSA PreCheck embedded in the barcode, you cannot access the TSA PreCheck lane.
  • Not all airlines participate in TSA's PreCheck program. See the participating airports and airlines map for more information.
The TSA notes that PreCheck appointment times are filling up and advises applying now if traveling in the next few months.
Post Date: 7/31/2017 9:00:22 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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