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 Sunday, April 8, 2018
This large bull elk is singing my favorite Rocky Mountain song.
 
I took a little time to process a few images from my fall Rocky Mountain National Park trip and thought I would share one that I liked.
 
When elk are standing, their antlers rise far above their heads, meaning that wider framing (longer subject distance or wider focal length) is required to fit the entire animal within the image borders. However, when elk bugle, they tilt their heads far back, bringing their antlers much closer to the rest of their body, allowing a tighter portrait to be created. Although I was positioned for a tightly-framed image of a standing bull, I was still able to crop modestly for a large-in-the-frame elk.
 
Most often, the head is facing forward, positioning one antler on each side of their body. For this bugle, the elk's head was turned to the side, allowing both antlers to fit comfortably into a tight portrait. I liked how that pose came together with a beautiful animal in great light.
 
Of course, the Canon EOS 5Ds R and Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens delivered amazingly as well.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Post Date: 4/8/2018 5:57:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, April 6, 2018

 
In the video above, photographer Matthew Jordan gives us a walkthrough of his 3 light (plus 1 reflector) beauty setup. He also makes a very good point about how a light meter can help you produce a more consistent-looking body of work.
 
Below are the second and third videos in this series.
 


 
B&H carries Sekonic light meters.
Post Date: 4/6/2018 7:26:16 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, April 5, 2018
Time and time again, we've stressed the importance of having a structured, reliable method for backing up your images and keeping them safe. In its latest blog post, LensRentals enumerates how videographers can protect themselves from data loss through reliable data transfer and backup techniques.
 
From the LensRentals Blog:
By Ryan Hill
 
Two or three times a week here at Lensrentals.com, we get one of two common support calls. Scenario number one is that someone thought they transferred all of their footage over, but later found that they missed a couple of clips and need us to send them their rental cards back. If we haven’t inspected those cards yet, we’re happy to do that, but if our techs have already inspected them, that’s a problem we can’t solve. We perform a full and secure format at inspection to make sure previous customers’ footage isn’t recoverable on subsequent rentals. Once the footage is gone, the footage is really and truly gone. No amount of file recovery software can bring it back. That’s never a fun phone to call to have.
 
The second scenario is that someone did manage to transfer over all of their footage, but one of the clips was corrupted in the transfer. Typically this realization comes during the edit, after we’ve already formatted the original media. That’s an equally tough phone call. True, sometimes file corruption happens in-camera, but nine times out of ten, the file was corrupted during the transfer from the card to the computer or hard drive. These kinds of problems aren’t something you can avoid entirely. There are inherent risks in working with digital media just like there are inherent risks in working with tape or film. However, there are steps you can take to mitigate that risk and to ensure that, if a problem arises, you’re prepared to work around it.
See the entire article on the LensRentals Blog.
 
Photo Backup Information
 
Post Date: 4/5/2018 11:04:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
What I hoped to share with you today was an accurate representation of the image quality delivered by the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art Lens. While we do have the test results for this lens loaded on the site and will again in the future, the results from this specific lens are only temporarily available. Why only temporarily available? I want to use them for an illustration.
 
We have apparently received a lens with an improperly-aligned element or group of elements (this is a retail-acquired lens). The image included with this post shows all for corners of a 14mm f/2.8 image. Lenses are round and symmetrical and a properly constructed lens will render all four corners identically. Obviously, this one does not. The top right, the corner that shows in the site's image quality tool, is unfortunately the worst. The corner results are less significantly different at the longer focal lengths, but 14mm is going to be this lens' most important focal length for many.
 
When unequal corner performance happens, we test another copy of the lens. So, in this case, first looks at the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art Lens image quality mean second looks are needed. Stay tuned for that. If the right side looks as good as the left ... we should be very pleased.
 
While we are looking at this comparison image, I'll make another point and that is in regards to the linear distortion profile of this lens. At close focusing distances, the Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 Art Lens has very significant barrel distortion at 14mm. Fortunately, this distortion is greatly reduced at longer focus distances. I'll illustrate that in the review.
 
The Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.
Post Date: 4/5/2018 9:22:14 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From SIGMA:
 
Ronkonkoma, NY – April 5, 2018 – The Sigma Corporation today announced the newest accessory for its Cine High Speed 14mm T2 FF Prime Lens – the Clamp-On Ring 162mm COR-11, which extends the front diameter of the lens to 162mm. When attached to a wide-angle matte box compatible with 6.6" x 6.6" square type filters such as the ARRI LMB-6 (2-stage), the setup allows cinematographers to film on full-frame cameras without undesired vignetting. The Sigma COR-11 is also compatible with SF Ex-tender SF-E1 (optional) and other third-party accessories. Sigma continues to expand its Cine offering by providing solutions to the increasing demand for cine lenses compatible with digital cinema cameras with large format sensors.
 
The Clamp-On Ring 162mm COR-11, along with Sigma Cine lens lines – High Speed S35 Zoom, FF Zoom and FF High Speed Prime, will be on display at the 2018 NAB Show in Las Vegas from April 9th through April 12th in booth C10308.
 
Pricing and availability of Sigma COR-11 will be announced at a later date.
 
B&H carries the Sigma Cine 14mm T2 FF Lens.
Category: Sigma News
Post Date: 4/5/2018 6:46:47 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, April 4, 2018
By Sean Setters
 
While on vacation in Pigeon Forge, TN, my wife and I decided to tackle some easy-to-moderate trail hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Being spring break for many primary school students, the park was more crowded than usual. With that in mind, we decided to avoid all the paved trails which are typically popular for family hikes. While we had a few trails in mind, a stop at the Sugarlands Visotors' Center and a talk with one of the rangers proved vital to determining which trails we would ultimately traverse as the ranger provided previously unknown information like temporary road temporary road closures, likely crowd sizes and the types of things we might see on each trail. In the end, we settled on the Porters Creek Trail / Fern Branch Falls at Greenbrier and Cucumber Gap Loop at Elkmont.
 
Photography was not a primary goal for these hikes; spending quality time with my wife who thoroughly enjoys hiking was. However, going on the hikes without a camera seemed unimaginable to me, so I decided to pack a small kit with the intent of pausing our hike periodically so that she could meditate to the tranquil sounds of the wind in the forest and the gently flowing creek. At least, that's how I sold the idea to her as she watched me pack my small camera backpack.
 
I knew that our hikes would follow a couple of creeks and their smaller tributaries. I wanted to use long exposures to capture silky movement in the water, which meant that an ND filter was necessary. I decided to bring my Singh-Ray Vari-N-Duo filter because its variable neutral density filter and circular polarizer combination seemed well suited for photographing flowing water. Note that I didn't say "perfectly suited" as I own the standard version of the filter which is very thick (it extends .69" / 17.54mm from the end of the lens) and causes significant mechanical vignetting at focal lengths wider than roughly 50mm on the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM (mounted on a full frame EOS 5D Mark III) that I took with me. In short, the tradeoff for getting an ND + polarizing effect was the loss wide angles of view.
 
Using exposures long enough to capture ample motion blur in the water necessitated a stabilized camera, and that meant I needed to bring a tripod or alternate method of stabilization. My primary tripod and head weigh in at nearly 6.5 lb (2.9 kg) and when compacted, are still 27.75" (70.49 cm) long. The size and weight of the tripod made it an inconvenient and cumbersome choice for the hikes, especially considering the small camera backpack I planned to take on the trips.
 
In place of the primary tripod I opted to take my Feisol TT-15 Carbon Fiber Tabletop Tripod. Even with a small travel-style ball head attached, the tripod and head weigh less than 1 lb (0.45 kg) and are only 8.38" (21.29 cm) long when folded down. The combo's small size and minimal weight made carrying the tripod a breeze yet it allowed me to capture the long exposures I was hoping to get. That said, there was one significant drawback to the diminutive tripod, which is that the framing and composition options available at any given time depended on the surfaces (and especially the height of those surfaces) available at any specific location. There were several locations that I thought looked interesting but couldn't find a suitable platform high enough to get the composition I wanted. But in most cases along the Smoky Mountain Trails we traversed, a large rock bordering (or in) the water or a fallen tree trunk provided a sufficiently high enough platform for pleasing compositions.
 
Porters Creek Trail, Great Smokey Mountains National Park #2

In the end, I was extremely happy I had the Feisol TT-15 Tabletop Tripod in my kit. Consider picking one up if you plan on hiking moderate-to-long distances and want to reduce the weight you bear with every step.
Post Date: 4/4/2018 10:52:22 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
Johnnie Behiri of cinema5D was given exclusive access to SIGMA's Aizu cinema zoom and Art-series lens manufacturing facility in Bandai, Fukushima, Japan. During his visit, he got to sit down with Kazuto Yamaki-san, SIGMA's CEO, to discuss the company's manufacturing processes and the legacy of Yamaki-san's father, Michihiro Yamaki, the founder of SIGMA.
 
B&H carries SIGMA lenses. Be sure to check out our SIGMA Lens Reviews for more details on the various Art, Sport and Contemporary-series lenses.
Post Date: 4/4/2018 6:54:58 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, April 3, 2018

 
Adobe has updated Camera RAW by incorporating the Camera Profiles (now simply called "Profiles") section (previously found on the Calibration tab) with the basic tab where Exposure, Contrast, Highlights & Shadows adjustments are made.
 
Surprising is that Adobe has changed the default profile for RAW files to something new – Adobe Color – which features warmer reds, yellows and oranges and increased contrast compared to the previous default, Adobe Standard.
 
Note: If you have created custom camera profiles with an X-Rite Color Checker Passport, you can find them under the "Profiles" section after clicking "Browse Profiles." However,if you choose the "Legacy" section, you'll see previews of Black & White versions of your custom profiles (for some reason). [Sean]
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
 Monday, April 2, 2018

 
From the Adobe Photoshop YouTube Channel:
 
Learn how to create a custom brush in Photoshop during this week's episode.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 4/2/2018 5:59:37 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, March 30, 2018
From Nikon USA:
 
World Leader in Motion Control Debuts New Tools for Broadcasters and Sports Clubs
 
MELVILLE, NY – Experts in camera robotics, MRMC, a Nikon company, announced today a variety of automated image capture solutions that will debut at the NAB 2018 tradeshow. These new offerings provide more angles and creative control of image and video capture at sports venues, providing cost effective and reliable solutions.
 
Nowhere else is the cutting edge of capture technology on display more than solutions for live sports. Broadcasters and sports clubs need high-speed precision, flawless control and unquestionable reliability. MRMC has therefore created solutions that can deliver on the increasing demands for alternate multi-view perspectives and analysis systems.
 
“MRMC has a strong history of making bespoke solutions for major broadcasters and many other types of productions,” said Assaff Rawner, Managing Director at MRMC. “Together with Nikon, we have the resources to introduce new innovative technologies to the wider sports and traditional broadcasting market, effectively giving creative people the creative control.”
 
For broadcast in-stadium, MRMC’s new Polycam Chat solution simplifies and augments the small-scale studio environment with AI, while minimizing footprint and production costs. The system uses face detection in combination with limb recognition for unrivaled accuracy and stability. The Polycam Chat automates the camera operation for up to four presenters and guests in one studio and can easily track a talking head with maximum stability within the frame. The simple interface makes it easy for operators to use, while the flexible platform means it can be used with a number of different broadcast camera solutions including Nikon DSLR cameras.
 
Clubs, leagues and venues know that an automated, high-mounted and wide-angle video analysis solution gives the advantage at game time. The Polycam Player is a robotic video capture system that offers an unbeatable level of automation, flexibility and low-light image quality. Using ChyronHego’s TRACAB player tracking solution, Polycam Player physically moves the camera and adjusts the zoom and focus to automatically keep the team or the player in the frame. Unlike other systems which pan and scan footage from very wide-angle camera arrays, the Polycam Player mimics the natural movement of a camera operator from locations which would be impossible to physically put a human. This technology gives clubs the ability to analyze opponents, monitor players and strategize with unprecedented information, all while providing broadcasters with additional low-cost camera angles to enhance content. Four camera positions are available at launch; two high end zone cameras (high behinds), a high center-line camera (tactical) and a player tracking camera. The individual player-tracking solution also offers live composition control. This technology feature lets the operator tightly frame the player, yet dynamically adjust the framing while continuing to automatically follow the player, resulting in higher quality editorial style output.
 
To give broadcasters complete control of their content, MRMC is releasing new software updates to MHC (Multi Head Controller). The Multiviewer Skin is a new feature in MHC, and will be available to clubs and broadcasters who want the ability to remotely control up to 12 multiple cameras straight from a single multiviewer touch interface. Additionally, MRMC will be offering the first ever remotely controlled full-live color adjustment for the Nikon D5 DSLR camera. The new Color Control Panel will give MHC users true customization on-the-fly. For the first time, integration of a DSLR into a mixed broadcast camera production is easy with a wide range of remote functions and adjustments including color, white balance and other image setting parameters. Also announced, Live Skin is a new full-screen touch control solution which allows a remote operator to physically move the robot into position using the interface. Live Skin is designed to be user-friendly, letting operators physically engage with the live image stream while maintaining their focus on the subject.
 
For more information on these and other MRMC automated capture solutions, please visit: https://www.mrmoco.com/NAB2018.
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 3/30/2018 7:44:07 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, March 29, 2018
From GoPro:
 
Proven Design at a Powerful Price $199 HERO Joins $299 HERO5 and $399 HERO6, Making GoPro Life-Capture Accessible to All
 
SAN MATEO, Calif., March 29, 2018 – GoPro, Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRO) has added a new HERO camera to the family. On sale now, HERO is a $199, go-anywhere, capture-anything camera that makes it easy to share experiences that would be difficult to capture with a phone. GoPro launches entry-level HERO at the powerful $199.99 price.
 
HERO features a 2-inch touch display, is waterproof to 30 feet and is extremely durable, making it the perfect GoPro for kids, adventurous social sharers and travelers.
 
"HERO is a great first GoPro for people looking to share experiences beyond what a phone can capture," says Meghan Laffey, GoPro's VP of Product. "HERO makes it easy to share 'wow' moments at a price that's perfect for first-time users."
 
Sharing cool experiences with HERO is simple. It offloads your photos and videos to the GoPro app which creates fun, shareable videos for you, automatically. No more fumbling with your SD card or plugging your camera into a computer. HERO makes it simple.
 
GoPro HERO Back

Those looking for the ultimate GoPro-experience can subscribe to GoPro's PLUS subscription service. Cloud backup, damaged camera replacement, 20-percent off accessory discounts and more are included with a PLUS subscription for just $4.99 a month, cancellable anytime.
 
HERO is available today at retailers around the world. Key features include:
 
  • Award-Winning Image Quality: HD Video (1440p60 and 1080p60) and 10MP photo performance
  • 2-Inch Touch Display: Using HERO is as easy as using your phone thanks to its touch display
  • Voice Control: Tell HERO to start and stop recording, take a photo, turn off and more
  • Waterproof + Extremely Durable: Waterproof up to 30' (10M) and designed go everywhere your smartphone can't
  • Video Stabilization: HERO features video stabilization that helps smooth out the shakes
  • Smartphone Compatible: HERO offloads your photos and videos to the GoPro app which creates fun, shareable videos for you, automatically
  • Body and Gear Mountable: compatible with 30+ GoPro mounting accessories
B&H has the GoPro Hero in stock with free expedited shipping.
Category: GoPro News
Post Date: 3/29/2018 11:29:27 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has ProGrade Digital CFast 2.0 and SDXC UHS-II Memory Cards in stock.
 
Unfamiliar with the ProGrade Digital? The company was formed by formar Lexar executives with a focus on memory cards with superior quality, performance and reliability.
Post Date: 3/29/2018 6:46:30 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the newly announced Apple 9.7" iPads available for preorder.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 9.7" Multi-Touch Retina Display
  • 2048 x 1536 Screen Resolution (264 ppi)
  • Apple A10 Fusion SoC & M10 Coprocessor
Category: Preorders
Post Date: 3/29/2018 6:37:41 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Do you need something soon (camera, lens, battery, memory card, etc.)? Now's the time to add the item to your cart and go through the checkout process at B&H before the superstore closes for the Passover holiday.
 
From B&H:
 
Online Ordering
 
Online ordering will pause during the following holiday observance periods:
 
  • 7:15pm Fri Mar 30 until 8:45pm Sun April 1
  • 7:15pm Thu April 5 until 8:45pm Sat April 7
Shipping
 
Orders placed before 4pm ET Thu Mar 29 will be processed prior to the holiday closing.
Orders placed after this time will be processed when we reopen on Sun April 8.
Category: B&H News
Post Date: 3/27/2018 3:43:31 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From the Adorama YouTue Channel:
 
David Bergman shows you how to get the best color out of your flash gels.
 
Note: Dark gels (especially red) absorb more light and will deform/melt when the gel is taped directly to the flash head and high/continuous flash pulses are used. If taping a dark gel to the flash head, it's best to use a lower flash power and/or slower paced shooting combined with a higher ISO setting in camera to avoid damaging your gel. [Sean]
Post Date: 3/27/2018 6:31:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Nikon:
 
Nikon D5
 
Changes from “C” Firmware Version 1.20 to 1.21:
 
  • Fixed the following issue:
    • The camera sometimes had difficulty focusing on subjects in focus points at the edges of the frame.
Download: Nikon D5 Firmware v.1.21
 


Nikon 1 V2
 
Changes from “A”/“B” Firmware Version 1.21 to “A” Firmware Version 1.22/“B” Firmware Version 1.21:
 
  • Fixed an issue that prevented the camera correctly displaying location data acquired with GP-N100 GPS units.
Download: Nikon 1 V2 Firmware v.1.22A / 1.21B
 


Nikon 1 V3
 
Changes from “C” Firmware Version 1.11 to 1.12:
 
  • Fixed an issue that resulted in Auto power off not functioning as expected with DF-N1000 electronic viewfinders.
Download: Nikon 1 V3 Firmware v.1.12
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 3/27/2018 5:16:23 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, March 25, 2018
While the full moon is a great and highly-popular photo subject, I'm just as big of a fan of photographing the small crescent phase.
 
Just after the new moon phase, the moon starts trailing the sun into the western horizon and very soon after the new moon, the brightly-visible shape of the moon is a tiny crescent and it descends into sunset colors. The opposite is also true. Just before the new moon, catch the waning crescent moon on the east horizon just before sunrise.
 
On this day at this time, the moon was 2.4% visible. The night before, I could not locate the .2% moon as it set due to its too-close proximity to the sun. The 7.2%-visible moon also looked great the next night, but the higher the moon is, the farther it is from the greatest likelihood of sunset color.
 
Photographing the moon is easy, but to get the moon in a photograph requires the moon to be visible. For the waxing crescent phase, a clear view of western sky just after sunset, or the eastern sky just before sunrise, is minimally required. Clouds can provide some interest and add color, but they can block the key subject. A clear sky nearly assures a visible moon and a bright orange horizon.
 
While the weather is long-term unpredictable, moon phases are highly predictable. The moon takes 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 seconds to complete a lunar month. If this subject interests you, set a calendar appointment. If one attempt does not work out, just wait for the next opportunity to come in about a month.
 
A consideration for a moon photograph is the foreground. Moon photos can work well with only sky in them, but in this case, I went for a clean mountain range as the base of the image. Something interesting silhouetted in front of the sky also works very well (consider the depth of field required for this). Artificial lighting can be used to change the silhouette to a fully-lit subject.
 
Which focal length should be used to photograph the moon? That depends on how big you want the moon to be. The longer the focal length, the larger the moon will be rendered in the frame. A 1200mm full frame angle of view renders the moon only about 1/3 of the narrow dimension of the frame. Use wider focal lengths to include more sky color and additional elements in the frame. The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens is an excellent choice for this purpose, providing a nice range of focal length options.
 
Remember that lunar photography is not extreme low light photography – the illuminated portion of the moon is in direct sunlight. Avoid overexposing the moon. Balancing the brightness of the sky with the brightness of the moon simply involves timing. Start photographing prior to the optimal time and continue until the lighting is past your desired result.
 
I opted to slightly crop the original capture during post processing, making a minor adjustment the overall balance. From a white balance perspective, I warmed the bottom of the frame, cooled the overall balance and added some saturation to pull out the colors. Overall, this is a simple image to capture and having Venus available (that is not a white dust spec on your screen) was a bonus on this particular evening.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Post Date: 3/25/2018 12:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Saturday, March 24, 2018
Fifty mm lenses are useful for many subjects and one of the great uses for tilt-shift lenses is architecture. From a previous Philadelphia visit, I knew where this focal length would work well with plenty of architecture in the frame.
 
The procedure for capturing this image is a rather standard one for me. Scout the location (already had this step done). Show up before sunset with a pair of cameras, lenses and tripods. Set up both using two significantly different focal lengths (cropping can effectively handle smaller differences in focal length, especially when using a 5Ds or 5Ds R camera) and begin photographing the city using a level-on-both-axes camera and a sharp f/8 aperture as the sun sets.
 
When the lights come on, I adjust the aperture to f/16 to gain the starburst effects from the lights. This aperture is not as sharp as f/8 due to the effects of diffraction, but details remain sharp enough (ideal would be to merge the areas of an f/8 image with the star effects of an f/16 image). Also, soon after the lights come on, I begin capturing an underexposed frame periodically so that I could later use it to pull the brightness of some of the lights down (the gridded triangle roof top was especially bright). I adjust the exposure as necessary as the sky darkens and when there is nearly no color left in the sky, I usually pack up and head home.
 
In the end, I usually archive most of the earlier-captured images as the images captured within the ideal 5 minutes of the blue hour are usually my most-preferred. Usually, the perfect timing exposure is f/16 for 30 seconds at ISO 100.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Post Date: 3/24/2018 8:30:01 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, March 23, 2018

 
Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom CC has so many features that quickly accessing certain tools can be an issue at times. In this video, Benjamin Warde demonstrates some techniques for making Lightroom's user interface a little less cluttered.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 3/23/2018 8:27:00 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
Want a good laugh to start your Friday morning? Press the "Play" button, sit back and relax while watching what a typical marriage proposal looks like these days.
Post Date: 3/23/2018 5:44:28 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, March 22, 2018
By Sean Setters
 
Take a look at the picture above and try to guess which color gels were used to create the in-camera effect. Then read on.
 
Backstory
 
Last week, Patrick, a friend of the site, emailed us asking for advice on how to photograph school children, in costume, for an upcoming performance of Peter Pan. Patrick said that he would be photographing about 70 kids and would be creating formal portraits in a gymnasium before the kids' initial performance. He had all the necessary equipment, but he simply wanted some guidance on the lighting setup.
 
During our email exchange where we discussed different ideas and setups, I suggested that Patrick might use 2 CTO (orange) gels on his main light and set his camera's white balance to a very cool Kelvin value to get a warm main light against cool (ambient or ungelled flash) fill and/or background light that might simulate theatrical lighting, the same technique that I described in a post from last year.
 
In the end, Patrick decided to go with a more traditional lighting technique that yielded great results. But the email exchange got me thinking about how opposite colors, like orange and blue, can be used to create intriguing images.
 
With a single (or stacked) CTO gel(s), you can vary the color intensity of the gelled light – even to white – in-camera by how much you shift your camera's white balance to blue (for example, using a low Kelvin white balance setting). That means you may be able to neutralize any color by shifting the white balance opposite direction (that's exactly what Auto White Balance does). But that also means that we can shift the color spectrum of our image to the opposite color of any gel by telling the camera that a neutral color target lit by the gelled light is actually neutral with Custom White Balance.
 
With that in mind, take a look at the image atop this post again. What gel (or gels) were used to create the in-camera color effect?
 
Gelling a Flash to Produce the Opposite Color
 
To test out this idea, I flipped through my collection of color gels until I found one that intrigued me – dark green (not the much lighter Plus Green). I honestly couldn't remember what the opposite of green was on the color spectrum and had to ask Google to help me out. The answer, of course, was red. I set up a tripod-mounted Canon EOS 5D Mark III and EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, a couple of Canon Speedlites and a mottled gray background for a self-portrait.
 
The first thing I needed to do was photograph a neutral target using the gel. But instead of gelling the flash, I decided to gel the lens. Why the lens? Because my gel was big enough to cover the front element of the lens I was using and, if I had to illuminate a large [white] color target with multiple lights (for example), it would be easier to gel the lens rather than each individual light. I had never tried gelling a lens before, but it seemed to make sense for this purpose. I photographed a white target that filled the frame, illuminated by a bare Speedlite (very low power), using the green-gelled lens. I then used the image to set a Custom White Balance in-camera.
 
I put a flash grid on a Speedlite and pointed it at the background. A few test shots proved I was on the right track; the illuminated areas of the background were red. Now it was time to tackle the main light. I decided to use a gridded 24" collapsible soft box (similar to this) and positioned the soft box so that its light didn't contaminate the background (camera right, slightly behind me, pointed slightly toward the camera). I attached two gels to this flash, the green gel that I had used to create the custom white balance (in essence, turning the flash's output white) and a full CTO to provide some warmth.
 
As for the fill light, I decided to simply open the curtains on the windows behind the camera and let the daylight ambient light left the shadow areas. I reasoned that the indirect sunlight would be close enough in color to my bare flash that the effect would be similar, and even if they weren't, exact/precise color balance wasn't necessarily the point of this exercise. As long as the result looked interesting and illustrated the concept sufficiently, I was going to be happy. However, a few test shots confirmed that the color of the fill light looked similar to the light on the background, at least as far as this colorblind photographer was concerned. I also know that adding the additional CTO to the main light likely caused a less pronounced difference between its color and that of the background, but I thought the less dramatic color shift would make the image look a little more organic. After it was all said and done, I had a portrait with a red background and a red fill light with a much-less-red-tinted main light – in camera – without using a single red gel. EXIF for the image was f/4, 1/160 sec, ISO 800. In hindsight, I could have easily used a slower shutter speed and a lower ISO, but I was so used to using 1/160 second when using off-camera flashes with radio triggers to kill the ambient that I didn't think to adjust the shutter speed when I actually wanted the ambient to play a supporting role in the lighting.
 
When might this concept come in handy? Well, if you wanted your overall scene to be a certain color, but you didn't have that color gel in our kit, you could use the opposite color to shift your white balance to get similar results. Or, if you simply don't have enough gels for a multiple light setup, you could again shift the color spectrum of all your lights using a gel of the opposite color. This won't likely be a technique that gets you out of a jam, but... it can certainly be a fun technique to experiment with, and thinking about color balance and how to manipulate it in different ways may prove beneficial down the line.
 
B&H sells color gels for flashes.
Post Date: 3/22/2018 11:16:44 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Opteka 12mm f/2.8 Lens in stock with free expedited shipping.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Mounts: Canon EF-M, Nikon CX, Sony E, Fujifilm X, MFT
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22
  • HD Anti-Reflection Coating
  • Manual Focus Operation
  • 9-Blade Diaphragm
Post Date: 3/22/2018 10:02:52 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, March 21, 2018
From Venus Optics:
 
Featuring a 113° Angle of View, Ultra-fast f/2.8 aperture, close-to-zero distortion, 49mm filter thread & less than 0.5 pounds in weight, this is a perfect ultra-wide option for still & videographers.
 
Anhui China, Mar 21, 2018 – Venus Optics, the camera lenses manufacturer who had previously launched a number of unique Laowa camera lenses, is proud to announce the world’s widest rectilinear f/2.8 lens for mirrorless APS-C cameras, Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero- D.
 
Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D is the third member of the Laowa ‘Zero-D’ line-up and they all feature an excellent control of the optical distortion which is commonly appeared in ultrawide angle lenses. This new lens is an ultra-wide & ultra-fast prime lens with a 35mm equivalent focal length of around 13mm. Despite the extreme specifications, Venus Optics has successfully minimized the weight of the lens to less than 0.5 pounds (215g) and 2-inch (53mm) long. This compact and light lens comprises of 15 elements in 10 groups with 2 pcs of aspherical elements and 3 pcs of Extra-low dispersion elements. This optical design successfully minimizes the distortion and chromatic aberrations to its lowest but at the same time, delivers a superb optical performance from corners to corners.
 
The extreme 113° angle of view and ultra-fast f/2.8 aperture allows photographers to create impressive astro-photography shots with ease. It also gives photographers a fast and wide-angle option for landscape photography and low-light shooting. For videographers, the compact size of this lens is friendly to the use of gimbals or even handheld shooting without much of shaking. The lens is designed with a 49mm filter thread which gives additional portability for screw-in filters. It comes with both Sony E, Fuji X & EOS-M mounts.
 
Specifications
 
Focal Length9mm
Max. Aperturef/2.8
Angle of View113°
Format CompatibilityAPS-C
Lens Structure15 elements in 10 groups
Aperture Blades7
Min. Focusing Distance12cm
Max. Magnification01:07.5
Filter Thread49mm
Dimensions60 x 53mm
Weight215g
MountsFuji X, Sony E, Canon EF-M
Availability
 
The Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D is currently available to pre-order at authorized resellers. Recommended Retail Price in US (without tax) is USD $499.00. Pricing may vary in different countries.
 
The first 100 orders will get a set of Laowa 49mm filters for FREE (CPL + UV + ND1000). Shipping is expected to start from early April.
 
B&H carries Venus Optics Laowa lenses.
Post Date: 3/21/2018 7:28:44 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
by Sean Setters
 
I spent this past Saturday morning at the Savannah National Wildlife Refuge with the hopes of photographing a few birds while I was there. Unfortunately, opportunities to photograph my intended subjects were few and far between as it's just past the peak season for waterfowl in the area.
 
Egret Savannah Wildlife Refuge March 17 2018

However, as the image atop this post illustrates, there were definitely other subjects that deserved my attention. It seems that I wasn't the only top-level predator who was interested in the waterfowl.
 
American Alligator Savannah Wildlife Refuge March 17 2018 #2

There were plenty of warnings in the visitor's center that alligators were present in the refuge, but reading a warning doesn't invoke the same heart rate increase as seeing a pair of eyes and a snout just above the water line within 20 feet of you as you walk along a pathway.
 
And that got me thinking. When photographing birds, it's often ideal to photograph them from ground or water level, which means you will likely be positioned near the water's edge and in a rather defenseless, prone position. Unfortunately for us photographers, that's the same area where alligators find their easiest meals.
 
American Alligator Savannah Wildlife Refuge March 17 2018 #3

Of course, it's important to put hazard into context – attacks by American alligators are very rare. Since 2010, there have only been 6 confirmed deaths attributed to the species. However, I'd suggest taking a few precautions to ensure you're not the next unlucky one.
 
American Alligator Range

When you're photographing in a marshy area/wetland within the American alligator's range, here are a few things to keep in mind:
 
  • Avoid the water's edge and especially don't crouch down next to it. An American alligator can sprint at about 11 miles per hour (17.7 kph) for short distances. Alligators don't like chasing after prey, so the farther away from the water's edge you are, the less appealing you'll appear even to a particularly hungry one.
  • Stay alert. You are most vulnerable when looking through the viewfinder, so look around before doing so and try to minimize viewfinder usage as much as possible.
  • Alligators, like crocodiles, often work in teams. If you see one, there's a good chance there's another one (or more) nearby.
  • Alligators are most active from dusk to dawn, so try to avoid traversing alligator-prone areas during those times.
  • If you are attacked by an alligator, make as much noise as possible and fight back by hitting, kicking and poking it in the eyes. Alligators will often release prey and retreat when they cannot easily overpower it. Of course, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Of course, you may find yourself in the same situation as me where the alligators prove to be the most interesting subjects available at the time. By staying away from the water's edge, remaining alert and minimizing use of your viewfinder, you can relatively safely photograph alligators using the same equipment ideal for bird photography; that is, a very long telephoto lens.
Post Date: 3/21/2018 12:25:34 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, March 20, 2018
From B&H:
 
Explore Your Field In-Depth
B&H is proud to present the first annual Depth of Field conference. Over the course of two days, we aim to help beginner portrait, wedding and event photographers build their portfolios and learn new skills, while steering intermediate and advanced shooters to the latest innovations, shortcuts and gear via interactive events, demonstrations, workshops and more. Depth of Field is sure to entertain, enlighten and empower.
 
Dates: April 24th-25th, 2018
 
Location: The Penn Plaza Pavilion in New York City at 33rd Street & 7th Avenue NYC (conveniently located across the street from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden).
 
Speakers:
 
  • Lindsay Adler (Master of Ceremonies)
  • The Colagrossis
  • Elaine Zelker
  • Jay Cassario (Leica Ambassador)
  • Jennifer Moon
  • Jerry Ghionis (Nikon Ambassador)
  • Josh Helton
  • Laurent Martin
  • Mary Angelini
  • Matt Johnson
  • Mindy Veissid
  • Neil Clipper
  • Rob Adams
What To Expect
Over 30 top exhibitors will share their craft at the Depth of Field launch. In addition to a dedicated lecture stage and continuous Livestream feed, you can also take advantage of five, fully-equipped studio setups to allow guests to try out the latest cameras with live models, props and more.
 
Register Now
 
Category: B&H News
Post Date: 3/20/2018 7:13:13 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Saturday, March 17, 2018
Upon arriving home late last night, tired after an 11 hour drive, I learned of the passing of Chuck Westfall. I felt like I had been punched in the chest.
 
I had the privilege of meeting with and talking to Chuck on numerous occasions and considered him a friend. Likely, most of those who watched or listened to Chuck, or simply read what he wrote, considered him their friend as well. Although incredibly intelligent, highly professional and always relevant, Chuck had a special way of conveying friendship.
 
Chuck's name was, and long will be, synonymous with the Canon brand. Chuck was always ready to listen and willing to answer any question presented to him. One could always expect the right answer to be clearly explained and ... it was usually delivered immediately.
 
Thanks for everything, Chuck! You will be greatly missed!
 
Chuck Westfall
Post Date: 3/17/2018 10:15:44 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, March 16, 2018
The New York Times has posted a job opening for a Photo Director. Here are the details:
 
From the New York Times:
The New York Times is a worldwide leader in photojournalism, earning multiple Pulitzer Prizes and World Press Photo awards in recent years and establishing standards for excellence and innovation that have been deeply influential across the industry. Photography is a central part of our identity. It’s how we bear witness to events that matter, and our Photo department is one of the treasures of our newsroom.
 
Now we’re looking for someone to lead this talented and diverse team and to become part of the visual leadership of the organization. We want to continue integrating photography and other forms of visual journalism into the fabric of our report — as closely as our words.
 
This role is one of the most important and high-profile jobs in visual journalism, and we’re seeking candidates with a rare combination of journalistic experience, organizational expertise and extraordinary visual talent.
 
Candidates should demonstrate excellence in all aspects of photo editing, including:
 
  • Daily leadership of a large staff of photo editors and photographers who work across the globe, covering all subjects.
  • Candidates should be able to maintain high journalistic standards and sustain a level of excellence that makes photography a core component of The Times’s identity.
  • Sophisticated news judgment and a compelling vision for how The Times can produce world-class journalism and innovative storytelling. We’re looking for a strong digital sensibility, including the ability to recognize emerging techniques and platforms and a clear understanding of how to define a modern photo desk.
  • Strong grasp of feature and portrait photography and the ability to improvise visual solutions for news coverage that may not be obviously visual.
  • Sharp eye for talent and ability to recruit a diverse, first-rate team of photo editors and photographers.
  • Strong management skills. Able to motivate and guide a large and complex organization, including responsibility for staff members in harm’s way.
  • Sophisticated sense of design and how photography contributes to the overall visual excellence of The Times.
  • Deep understanding of the collaborative nature of work in the Times newsroom.
  • Candidates should know how to maintain highly-productive relationships with other visual units including Video, Graphics, Design and development teams, and they should be able to develop strong relationships with reporters and news desk editors.
Apply to be the New York Times Photo Director
Post Date: 3/16/2018 11:28:23 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Adobe:
 
Creative ARR Exceeds $5 Billion in Q1 FY2018
 
March 15, 2018 – SAN JOSE, Calif. – Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) today reported strong financial results for its first quarter fiscal year 2018 ended March 2, 2018.
 
Financial Highlights
 
  • Adobe achieved record quarterly revenue of $2.08 billion in its first quarter of fiscal year 2018, which represents 24 percent year-over-year revenue growth.
  • Diluted earnings per share was $1.17 on a GAAP-basis, and $1.55 on a non-GAAP basis.
  • Digital Media segment revenue was $1.46 billion, with Creative revenue growing to $1.23 billion and Document Cloud achieving revenue of $231 million.
  • Digital Media Annualized Recurring Revenue (“ARR”) grew to $5.72 billion exiting the quarter, a quarter-over-quarter increase of $336 million. Creative ARR grew to $5.07 billion, and Document Cloud ARR grew to $647 million.
  • Digital Experience segment revenue was $554 million, which represents 16 percent year-over-year growth.
  • Operating income grew 50 percent and net income grew 46 percent year-over-year on a GAAP-basis; operating income grew 43 percent and net income grew 64 percent year-over-year on a non-GAAP basis.
  • Cash flow from operations was $990 million, and deferred revenue grew 25 percent year-over-year to approximately $2.57 billion.
  • Adobe repurchased approximately 1.6 million shares during the quarter, returning $301 million of cash to stockholders.
A reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP results is provided at the end of this press release and on Adobe’s website.
 
Executive Quotes
 
“Adobe’s outstanding growth is driven by enabling our customers to be more creative, work smarter and transform their businesses through our relentless focus on delivering innovation and intelligence across our solutions,” said Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO, Adobe.
 
“Our leadership in the large addressable markets we created, combined with Adobe’s leveraged operating model, contributed to another record quarter in Q1," said Mark Garrett, executive vice president and CFO, Adobe.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 3/16/2018 8:51:45 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
The University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO Valais-Wallis) has posted a behind-the-scenes look at capturing its latest class picture.
Post Date: 3/16/2018 7:52:31 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Redrock Micro:
 
Burbank California - Disney | ABC Television Group and Disney Research has selected Redrock Microsystems to license certain Disney technology and patents, and will work with them to bring resulting products to market.
 
"Disney has a rich heritage of developing technology to enhance the tools and systems of tomorrow," said Anthony Accardo, Director, Research & Development, Disney ABC Television Group. "We look forward to working with Redrock to develop and launch technologies that we think will add tremendous value for productions industry-wide."
 
Under terms of the agreement, Disney has licensed technology and patents to Redrock aimed at improving mobilized video production. Redrock is currently integrating Disney and Redrock technologies to release generally available products. These products target small crews, solo operators, independent productions, and field broadcast applications including news, sports, and event coverage.
 
"When Disney approached us, we immediately recognized how wide ranging this technology is for improving field production," said James Hurd, President, Redrock Micro. "We've come to appreciate the innovation Disney brings to the table, and this relationship makes perfect sense: marrying Disney's advanced technology with Redrock Micro's proven product designs and delivery."
 
B&H carries Redrock Micro products.
Post Date: 3/16/2018 6:51:21 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, March 15, 2018
From Nikon:
 
KeyMission 360 Firmware v.1.5
 
Changes from Firmware Version 1.4 to 1.5:
 
  • Uncompressed equirectangular video of the view through the lens can now be output via the HDMI connector together with audio from the camera microphone. See the online manual for more information.
  • Fixed an issue that caused visible variation in contrast in images recorded using Active D-Lighting.
Download: Nikon KeyMission 360 Firmware v.1.5
 


ViewNX-i (for Mac) v.1.2.12
 
Changes from Version 1.2.11 to Version 1.2.12
 
  • Fixed the following issues with NEF (RAW) images shot with On selected for Auto distortion control:
    • Attempting to edit the images or add ratings or other information would result in ViewNX-i quitting unexpectedly when the images were saved.
    • Selecting Add additional information to files in the preferences dialog when attempting to transfer the images using Nikon Transfer 2 would result in Nikon Transfer 2 quitting unexpectedly.
Download: ViewNX-i (for Mac) v.1.2.12
Posted to: Nikon News
Post Date: 3/15/2018 8:50:12 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Novoflex:
 
The new Modular Tripod of choice for discerning professionals looking for the sturdiest, modular support solution
 
For almost four years, the NOVOFLEX TrioPod tripod collection has been lauded as the most innovative tripod system on the market. The Product Innovation Team at NOVOFLEX is proud to announce the expansion of this tripod series with a modular, high-capacity tripod system, the TrioPod PRO75.
 
Exceptionally stable and modular with immense load capacity.
 
The basis for the all-new TrioPod PRO75 is the advanced tripod spider, which offers exceptional stability and immense load capacity. Thanks to the reinforced design of the individual components and new 8-layered carbon fiber legs, this modular tripod can be used for even the heaviest photo and video equipment.
 
The system can be purchased with 3 or 4 section carbon fiber legs plus two mini legs for maximum versatility.
 
In addition to the recommended new tripod legs C3930 and C3940, existing TrioPod legs can also be used with the new TrioPod PRO75 as well. With the optionally available carbon leg extensions, a total height of 79 in./2.0 m is possible. Short 2-segment carbon fiber legs C2820 are also available allowing you to achieve completely new perspectives and are even compatible with the existing TrioPod and QuadroPod Systems.
 
Features
 
  • Maximum Load Capacity – 143 lbs/65 kg – Maximum holding capacity for maximum protection.
  • Removable Base Plate – A new feature of the tripod spider is the removable base plate that easily be detached and replaced with the optional leveling ball (MBAL-PRO75) or a geared center column (TRIO-CC-PRO75).
  • Unmatched Versatility – To build your tripod to meet the needs of any job the PRO75 can fit most 75mm accessories, even from other manufacturers. The optional leveling ball (MBAL-PRO75) can also be used with any other tripod you may have with a ¼” & 3/8” connection.
  • Self-Locking Geared Center Column – The innovative 3/8” studs on both ends of the geared center column provide an extra measure of security and compatibility by taking the load off the ¼” threads. The column itself can be adjusted by 19 in./48 cm.
  • 7 Leg Lock Positions for Any Situation – For shoots on level surfaces, the TrioPod PRO75 spider allows the legs to be set at 23°, 45°, 65°, and 87°. Should you find yourself in a more confined space, a further locking position of 155° enables you to support the tripod against vertical surfaces. Particularly innovative is a new 43° angle that allows the tripod to flip upside down quickly for ground-level work, eliminating the need to reverse the center column and/or tripod head. For easy packaging, the legs can also be folded up at 180°.
  • Ground Level Work
  • Easy Packaging
The TrioPod PRO75 is available in two kits:
 
  • TRIOPROC3930 – consisting of TrioPod PRO75 tripod spider, (3x) C3930 3-segment carbon fiber legs, (2x) A1010 mini-legs, a tripod bag and multi-tool.
  • TRIOPROC3940 – consisting of TrioPod PRO75 tripod spider, (3x) C3940 4-segment carbon fiber legs, (2x) A1010 mini-legs, a tripod bag and multi-tool.
The two QLEG-A1010 mini-legs that are part of the kits can be screwed into the accessory thread creating limitless possibilities: Add one leg to smooth your workflow by attaching your camera bag, keeping your tripod weighted and giving you quick access to your equipment. Alternatively, replace two legs to create a “leaning pod” and achieve a new variety of creative perspectives for your boundless imagination.
 
B&H carries the Novoflex TrioPod PRO75.
Category: Novoflex News
Post Date: 3/15/2018 8:41:23 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the FEISOL TT-15B Mini Tripod and Ball Head available for preorder.
 
Bryan reviewed the original sans-ball head Feisol TT-15 and came away impressed with the mini tripod. He even used it when photographing New York City from the top of Rockefeller Center. I added a TT-15 to my kit soon after and it has proven extremely useful when carrying a traditional tripod would be inconvenient or simply not allowed. [Sean]
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Load Capacity: 18 lb
  • Maximum Height: 8.1"
  • Minimum Height: 4.7"
  • Leg Sections: 1
  • Weight: 14.1 oz
  • Includes Ball Head
  • Three Variable Leg Angles
  • Anodized CNC Milled Aluminum
  • Carbon Fiber Constructed Legs
Category: Preorders
Post Date: 3/15/2018 7:37:15 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, March 14, 2018

 
If you've never watched a GPP Shootout, you're in for a real treat. The GPP shootout pits three (usually well-known) photographers against one another, tasked with taking a portrait, under the same conditions, on stage, with a relatively short time limit. What makes it interesting is that the host of the event always throws the participants a curveball, so you get to see how well the photographers think on their feet and what kinds of images they produce under strenuous circumstances.
 
This year, the photographers competing for the GPP Shootout Champion bragging rights were Nick Fancher, Zack Arias and Zack's son, Caleb Arias.
 
Check out all the GPP Shootouts for more great entertainment.
Post Date: 3/14/2018 1:09:04 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Last week, we reported that Sigma had released firmware updates for several of its Global Vision-series lenses. The updates was designed to allow compatibility with Canon’s in-camera Lens Aberration Correction. However, it seems the updates may have had unintended consequences.
 
A site visitor noticed that after updating his Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art lens' firmware to v.2.00, his lens exhibited noticeable backfocusing which required a -8 setting at various focus settings to correct via the Sigma USA Dock.
 
As I had yet to update my own Sigma 50mm Art's firmware, I decided to see if I replicate the issue. I tested the lens' performance on my 5D Mark III and 7D Mark II and the lens focused accurately with no AFMA value applied in-camera or in-lens (via the USB dock) with firmware v.1.00. After updating Sigma Optimization Pro to the latest version, I upgraded the Sigma 50A's firmware to v.2.00. After the upgrade, the lens required a -6 AFMA correction to be applied either in-camera or in-lens (at all focus distances) for accurate autofocusing.
 
Note that the Sigma 50mm Art lens' AF was advertised as being adjusted in its specific firmware release notes for "an improved focus accuracy during Live View mode."
 
We're interested to know whether or not the AF recalibration is necessary for all of the lenses whose firmwares were updated, or if it's only the Sigma 50mm Art that's experiencing the issue. So if you have one of the following lenses and you'd like to provide your feedback, apply the latest firmware update and let us know if your lens required recalibration for accurate AF.
 
  • SIGMA 35mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art Canon
  • SIGMA 50mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art Canon
  • SIGMA 85mm F1.4 DG HSM | Art Canon
  • SIGMA 135mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art Canon
  • SIGMA 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | Art Canon
  • SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art Canon
  • SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary Canon
Let us know how it goes in the comments.
Post Date: 3/14/2018 12:51:53 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
B&H has Syrp Magic Carpet PRO Kits and Accessories available for preorder.
 
Syrp Magic Carpet PRO Slider Highlights
 
  • Extendable Alloy Slider
  • Carriage has a Built-In Flywheel
  • Alloy End Caps with Quick-Release Legs
  • Supports up to 70 lb
  • Includes Soft Carry Bag
Category: Preorders
Post Date: 3/14/2018 10:51:22 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
I'll add one "Do" to the list: DO charge your batteries just before you plan to fly your drone. If you don't start your flying session with a fresh battery, you may get a low voltage warning under certain circumstances that will cause your DJI drone to automatically land even if the battery has more than half a charge in it. [Sean]
 
From the Adorama YouTube Channel:
 
Creating drone videos of your holiday or adventure is simple, but there are a few things to consider to get things just right. In this episode, Mark Wallace explains some of the “Do’s and Don’ts” he’s learned while creating videos using his DJI Mavic Pro during his travels.
Post Date: 3/14/2018 8:25:28 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From the Canon Digital Learning Center:
A wide variety of photographable wildlife is available to everyone, in fact many may live close to your home. How do you find suitable spots where photographable wildlife is plentiful?
 
Start with the Internet
A tremendous amount of wildlife information is easily found on the Internet. Search for potentially wildlife-rich places in nearby national parks, nature centers, lakeshores, state and city parks, seacoasts, public swimming areas on local lakes, boat docks, fishing lakes and hunting areas. And don’t forget local, state, and national wildlife refuges. Most of these places are open to the public.
See the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center.
Post Date: 3/14/2018 6:34:34 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Adobe's Creative Cloud Plan prices are going up April 16, 2018. Here are the details (from Adobe):
Our current STE Student/Education, Creative Cloud Photography and Acrobat CC plans will see no pricing adjustment.
 
Prices will vary by plans, for example:
 
  • Creative Cloud for Individual Single App plans will increase to $20.99 per month from $19.99 per month or $1 per month
  • Creative Cloud for Individual All Apps plans will increase to $52.99 per month from $49.99 per month or $3 per month
  • Creative Cloud for Teams All App plans will increase to $79.99 per month from $69.99 per month or $10 per month
For an annual plan, the price will not change until the following annual term.
Adobe announced this price increase this past October at MAX 2017.
 
Want to lock in the current rate? B&H sells annual Creative Cloud licenses.
Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 3/13/2018 12:52:03 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
This week, Julieanne Kost gives three tips for navigating documents in Photoshop.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 3/13/2018 11:28:21 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
by Sean Setters
 
Before we delve into the different techniques for capturing focus stack images, it's important to understand why focus stacking is an important tool, especially in regards to macro photography. Focus stacking allows you to gain more DOF (depth of field) so a larger portion of your frame can be in sharp focus. Your DOF is determined by the relationship between format size (full frame or APS-C), focal length, aperture and focus distance. Macro photography, especially as magnifications of 1.0x (or greater) are achieved, necessitates focusing on very close subjects, which in turn produces a very shallow DOF even at relatively narrow apertures.
 
For instance, using a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and an EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro lens set to f/5.6 with a subject distance of 11.8" (the lens' minimum focus distance), your DOF would be approximately 0.08" (2.03 mm). Switch out the 5D Mark IV for an EOS 7D Mark II and the DOF would change to 0.05" (1.27 mm). Note that if a 7D Mark II were used and the framing remained identical between the two cameras, the APS-C 7D II's DOF would be greater than the full frame 5D Mark IV's (see FOVCF).
 
With such a shallow DOF at f/5.6, why not just use a much narrower aperture to gain more DOF? There are two main reasons. The first is that even if you used f/16 with the 5Ds R under the shooting conditions listed above, your DOF would only increase to 0.23" (5.84 mm) which still won't be enough DOF to cover your subject under a lot of macro shooting conditions. And the second (probably more compelling) reason is that the cameras listed above have DLAs (Diffraction Limited Apertures) of f/6.7 and f/6.6, respectively. Noticeable sharpness and contrast penalties are incurred when using apertures significantly narrower than a camera's DLA, so shooting at f/5.6 allows you to obtain the sharpest image within your DOF.
 
In short, focus stacking allows us to obtain exactly the DOF we desire in a scene while maximizing sharpness at the same time (assuming an aperture wider than the camera's DLA is used).
 
Now that we've established why focus stacking is important in regards to macro photography, let's dive into ways you can capture the images necessary for focus stacking.
 
Really Right Stuff Macro Focusing Rail

Fixed Focus, Variable Camera Position
 
A perennial favorite for macro shooters is the use of a focusing rail to move the camera forward/backward at set intervals. Focusing rails are typically adjusted by rotating a screw on which the camera platform sits (or otherwise the platform freely slides along the rails until clamped into position) with markings provided to make precise interval shooting a breeze.
 
Move the camera forward so that the new plane of sharp focus overlaps with the previous shot and activate the shutter button. Repeat as necessary until the desired DOF has been captured.
 
If you prefer an automated solution, Cognisys, Inc.'s StackShot Automated Macro Rail can be programmed to do the work for you.
 
Note that if your macro lens features a tripod ring, you could attach an inexpensive macro plate (one with scaled markings) to the tripod ring and manually slide the camera, clamp, shoot and repeat to capture your focus bracket. This approach isn't as convenient and won't likely be as precise as using a geared macro rail, but it is much less expensive.
 
One issue that you may run into when using macro rails is that your perspective changes as you move the camera. However, most focus stacking programs are designed to properly align source images even with the perspective change.
 
Variable Focus, Fixed Camera Position
 
For this technique, the camera is mounted to a solid support system (typically a tripod) and images are taken as the lens' focus distance setting is changed to move the plane of sharp focus forward or backward. This can either be done manually by very carefully and minutely rotating the focus ring in between shots or the process can be automated through various camera remote platforms (CamRanger, CamFi, DSLR Controller). For the sample image atop this post, I used the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro (and some extension tubes) to capture 17 RAW files while manually adjusting focus from the nearest in-focus element to the farthest.
 
Varying focus does not lead to perspective change. However, if the lens exhibits focus breathing (many do), the scene will be framed slightly tighter or looser as focusing is adjusted throughout the imaging sequence, making details larger or smaller in the frame. This change isn't typically an issue for most focus stacking programs.
 
Which focus stack capture technique should I use?
 
As a lens's maximum magnification is only achieved at its minimum focus distance, moving the camera position will enable you to achieve the lens' max magnification throughout your image sequence. Also, manually moving the camera via a macro focusing rail can enable you to capture a more precisely spaced set of images compared to manually varying focus (automated systems would likely be equal in that regard).
 
A focusing rail will not work as well for scenes with a lot of depth as your camera's travel distance will be limited to the length of your rail. In those cases, varying focus will be your only option. If you are on a limited budget and want to give focus stacking a try, the variable focus method doesn't require an investment in specialized equipment, making it much easier to just hit the ground running when the inspiration strikes.
 
Which focus stacking software should I use?
 
There are a few programs dedicated to focus stacking and at least a couple of general image editing programs have a focus stacking feature built-in. I decided to try three of them with the same stack of images to see how they compared.
 
To capture the stack images, I used the variable focus technique, manually adjusting focus between shots. Here's what the nearest focused and farthest focused shots looked like in the 20 shot sequence at f/5.6:
 
Focus Stack First and Last Shot

After processing, here were the results:
 
Photoshop CC Focus Stack

Adobe Photoshop CC - Auto Aligned, Auto Blend Layers (Stack Images with Seamless Tones and Colors)
 
Affinity Photo Focus Stack

Affinity Photo - Focus Merge
 
Helicon Focus Pyramid Focus Stack

Helicon Focus - Pyramid
 
Helicon Focus Weighted Average Focus Stack

Helicon Focus - Weighted Average (Default settings - Radius 4, Smoothing 2)
 
Each of the programs used did a decent job assembling the in-focus areas of the focus stack, but there were some notable differences. Photoshop seamed to do a great job assembling the in-focus areas, but it didn't handle the transitions to out-of-focus areas very well, especially in regards to areas showing depth. Affinity Photo seemed to do a better job handling the areas that troubled Photoshop, but it produced noticeable halos throughout the image.
 
It's important to note that Photoshop and Affinity Photo have very limited (if any) focus stacking options to allow for tailoring the stacking algorithm to best suit a given set of images. Affinity Photo provides no customization options for focus stacking while Photoshop CC gives you the option of Automatically Aligning the source images (highly recommended) in the Scripts/Load Files Into Stack dialogue box and provides two checkmark options – Seamless Tones and Colors and Content Aware Fill Transparent Areas – in the Edit/Auto Blend Layers/Stack Images dialogue.
 
On the other hand, Helicon Focus provides three separate algorithms for stacking – Weighted Average, Depth Map and Pyramid. And if you choose Weighted Average or Depth Map, you can choose specific Radius and Smoothing settings. The Radius setting adjusts how large of an area is analyzed around each pixel. Low Radius settings enable fine details to be better resolved, with an increased risk that halos will appear in the image. The Smoothing setting dictates how the in-focus to out-of-focus transitions will appear, with higher settings enabling a softer transition.
 
In the end, I liked the Helicon Focus Weighted Average result best, and with the ability to adjust its algorithms' variables, Helicon Focus will likely prove most adept at producing pleasing focus stacking results. But if you already own Photoshop CC or Afffinity Photo, give their focus stacking features a try to see if they work well for your needs.
Post Date: 3/13/2018 10:10:40 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Sekonic L-308X-U Flashmate Light Meter in stock with free expedited shipping.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Incident Metering for Ambient & Flash
  • 40° Reflected Light Metering
  • Photo, Cine, and HD Cine Metering Modes
  • Customizable LCD with Auto Backlight
  • Range: 0 to 19.9 EV at ISO 100
  • Flash Range: f/1.0 to f/90.9 at ISO 100
  • Exposure Time: 1/8000 to 60 Sec
  • Repeat Accuracy: ±0.1 EV or Less
  • PC Sync Terminal & Cordless Flash Option
  • Runs on One AA Battery
Post Date: 3/13/2018 8:16:50 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, March 12, 2018
Just posted: Canon TS-E 135mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Macro Lens Review.
 
It's a lot like the Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8L, and that's a very good thing.
 
The Canon TS-E 135mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Macro Lens is in stock at Amazon | Canon Store | Beach Camera | eBay.
 
This lens is expected soon at B&H | Adorama | WEX.
Post Date: 3/12/2018 9:53:01 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
From the B&H YouTube Channel:
 
This video is designed to get you started in the world of headshots VERY EFFECTIVELY with minimal equipment. First you’ll learn how to set up your speedlite for on-camera as well as off-camera wireless use. You’ll also learn many styles of lighting that can be achieved with just one simple Speedlite. We’ll cover several different light modifiers, how their characteristics vary and why to use one modifier vs. another.
Post Date: 3/12/2018 8:05:17 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, March 9, 2018

 
In this week’s episode of Lightroom Coffee Break, Benjamin Warde categorizes photos using the Metadata Painter.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 3/9/2018 12:34:13 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Just posted: WD My Passport Wireless SSD Review.
 
Among other interesting information in this review is the result of this device repeatedly falling 6' onto concrete.
 
Save up to $100! The WD My Passport Wireless SSD, in a variety of capacities, is in stock and on sale at B&H.
From Irix:
 
If you’re still searching for something more powerful then the ND 1000 filter, then Irix has some great news for you!! This young Swiss company had released a brand new filter for their Irix Edge family.
 
The ND32000, with an optical density of 4.5 and incoming light reduction by 15-stops, allows the user to get an exposure time of up to five minutes on a sunny day! Therefore you can enrich your portfolio with mirror-smooth water and perfectly blurred objects in motion such as the clouds and city traffic, even under bright sunny conditions.
 
Thanks to high quality optical glass equipped with a special waterproof and oil repellent NANO coating, the filter’s surface is protected from stains and fingerprints and enables the use of the filter in extreme weather photo shoots.
 
What’s more, due to the possibility of screwing the filter onto the lens, you can be sure that each shoot made with the Irix Edge 32000 is protected from any light leakage.
 
The retail price for the Irix Edge filter ND32000 is 159 euros. The product will be available on sale in the next few days.
 
Currently the Irix Edge family consists of CPL, ND and UV filters of various diameters & made especially for Irix super thin gel filters sets.
 
Adorama carries IRIX filters.
Category: Irix News
Post Date: 3/9/2018 6:52:41 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, March 7, 2018
From BlackRapid:
 
A Public Service Announcement from BLACKRAPID
 
COUNTERFEIT HARDWARE WARNING: USE OF NON-BLACKRAPID HARDWARE VOIDS WARRANTY
 
Protect Your Equipment and Your Warranty -- Check Your Hardware Today! It has recently come to our attention that some retailers are bundling our straps with non-BLACKRAPID branded parts and accessories. Our warranty specifically states that the use of any non-genuine parts or accessories from other brands could cause damage to the ConnectR or FastenR and voids the warranty.
 
However, depending on how these retailers choose to list these products, it may not always be obvious that customers are not receiving genuine BLACKRAPID parts. One of the biggest offenders is the non-genuine fastener, made to look like our patented FR-3 or FR-5 FastenR products. The inferior knock-off fasteners are prone to thread wear and/or breakage, which can cause the camera to drop, or the fastener can snap off and get stuck inside the camera’s tripod mount.
 
Black Rapid Counterfeit FR 3 FR 5 FastenR Warning

Take a Sec, Learn a Spec
A simple comparison will reveal the difference between an authentic BLACKRAPID part and a knock-off part (see below for images). For example, authentic BLACKRAPID parts will always be made of stainless steel and either embossed or laser engraved with the ‘R’ logo. An authentic BLACKRAPID FastenR will not scratch easily and will maintain its well-defined threading pattern with normal use. By contrast, the metal that is used for the knock-off fasteners tends to be cheap and easily scuffed or gouged; the threaded post often becomes worn and won’t screw into the camera body securely.
 
Non-genuine parts can also cause abnormal wear and tear on the strap and other hardware, causing the genuine BLACKRAPID parts to fail due to this abnormal strain. We take the safety integrity of our products very seriously. Our products go through intense design planning and weight / durability testing over an extended period of time. All our parts and materials are designed to work together to properly support your camera under normal conditions.
 
One-Year Warranty
We always want to do the right thing for our customers, and we go out of our way every day to exceed customer service expectations. We guarantee the quality of all BLACKRAPID products with our one-year warranty against craftsmanship defects. However, we cannot be responsible for the performance – or lack thereof – of non-genuine BLACKRAPID parts and accessories, and the use of such parts will necessarily void the warranty.
 
If there is ever any question as to the authenticity of your current hardware or any hardware you may consider purchasing, please contact Customer Relations at customerrelations@blackrapid.com and we would be more than happy to assist.
 
Trade-In Program Also check out our Trade-In Program http://www.blackrapid.com/tradein-program if you have an old, damaged, or worn-out strap that you'd like to trade in for a brand new BLACKRAPID strap at a substantial discount. We'll even allow you to trade in your sling style strap from another brand! ~ The BlackRapid Team ~
 
B&H is an authorized BlackRapid products retailer.
Category: BlackRapid News
Post Date: 3/7/2018 11:08:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Think Tank Photo:
 
We have just released Version 3.0 of our popular Modular Belt System, with improved access speed and ease while accommodating for today’s gear. The Modular Belt System moves weight from your shoulders to your waists for more comfortable all-day carry. Many of the new pouches are expandable to fit pro-sized lenses with hoods in the shooting position.
 
The newly added Camera Clip Adapter V3.0 belt attachment for the Peak Design Capture Clip, SpiderLight and SpiderPro camera clips allows the clip to rotate on any Think Tank belt for better workflow. Using Think Tank’s patented rotate or lock technology, photographers can lock down their pouches or rotate them freely around the belt when kneeling, sitting or running.
 
The Lens Changers V3.0 feature one-hand drawstring closures that secures lenses, wide-mouth opening for quick one-handed access, and outer stretch pocket provides space for a lens cap. In addition to new versions of the existing Lens Pouches, the brand-new Lens Changer 150 V3.0 accommodates a 150–600mm f/5–6.3 lens with hood reversed. The Lens Changers include:
 
  • Lens Changer 15 V3.0
  • Lens Changer 25 V3.0
  • Lens Changer 35 V3.0
  • Lens Changer 50 V3.0
  • LC75 Pop Down V3.0
  • Lens Changer 150 V3.0
Lens Pouches V3.0 offer a wide variety of essential features. The new Flash Mob V3.0 is a belt pouch for DSLR flashes with attached diffuser. The Hubba Hubba Hiney V3.0 beltpack/shoulder bag hybrid includes removable dividers and is a versatile lightweight solution for carrying a small camera kit, lenses or accessories. The new Lens Pouches include:
 
  • Little Stuff It! V3.0
  • Stuff It! V3.0
  • R U Thirsty? V3.0
  • Slim Changer V3.0
  • Speed Changer V3.0
The Skin Lens Changers are lightweight compressible modular pouches that hold a wide variety of lenses. The Skin pouches include:
 
  • Skin 50 V3.0
  • Skin 75 Pop Down V3.0
  • Skin Changer Pop Down V3.0
The new Modular Essentials Set V3.0 includes four of the most popular modular pouches. Photographers get the R U Thirsty? water bottle pouch free compared to buying each component separately. The set includes the Lens Changer 50 V3.0, LC75 Pop-Down V3.0, Speed Changer V3.0, and the R U Thirsty? V3.0.
 
Modular belts and harnesses have also been upgraded. All belt edges are padded for comfort and support and the adjustable buckle prevents the belt from loosening yet is easy to resize. The new belts and harnesses include:
 
  • Thin Skin Belt V3.0 (S-M-L)
  • Pro Speed Belt V3.0 (S-M)
  • Pro Speed Belt V3.0 (M-L)
  • Pro Speed Belt V3.0 (L-XL)
  • Pixel Racing Harness V3.0
The new accessories include:
 
  • Camera Clip Adapter V3.0
Think Tank Photo has the Modular Belt System V3.0 Components in stock and you'll get a free gift when using our links for your purchase ($50.00 minimum purchase required).
Post Date: 3/7/2018 8:35:33 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Venus Optics:
 
Featuring a small lens barrel, lightweight design and extended working distance, the new Laowa lens provides an extreme macro photography option for DSLR & Mirrorless cameras.
 
Anhui China, Mar 27, 2018 – Venus Optics, the camera lenses manufacturer who had previously launched a number of unique macro lenses (60mm f/2.8 2:1 Macro & 15mm f/4 Wide Angle Macro), is proud to add another member to their macro products line, the Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5X Ultra-Macro Lens.
 
The new Laowa 25mm f/2.8 provides a magnification range from 2.5:1 to 5:1 and offers a flexibility for photographers to capture macro subjects with different sizes. The 8 elements in 6 groups design with 1pc of low-dispersion element, creates an outstanding image sharpness across different magnification and greatly reduces the chromatic aberrations and color fringing. The wide focal length gives a relatively deeper depth of field than lenses with longer focal length. This feature is particular essential for photographers who can then stack less images for achieving even sharpness across the frame.
 
Dedicated solely to macro applications, the lens is carefully designed with an extended working distance (40mm @ 5x) & small lens barrel. This design is aimed to provide sufficient room for lighting reaching the subjects. The lens weigh less than 400g and the compact size make it suitable for shooting both in the field and in the laboratory.
 
An optional rotating tripod collar is also released for photographers to benefit from mounting the lens onto tripods and compose at different angles.
 
Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K & Sony E mounts are available for order through authorized resellers. The suggested retail price (tax excluded) in United States is $399.00 USD. Pricing varies in different countries.
 
The new lens will be available to try in the UK Photography Show Birmingham during 17-20 March 2018.
 
B&H carries Venus Optics lenses.
Post Date: 3/7/2018 7:38:49 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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