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 Monday, February 25, 2019
Post Date: 2/25/2019 7:53:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From Samyang:

February 25th, 2019, Seoul, South Korea - Global optics brand, Samyang Optics is pleased to unveil the ‘WORLD'S WIDEST PRIME LENS- DISTORTION-FREE’ (except fish-eye lens) – XP 10mm F3.5 Canon full-frame DSLR cameras (XP 10mm F3.5 for Nikon F will be launched within a few months as well).

XP 10mm F3.5 lens from Samyang encapsulates the brand's universally respected optical technology, especially in the wide angle lens category. XP 10mm F3.5 provides ultimate ultra-wide-angle coverage up to 130° angle of view with crystal image quality.

A Single lens captures it all – Distortion Free

As the demo premium lenses high-end cameras increases, XP 10mm F3.5 elevates the quality of images provides a burst of creativity the users with its high resolution of more than 50 megapixels distortion free that you can create an outstanding landscape architecture shots.

This lens features a total of 18 lenses in 11 groups. 7 special optic lenses maximizing the image quality from corner to centre in vivid colours. The use of 3 aspherical lenses, 1 high-refractive lens, 3 extra-low dispersion lenses minimizing distortion extremely various aberrations. Flare ghost effects are also well-controlled by ultra-multi-coating technology from Samyang. Now you can capture a wide landscape with 130° angle of view architecture indoors as well in high resolution with distortion-free.

The XP 10mm F3.5 is expected to be the perfect lens for a broader range of photographer cinematographer who wishes to create professional photos videos in exceptional high resolution solid body quality made with metal.

Available in this spring

The absolute resolution XP 10mm F3.5 lens will be available soon at a suggested retail price of EUR 1,099.00.

Post Date: 2/25/2019 7:26:33 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, February 24, 2019

When photographing non-voice-controllable subjects, the potential of capturing all subjects in the frame with good body positions decreases exponentially with the number of subjects.

With a single subject, capturing a good body position is sometimes challenging but often not too difficult to accomplish. Add a second subject and the challenge doubles and it doubles again when a third subject is in the frame. While not every subject in the frame is required to have the ideal pose, it certainly helps when all have one.

I had been hanging with these big boys for several minutes. When enough distance separated them, it was not too hard to find individual subject poses worth photographing. When both bulls were in the frame, good opportunities became scarce with the second bull often becoming a distraction to the first.

Photographing groups of animals includes increased challenge, but that challenge serves to make the rewards of success higher.


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
600mm  f/4.0  1/160s
ISO 640
7667 x 5111px
Post Date: 2/24/2019 7:19:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, February 22, 2019

Today, Samyang announced via Facebook that it will be releasing 8 new lenses this spring. Samyang's tagline for the new lenses is "A New Perspective," possibly hinting at lenses with specs not currently seen in the marketplace today.

B&H carries Samyang lenses.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Samyang News
Post Date: 2/22/2019 9:22:24 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Post Date: 2/22/2019 7:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From Kenko-Tokina:

Feb 22, 2019 – Inspired by the focal length and aperture of the widely acknowledged Tokina AT-X 16-28mm F2.8 PRO FX lens, Tokina opera 16-28mm F2.8 FF has been developed with the same concept as the already released opera 50mm F1.4 FF, to offer the photographers another contemporary tool for professional photography. Super wide angle, superior resolving ability coupled with high contrast and beautiful bokeh rendering, fast f/2.8 constant aperture throughout the zoom range and accurate AF drive system make this lens attractive for photographers who specialize in landscape, interior architect, documentary, environmental style portrait and night sky/time lapse photography genres.

Sales start date worldwide: March 15th, 2019

EAN code: 4961607 634660 (for Canon EF mount full frame)
EAN code: 4961607 634677 (for Nikon F mount full frame)

Preorders:
B&H | Adorama

Post Date: 2/22/2019 5:58:55 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, February 21, 2019

If you have a couple of minutes, take a look at this For the Love of the Craft feature of Abe Curland, an affiliate account manager at B&H. Abe has been our own affiliate contact at B&H for several years, and he's always been a delight to work with. We would like to send our heartfelt "congrats" to him for B&H's recognition of his love of photography and his ability to connect with his affiliates.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: B&H News
Post Date: 2/21/2019 12:38:22 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

In this video, photographer Pye Jirsa describes several tips for shooting portraits at night. While several of the techniques described are relatively common, the whip-pan effect Jirsa illustrates makes watching this video especially worthwhile.

Post Date: 2/21/2019 8:33:12 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Sigma:

Operating conditions of the Nikon “Z 6” and SIGMA’s interchangeable lenses for NIKON F mount, and firmware update for SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art for NIKON F mount

Thank you for purchasing and using our products. We would like to announce that the operating conditions of SIGMA’s interchangeable lenses for NIKON F mount on the Nikon “Z 6” and their “Mount Adapter FTZ” are the same as when they are used in combination with the Nikon “Z 7” and their “Mount Adapter FTZ” that we announced on October 26th, 2018.

Furthermore, we would like to announce that a new firmware update for SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art for NIKON F mount improves on the phenomenon particular to the lens when it is used in combination with the Nikon “Z 7” or “Z 6” and their “Mount Adapter FTZ”.

For customers who own the SIGMA USB DOCK and applicable product listed below, please update the firmware via SIGMA Optimization Pro. Before updating the firmware using the SIGMA USB DOCK, please ensure to update SIGMA Optimization Pro to Ver. 1.5.0 or later.

Applicable product

  • SIGMA 24-70mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Art for NIKON F mount

Benefit of the update

  • When the lens is used in combination with the Nikon “Z 7” or “Z 6” and their “Mount Adapter FTZ”, it has corrected the phenomenon whereby it may occasionally show overexposure when narrowing down the aperture from F5.6 while shooting.

SIGMA Optimization Pro Download



Firmware update for SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 EF-E

Thank you for purchasing and using our products. We are pleased to announce that a firmware update for the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 EF-E is now available.

This firmware makes the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 compatible with the latest firmware of SIGMA interchangeable lenses. For customers who own the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 EF-E, please update the firmware via SIGMA Optimization Pro? by connecting it to a computer using the supplied USB Cable.

Before updating the SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 firmware, please ensure SIGMA Optimization Pro has been updated to ver. 1.5.0 or later.

Applicable product

  • SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 EF-E

Benefit of the update

  • It has become compatible with the 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM | Contemporary for CANON EF mount, that has the latest firmware Ver.2.01.
  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC MACRO OS HSM | Contemporary for CANON EF mount, that has the latest firmware Ver.2.01.
  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM | Art for CANON EF mount, that has the latest firmware Ver.2.02.
  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM | Art for CANON EF mount, that has the latest firmware Ver.2.02.
  • It has become compatible with the SIGMA 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Contemporary for CANON EF mount, that has the latest firmware Ver.2.04.

SIGMA Optimization Pro Download

Post Date: 2/21/2019 6:14:47 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, February 20, 2019

B&H has Think Tank Photo Vision Shoulder Bags available for preorder with free expedited shipping.

Think Tank Photo Vision 15 Shoulder Bag Highlights

  • With a Medium DSLR, Holds 3 to 5 Lenses
  • Holds Camera with Attached 24-70mm Lens
  • Accommodates Detached 70-200mm f/2.8
  • Holds 15" Laptop and 10" Tablet
  • Zippered Lid for Main Compartment
  • Organizer Pockets, Large Phone Pocket
  • Top Carry Handle, Padded Shoulder Strap
  • Bottle Pocket, Tuck-Away Tripod Straps
  • Pass-Through for Luggage Trolley Handle
  • Weather-Resistant Exterior, Rain Cover

Think Tank Photo Vision 13 Shoulder Bag Highlights

  • With a Medium DSLR, Holds 2 to 4 Lenses
  • Holds Camera with Attached 24-70mm Lens
  • Accommodates Detached 70-200mm f/2.8
  • Holds 13" Laptop and 10" Tablet
  • Zippered Lid for Main Compartment
  • Organizer Pockets, Large Phone Pocket
  • Top Carry Handle, Padded Shoulder Strap
  • Bottle Pocket, Tuck-Away Tripod Straps
  • Pass-Through for Luggage Trolley Handle
  • Weather-Resistant Exterior, Rain Cover

Think Tank Photo Vision 10 Shoulder Bag Highlights

  • With a Medium DSLR, Holds 2 to 3 Lenses
  • With Mirrorless Kit, Holds 3 to 4 Lenses
  • Holds Detached 24-70mm f/2.8 or 50-140mm
  • Dedicated Pocket for 10" Tablet
  • Zippered Lid for Main Compartment
  • Organizer Pockets, Large Phone Pocket
  • Top Carry Handle, Padded Shoulder Strap
  • Bottle Pocket, Tuck-Away Tripod Straps
  • Pass-Through for Luggage Trolley Handle
  • Weather-Resistant Exterior, Rain Cover

Post Date: 2/20/2019 12:41:00 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

From the Phlearn YouTube Channel:

Today Aaron shows you how easy it is to make your own custom brushes in Photoshop! Learn how to turn any shape into a brush and how to add randomness as you paint, perfect for creating realistic atmospheric effects like rain, fog, and snow. Best of all, our new custom snow brush is included for free in the sample image download!

Download the Sample Image and Custom Brush

B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.

Post Date: 2/20/2019 7:43:16 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

February 20, 2019, Saitama, Japan - Tamron Co., Ltd. (President & CEO: Shiro Ajisaka), a leading manufacturer of optics for diverse applications, announces the development of two new lenses for full-frame DSLR cameras—the 35-150mm F/2.8-4 Di VC OSD (Model A043) zoom lens and the SP 35mm F/1.4 Di USD (Model F045) fixed focal lens; and a new high-speed ultra wide-angle zoom lens for Sony E-mount full-frame mirrorless cameras—the 17-28mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Model A046).

Tamron will display these new lenses at CP+ 2019, the World Premiere show for camera and photo imaging, beginning February 28 through March 3, 2019 at Pacifico Yokohama.

Product Names

  • 35-150mm F/2.8-4 Di VC OSD (Model A043) For Canon and Nikon mount
  • SP 35mm F/1.4 Di USD (Model F045) For Canon and Nikon mount
  • 17-28mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Model A046) For Sony E-mount (full-frame)

Fast compact Portrait Zoom breaks new ground: 35-150mm F/2.8-4 Di VC OSD (Model A043)

The new compact Model A043 is designed for fast handling and easy transport, and features a zoom that extends from 35mm to 150mm, incorporating the 85mm focal length (often regarded as optimum for portrait shooting). It offers a fast F/2.8 aperture at the wide-angle end while maintaining a bright F/4 at the telephoto end. For close-focusing, the MOD (Minimum Object Distance) is 0.45m (17.7 in) across the entire zoom range. Delivering superb image quality, precisely placed LD (Low Dispersion) glass elements and aspherical lenses quash degrading optical aberrations. Furthermore, the Model A043 incorporates the Dual MPU (Micro-Processing Unit) system, which assures optimal AF performance and effective vibration compensation.

Note: All DSLR camera functions are possible when the Model A043 is attached to a mirrorless camera via the manufacture’s adapter.

Fast fixed focal lens boldly demonstrates Tamron’s lens-making expertise: SP 35mm F/1.4 Di USD (Model F045)

Tamron’s SP lens series was born in 1979, based on the concept of delivering lenses for taking the perfect picture for those who love photography. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the series. In celebration, Tamron has developed the Model F045, the distillation of Tamron’s accumulated lens-making expertise and craftsmanship. This orthodox fixed focal lens, which some consider the most basic of all interchangeable lenses, is the embodiment of all optical technology and manufacturing knowhow Tamron has developed to date.

The Model F045’s unprecedented high-resolution image quality and beautiful, appealing background bokeh lets photographers capture any scene down to the finest details. The external lens barrel was developed through tireless pursuit of operability and durability, focusing constantly on the needs of photographers. This lens is equipped with a fast F/1.4 aperture and high-speed, high-precision AF functionality offering exceptional reliability, plus various other features for increased convenience, making it the perfect everyday lens for your creative pursuits. It is ideally suited for nearly every photographic genre, including photojournalism, landscape, sports, street life, wedding groups and family snapshots.

Note: All DSLR camera functions are possible when the Model F045 is attached to a mirrorless camera via the manufacture’s adapter.

High-speed ultra wide-angle zoom lens for Sony E-mount cameras is extremely compact and lightweight: 17-28mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Model A046)

The Model A046 achieves an astonishingly small diameter for a high-speed ultra wide-angle zoom lens, as witnessed by its modest 67mm filter size. Its unprecedented light weight and compact size provide excellent balance when used with a full-frame mirrorless camera, making it easy to carry, and enabling it to cater to a wide range of scenes and shooting conditions. The Model A046 offers a fast F/2.8 aperture throughout the entire zoom range, and delivers high-resolution and contrast edge to edge. The combination of ultra wide-angle focal length, fast constant F/2.8 aperture and an MOD (Minimum Object Distance) of 0.19m (7.5 in) at the wide-angle end encourages richly expressive and creative photography in a multitude of scenarios. The Model A046’s AF drive system is powered by the RXD (Rapid eXtra-silent stepping Drive) stepping motor unit, enabling it to deliver high-speed, high-precision and superbly quiet operation suitable for shooting video as well as still photographs.

Specifications, appearance, functionality, etc. of the above-mentioned three products are subject to change without prior notice.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Tamron News
Post Date: 2/20/2019 6:42:54 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, February 19, 2019

From the LensRentals Blog:

You guys have watched us gut a lot of lenses and cameras over the years. So I thought it would be fun for you to see us put one together from scratch. Compared to many of the lenses we’ve taken apart, this is all mechanical lens is rather simple: no focus motors, image stabilizers, etc. But even a simple lens is a very complex structure. This post will probably give you a good idea of how much mechanical design is required to make even a very basic lens.

The lens is also unique; it’s a prototype C-4 Optics 4.9mm f/3.5 circular fisheye. It’s a massive lens giving a 270-degree field of view, meant for immersive video and specialty shots. To give you an idea of what 270 degrees means, the lens sees behind itself. An ultra-wide 15mm fisheye lens gives a 180-degree field of view while an 11mm rectilinear lens is less than 120 degrees.

The closest thing that’s existed to this is the 1970s classic Nikkor 6mm f/2.8 fisheye, which gave a 220-degree field of view, weighed 5 kg, and can be rarely found for $100,000 and up these days. The C-4 optics lens weighs every bit as much as the Nikkor, but should be far sharper, have less distortion and vignetting, and cost somewhat less than those do today. (‘Somewhat’ being defined as ‘less than half’.)

So let’s put stuff together!

See the entire illustrated assembly at the LensRentals Blog.

Post Date: 2/19/2019 11:42:22 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

by Sean Setters

Holidays offer great opportunities for gift giving and flowers, although possibly a bit cliché, are still very often appreciated, which is why a bouquet of flowers has been sitting on our living room hutch since Valentine's Day. But while flowers are intended to be enjoyed by the recipient, there's no reason why we as photographers can't take advantage of the beautiful subjects at hand to add some colorful floral images to our portfolios.

A few evenings ago after my wife had retired for the evening, I took her bouquet into the studio to try one of my favorite techniques for photographing flowers – focus stacking. After perusing the options available in the bouquet, I settled on a type of flower that I've photographed before, a type of Peruvian lily. The colorful, elongated spots found on the leaves as well as the easily visible inner structures of these flowers make them ideal candidates for photographing.

I set up my Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM + 36mm extension tube on a sturdy tripod and Arca-Swiss Z1 ball head set to f/9, 1/160 sec, ISO 100 and tried several compositions with the Peruvian lily that caught my eye. A studio flash on each side of the bouquet provided the light required for a proper exposure at those settings, and Magic Lantern's Focus Stacking feature was used to increment focus for the focus bracketed images. After capturing all of the variations, I brought the images into Canon's Digital Photo Professional to see which one (or ones) might work well for further processing. Finding a series that I really liked, I opened the relevant RAW files in Helicon Focus (my preferred focus stacking software), compiled the images and output the result as a DNG.

Looking closer at the result in Photoshop CC, I realized that I hadn't captured enough depth-of-field in my focus bracket to fully cover the parts of the plant I wanted in focus. As such, instead of having crisp lines in places where I wanted to emphasize details, I had soft transitions that didn't seem to meld with the rest of the focus stacked image.

From a photographic standpoint, my attempt at a pleasing focus stack image was a failure. But then I had a moment of inspiration.

My wife is a huge fan of impressionist paintings. In fact, not more than a couple of weeks ago she insisted we see (aka, dragged me to) the impressionist art exhibit that was showing at the Jepson Center for the Arts ("Monet to Matisse: Masterworks of French Impressionism"). The nice thing about impressionism is that crisp details are not a notable quality of the creative movement; in the case of my image, I could use impressionism to hide the major flaw in my image. Keep in mind, rarely is an image made visually palatable if you have to "save it in post." But in this case, it seemed to work just fine.

After searching for several years for a Photoshop plug-in that could convincingly turn an image into a painting, I finally found Topaz Impression and never looked back. It's been an excellent find and has opened up a new door for monetizing my images. Or in this case, just saving one.

Post Date: 2/19/2019 9:16:33 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, February 18, 2019

In this episode of Lightroom Coffee Break, Benjamin Warde demonstrates how to create custom photo templates (a relatively new feature) in Lightroom Classic CC.

B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.

Post Date: 2/18/2019 9:19:54 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From the Gerald Undone YouTube Channel:

Comparing the 4:2:0 chroma subsampling captured internally on the Sony a7 III vs the 4:2:2 captured via HDMI on external recorders like the Atomos Ninja V.

B&H carries the Sony a7 III.

Post Date: 2/18/2019 6:44:38 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, February 15, 2019

In this video, Gavin demonstrates how to create candlelit nighttime images during the daytime and provides some tips for furthering the illusion in Photoshop. In addition to Gavin's tips, I'll add just one more – you may want to lower your flash's position and point it slightly upward to simulate the candle's (or fireplace's) direction of light. As you can see in the video, Gavin has his flash placed a little too high to match the candle's position relative to the subject's face in most of the displayed images, making the shots a little less believable.

Post Date: 2/15/2019 8:06:07 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, February 14, 2019

From Canon:

Changes for Digital Photo Professional 4.10.0 for Windows:

  • Supports EOS RP.
  • Adds Depth Compositing function for images captured on EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS R, and EOS RP (64-bit version only).

Download: Digital Photo Professional 4.10.0

Post Date: 2/14/2019 3:48:10 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, February 13, 2019

In this video, Adobe Digital Imaging Evangelist Julieanne Kost demonstrates several tips for using vector masks in Photoshop CC.

B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.

Post Date: 2/13/2019 8:33:46 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, February 12, 2019

From Adobe:

Today we’re releasing updates to the entire Adobe photography ecosystem, including Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic CC, and Lightroom CC for Mac, Windows, Android, ChromeOS, and iOS.

In this release, we’re introducing an all-new Sensei-powered feature, Enhance Details. Harnessing the power of machine learning and computational photography, Enhance Details can now be found in Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic CC, and Lightroom CC for Mac and Windows, and takes a brand new approach to demosaicing raw photos. Demosaicing is an integral process to raw processing and works at the pixel level, converting the information captured by a camera into something that looks like the photos we all expect to see.

The new Enhance Details algorithm enables you to increase the resolution of both Bayer and X-Trans based photos by up to 30%. Enhance Details works on any raw file apart from files converted to a linear raw file, HDR or Panorama merged files (though you can apply Enhance Details to the ingredient files first and then merge), smart proxies, lossy compressed DNGs, or DNGs saved with 1.1 compatibility. Applying Enhance Details to your photos can greatly improve fine detail rendering, improve the reproduction of fine colors, and resolve issues that some customers reported with their Fujifilm X-Trans based cameras.

If you would like to know more about Enhance Details, a white paper can be found here and if you’d like to try Enhance Details on a Fujifilm X-Trans based file, you can download one here.

All of the apps have also been updated to support new cameras and lenses.

Newly Supported Cameras

  • Nikon COOLPIX A1000
  • Olympus OM-D E-M1X
  • Sony A6400 (ILCE-6400)*

* Preliminary support

Newly Supported Lenses

  • Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR Nikon
  • Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR + 1.4x
  • Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR + 1.7x
  • Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR + 2.0x

Lightroom CC for Mac and Windows

In addition to Enhance Details, we’ve also added HDR, Pano, and HDR Pano merge tools, the Target Adjustment Tool, and histogram clipping indicators.

HDR, Pano, and HDR Pano merge

High dynamic range (HDR) and panoramas are two types of photos that combine multiple frames to create visually stunning results that would otherwise be impossible to create from a single photo. Lightroom CC can merge either raw or non-raw photos together into HDR and panorama photos, and when merging raw files, the resulting DNG maintains all of the benefits of a raw file, with the ability to change white balance and recover highlights, giving you the best possible results.

Capturing a panorama can be done either handheld or with a tripod. When shooting handheld, Lightroom’s powerful alignment technology will align each photo and correct for any distortion. Using a tripod can yield even higher quality results and provides more flexibility for difficult shots, such as super-wide panoramas.

When capturing a series of photos for HDR, including both HDR and HDR Panos, it’s often recommended to use your camera’s auto exposure bracketing mode, which results in a series of photos being captured in a row, varying the exposure for each shot. Consult your camera’s manual for how to enable its auto exposure bracketing mode. When capturing an HDR Pano, capture each series of exposures before moving the camera. This is where having a tripod and a remote trigger can be quite handy.

Once you’ve imported the photos into Lightroom, select the photos that you want to merge, and then navigate to Photos > Photo Merge > and select the appropriate merge option.

Target Adjustment Tool

The Target Adjustment Tool (TAT) gives you precise control over color and tonality and is available in both the Tone Curve, Color Mixer, and B&W Mixer tools.

To access the TAT, open either the Tone Curve, Color Mixer, or B&W Mixer and click on the target icon. A new control will show up at the bottom of the screen that provides control over what the TAT will affect while interacting with your photo. Clicking and dragging on your photo will then directly adjust the Tone Curve, Color Mixer, or B&W Mixer (depending on which is currently active) for the color or tonality under the mouse cursor, enabling you to quickly modify different parts of your image directly and effectively. For example, clicking and dragging on the sky in a photo with the TAT focusing on the Color Mixer tool in Saturation mode enables you to increase or decrease the saturation of the colors in the sky.

Histogram clipping indicators

The term clipping refers to areas that have become either too bright or too dark to have any details in them, such as an area of pure white (highlights) or pure black (shadows). An image may either be captured with clipped highlights or shadows due to the scene having too high of a dynamic range such as a very bright and sunny day or clipped areas may be introduced while editing the photo. You can use the histogram clipping indicators to ink the areas of your photo with clipped highlights in red or clipped shadows in blue.

To enable the histogram clipping indicators, first ensure that the histogram is visible by navigating to View > Edit Panels > Show Histogram, which will show the histogram at the top of your edit panels. You can then selectively turn on the clipping indicators individually by clicking on the either the left (shadows clipping) or right (highlight clipping) triangles.

Lightroom CC for iOS

This release makes it possible to create ad-hoc photo shares and continues to focus primarily on behind-the-scenes updates and preparation for exciting features that will be coming soon. For a full list of improvements and bug fixes found in this release, please visit the What's New page.

Ad-hoc photo shares

You can now create an online share of photos with an arbitrary assortment of photos. Instead of creating an album and sharing that album, you can now select any number of photos that you want to share, tap the 3-dot menu at the top-right of the screen, and then select Share to Web. Like any other web share, you can control whether people that you share that link with can download or see the photos’ metadata.

Lightroom CC for Android and ChromeOS

This release primarily focuses on foundational improvements and bug fixes, making way for new features coming soon. For a full list of improvements and bug fixes found in this release, please visit the What's New page.

Lightroom Classic updates

In this release, we further improved tether performance and stability with Nikon cameras. Nikon cameras now have the same speed and stability as Canon cameras after the October 2018 release. Tethered image transfer at the time of capture should now be a faster experience overall in Lightroom Classic. You also now have the convenience of controlling basic camera features, like ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and white balance within the tether bar itself. Additional details on this enhancement can be found here. For a full list of the improvements and bug fixes, please visit the What's New page.

B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.

Post Date: 2/12/2019 9:40:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From the B&H YouTube Channel:

Mike Olbinski presents his inspirational story about taking a passion for storms and turning it into a photography business. He then follows that with some great, basic guidelines about photographing storms, lightning, and even some time-lapse tips thrown in the mix.

Post Date: 2/12/2019 9:25:36 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, February 11, 2019

Just posted: Datacolor SpyderX Pro/Elite Review.

Notable is that the SpryderX brings a very significant speed benefit over its Spyder5 predecessor.

The Datacolor SpyderX Pro/Elite is available for preorder at B&H.

Post Date: 2/11/2019 8:21:09 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From Datacolor:

Lawrenceville, NJ – (February 11, 2019) – Datacolor, a global leader in color management solutions, has launched SpyderX, its fastest, most accurate and easiest to use color calibration tool for monitors. The development of SpyderX is testament to Datacolor’s commitment in advancing color management solutions for photographers, videographers and creative specialists worldwide.

SpyderX uses a fully redesigned color engine that provides significantly increased color accuracy and low light capabilities, giving photographers the confidence needed to achieve their creative vision.

SpyderX enhanced features include:

  • Blazing Speed – Taking less than two minutes to calibrate a screen, the SpyderX is several times faster than previous models, with calibration happening so fast it easily becomes part of the workflow.
  • Highest Accuracy – Providing a significantly higher level of color accuracy and shadow detail on a wide range of monitors.
  • Ease of Use – Simple and intuitive single-click calibration software, as well as advanced options.

Susan Bunting, director of marketing at Datacolor, said: “We know photography is a labor of love, and a lot goes into taking every shot. That’s why we’ve redesigned SpyderX from the ground up, ensuring you can trust the color on your screen while making the whole process of calibration as intuitive and quick as possible.”

Now available in two versions, the SpyderX Pro is designed for serious photographers and designers seeking a fast and easy-to-use monitor calibration solution. The SpyderX Elite takes it one step further with more advanced settings for professional photographers and videographers who want ultimate control of their color workflow.

Purchase SpyderX at Amazon or other authorized resellers.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Datacolor News
Post Date: 2/11/2019 7:24:25 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

Those photographers looking for a versatile full frame camera but not needing the blazing speed afforded by a pro sports body (and who are not interested in a mirrorless option) will likely be considering either the Canon 5D Mark IV or Nikon D850 DSLR camera. Both DSLRs are the mature, durable, refined culminations of their respective camera lines. But which is right for your particular needs? Read on to find out.

Shared Primary Features

  • Full-frame sensor
  • Exposure Compensation: +/-5 EV
  • Shutter Speed: 30-1/8000 sec., Bulb
  • Viewfinder Coverage: approx. 100%
  • 3.2" size-class touchscreen LCD
  • No pop-up flash
  • Continuous Shooting Speed: 7 fps (Nikon D850 can achieve 9 fps with optional battery grip)
  • 4K recording up to 30 fps
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • SuperSpeed USB 3.0, 3.5mm headphone & microphone jacks, HDMI Type-C
  • Dual memory card slots
  • Weather sealing
  • Similar size & weight

Advantages of the Canon 5D Mark IV

  • More Selectable AF Points: 61 vs. 55
  • More Selectable Cross-type AF Points: 41 vs. 35
  • More AF Points Supporting f/8 (total/selectable): 21/21 vs. 15/9
  • Live View Focusing: Dual Pixel CMOS AF vs. contrast detection
  • NFC vs. N/A
  • Built-in GPS vs. optional accessory

Advantages of the Nikon D850

  • Higher Resolution: 45.7 MP vs. 30.4
  • More AF Points: 153 vs. 61
  • More Cross-type AF Points: 99 vs. 41
  • Larger AF Working Range: EV-4 to EV 20 vs. EV-3 to EV 20
  • Larger Metering Range: EV -3 – 20 vs. EV 0 – 20
  • Lower Selectable ISO (native/expanded): 64/32 vs. 100/50
  • Better dynamic range
  • More Registered Custom White Balance Settings: 6 vs. 1
  • Higher Resolution LCD: 2,359K dots vs. 1,620K
  • Tilting LCD vs. fixed
  • Faster Flash Sync Speed: 1/250 sec. vs. 1/200
  • Full Sensor Width 4K Recording vs. 1.74x crop
  • Bluetooth vs. N/A
  • Battery Life: 1,840 shots vs. 900
  • Shutter Durability: 200,000 shots vs. 150,000
  • Automated AF Fine Tune vs. manual Autofocus Microadjustment
  • 8K in-camera time-lapse vs. FHD 1080p time-lapse
  • Negative Digitizer Mode vs. N/A
  • Backlit buttons vs. N/A
  • Focus Shift mode vs. N/A
  • More Auto Exposure Bracketing Images: 9 vs. 7
  • Limited Focus Peaking vs. N/A

Other Differences: 5D Mark IV vs. Nikon D850

  • CompactFlash, SDXC vs. XQD, SDXC
  • 4K DCI 4096 X 2160 vs. 4K UHD 3840 X 2160

Who should opt for the Canon 5D Mark IV?

While the advantages of the D850 listed above may seem pretty long, if you're already heavily invested in the Canon system, you have to ask yourself whether or not those benefits are worth the high cost of selling used items to fund alternate gear and the time investment required to acclimate to the new system. For some, the advantages may be worth the tradeoffs. For others, the 5D Mark IV's feature set makes it a more than worthwhile addition to their kits.

If you are a videographer who plans to use autofocus tracking while filming, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV will be the best option by far. Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology is significantly better at locking onto subjects compared to the contrast detection sensor AF utilized by the Nikon D850.

While many will not like the 5D Mark IV's heavy crop with 4K recording, some videographers (especially those shooting wildlife) may find the crop beneficial for more tightly framing distant and/or smaller subjects.

Want to shoot with the widest aperture lenses possible? F/1.2 aperture primes with autofocus are a reality for Canon DSLR and mirrorless customers; Nikon users will have to invest in a Z 7 / Z 6 and wait for the release of the manual focus-only Z 58mm f/0.95 S Noct to use an aperture wider than f/1.4.

Who should opt for the Nikon D850?

Those with Nikon-based kits who do not need the benefits of Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor have little (if any) reason to switch brands; the Nikon D850 is one of the most feature-packed and versatile cameras available today.

Summary

While the advantages listed in the Nikon D850 column seem strong, both of these cameras are highly capable of tackling a wide range of situations with nearly equal proficiency. As I said in the introduction, these cameras represent the culmination of generations of camera design. The technological innovations, durability and user interface refinements that come with that time and attention to detail are apparent the first day you use the cameras. Those heavily invested in either system will likely want to stay with their familiar respective brands, but those with fewer ties will likely opt for the Nikon D850 for primarily stills use while those prioritizing filmmaking and want the benefits of solid AF performance will likely opt for the 5D Mark IV.

Relevant Info

Post Date: 2/11/2019 7:09:34 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, February 8, 2019

If you're an Amazon Prime customer and love sports cars and British humor, then you're probably already a fan of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May's banter on The Grand Tour. But even if you're not terribly interested in automobiles, you may still enjoy The Grand Tour: Season 3, Episodes 2 & 3 (Colombia Special Part 1 & 2) where the hosts are supposedly sent on assignment by Amazon to capture wildlife images for display on the company's suite of products, including Alexa devices. My wife falls squarely in the uninterested-in-cars group, but loves the show.

Being a photographer, watching the hosts cluelessly tackle the challenges of wildlife photography made the show significantly more humorous than it normally was. If you're an Amazon Prime customer, I recommend you check it out. [Sean]

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Amazon News
Post Date: 2/8/2019 9:21:16 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From the B&H YouTube Channel:

Wanna take better nightscape and Milky Way photos? Start with these 5 tips from our friends over at SLR Lounge. From using apps for finding the Milky Way to scouting out the perfect shooting location, this video provides you with some useful advice to capture some great shots.

Ready to take your Milky Way photos to the next level? Check out our lens reviews and tripod reviews.

Post Date: 2/8/2019 7:48:32 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, February 7, 2019

From the Phlearn YouTube Channel:

Today Aaron shows you how Curves Adjustment Layers can be used to fix exposure, brighten up a subject, and add creative coloring to any photo. Learn how to use Curves in combination with Layer Masks and the Brush Tool to make precision adjustments and solve a wide variety of problems in Photoshop.

B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.

Post Date: 2/7/2019 5:50:59 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, February 6, 2019

From TimeLapseCameras:

Rochester, Minnesota, February 1, 2019TimeLapseCameras.com, the exclusive North American retailer of the Afidus ATL-200 long term time lapse camera, introduces an exciting tool for video creation. Go beyond hours of capture and think days, weeks, even months of unattended shooting without battery life concerns. Dedicated time lapse cameras are typically used for construction documentation. The Afidus ATL-200 is positioned for mainstream use from construction to crafts, to research and education, the applications are endless. Kitchen remodels, restorations, 3D printing, crop growth, traffic studies, weather patterns the sky is literally the limit when it comes to long term time lapse.


Feature Highlights

  • Full 1080 Sony sensor with high dynamic range
  • Optical zoom lens (16-35mm DSLR equivalent)
  • Wi-Fi app control with full screen preview
  • Wi-Fi download to phone
  • Weather resistant without a housing
  • Timer with day of the week scheduling
  • Motion detection
  • Pinch zoom app Screen to confirm precise focus
  • MP4 file format in-camera generated video
  • Macro Focus inches from the lens
  • One tap auto focus with manual precision
  • Days, weeks or months of battery life
  • Customizable time stamp and video orientation
  • 1:1 square format preview
  • And more!

The highlights just scratch the surface of what the camera is capable of. Digging deeper there are some very unique features. Video Lapse mode allows you to capture 3-5 seconds of 15 FPS video at any capture interval. Rather than a time lapse of individual frames, it is gaps of real time video which is a hassle free way to create a compelling and interesting video.

“We have been in the long term time lapse business for years, the Afidus is an unbelievable camera update from a well established surveillance camera company in Taiwan. The optical zoom with macro capabilities gives you a range of creative flexibility comparable to a DSLR. Not having to worry about shutter actuations or tying up expensive gear is a production relief. Josh Banks, Founder of TimeLapseCameras.com.

Josh sums it up well, “Go beyond before and after photos with before, during and after time lapse.”

This camera makes long term capture easy with stunning results.

An initial round of cameras are in the hands of users. The $389 Afidus ATL-200 is on preorder for late February delivery, visit TimeLapseCameras.com for details.

Post Date: 2/6/2019 1:33:35 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, February 5, 2019

FAA-certified pilot Griffin Hammond explains why flying your drone legally in New York City is almost impossible.

Post Date: 2/5/2019 3:35:34 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

Of course, B&H will publish the photographers' presentations as individual videos later, but right now you can catch the Depth of Field: Day 1 presentations live. I've been watching for a few minutes and it's been very interesting, educational and entertaining. [Sean]

Post Date: 2/5/2019 1:00:57 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

One of my jobs here is to make sure that this site, a free resource that hopefully has value to you, remains adequately funded. The costs, in both time and money, of maintaining and developing this site are substantial and it is becoming ever-more-challenging to meet those needs.

Basically, there are five ways you can help support us. The first is my favorite (and it costs you nothing additional), but hopefully you can use at least two or three of these options regularly:

  1. Use the Retailer Links on the Site for Your Purchase of Anything
  2. Direct Support 
  3. Link to the Site
  4. Disable Ad Blockers
  5. Tell Others
The support page clarifies the above options.

We thank you for your support and look forward to serving you long into the future!

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   
Post Date: 2/5/2019 7:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

by Sean Setters

A friend of mine, Maria, who has recently become interested in photography asked if I would accompany her on a sunrise shoot. As it had been much too long since I had photographed a sunrise, I eagerly agreed. Of course, when when I awoke to my alarm clock well before sunrise on an otherwise lazy Saturday, I was considerably less eager to set off for the sunrise shoot. But, I was ready when Maria picked me up about 45 minutes before sunrise.

I had advised Maria to use The Photographer's Ephemeris to scout out possible locations she'd like to use for the sunrise shoot. We are fortunate to live in an area of the country that provides vast views of the sky with interesting, varied landscape options (the Atlantic Ocean, marshes, rivers, fields with oak trees, etc.) with only a short drive required to arrive at any of them. Unfortunately, time had gotten away from Maria; she had not researched any options before arriving at my door.

So, we drive a short while before coming to a small town, Thunderbolt, about 5 miles southeast from downtown Savannah along the Wilmington River. After seeing a nice looking dock on the right side of the road (before the upcoming overpass), I suggested we stop to photograph it before the sunrise. As we were walking the short distance to a clearing with a good vantage point, I noticed how striking the glow of the covered dock looked against the rich blue of the sky. "Blue hour," as it's commonly referred to, is the time just before sunrise and just after sunset. This time presents especially good opportunities to photograph landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes (as well as many other subjects) set against the deep blue color and hint of warm sunlight that often graces the sky just before sunrise.

Sunrise came not long after this shot was taken, but clouds obstructed its view making us very glad to already have our blue hour photos in the bag.

My advice? Take some time this week to shoot a sunrise. Even if the circumstances prove to be less than ideal from a photography perspective, the experience may prove fulfilling from a personal one. There's just something refreshing about a sunrise.

The shot above was created using a 7-shot exposure bracket, edited in Aurora HDR 2019 and Photoshop CC.

Gear Used

Post Date: 2/5/2019 7:47:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, February 4, 2019

From the Gerald Undone YouTube Channel:

Explaining the math behind a flash's guide number, how it relates to f-stop, and more practical formulas for nailing exposure on your strobes & speedlights.

Post Date: 2/4/2019 2:50:53 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

From Tamron:

February 1, 2019 – Tamron Co., Ltd. announces that the company will exhibit its photographic lens products at CP+ 2019 scheduled to be held at PACIFICO YOKOHAMA from February 28th (Thu) – March 3rd (Sun), 2019.

The Tamron booth at CP+ 2019 will feature a large touch & try counter, where many visitors can actually try out a wide variety of lenses that include the highly popular 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Model A036), a standard zoom lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras, SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 (Model A041) and 17-35mm F/2.8-4 Di OSD (Model A037), ultra wide-angle zoom lenses, ultra-telephoto zoom lenses, and fixed focal lenses. Visitors can also try the lenses on their own cameras at the concierge counter. Featured on the stage for events will be a lens presentation by a professional photographer and a talk show that’s full of fun. Proving very popular among the visitors to our booth each year, the Tamron “lens cleaning unit” will again be here at CP+ 2019. We look forward to seeing you in Yokohama.

You can catch the latest news on Tamron booth activities at CP+ 2019, on Tamron’s website and official SNS sites as they are updated.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Tamron News
Post Date: 2/4/2019 6:48:17 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, February 3, 2019

This mother black bear had sent her cubs high up into a large pine tree and was searching for food. She kindly paused and looked in my direction at a break in the bright green foliage.

There are many ways to compose a wildlife image and each scenario can be different, but a technique that often works is to center the animal in the frame and then open up the frame in the direction the animal is looking. In this case, the momma black bear was looking straight toward me and its near-centered position works well. I left a slightly more room around the bear on the right side as there is a very slight head turn and the tall green plants on the right helped balance and frame the image.

The color, or lack thereof, of black bears is a challenge for cameras' auto exposure systems with overexposure being the frequent outcome. A manual exposure is often best.


Joining me for the Shenandoah National Park workshop this June?

A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

 
Camera and Lens Settings
400mm  f/4.0  1/640s
ISO 4000
3533 x 2355px
Post Date: 2/3/2019 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Saturday, February 2, 2019

by Sean Setters

First and foremost, this is not a photography-related post. It's just something fun I thought I'd share.

If you own an Alexa device (Echo, Echo Plus, Echo Dot, etc.), and you want to have some fun with your significant other/friends & family/roommate, then I'll let you in on a little prank you can pull on them. It will take some time to develop and implement this scheme, so start sorting out the details now if you want the big reveal to be around April Fool's Day.

A couple of months ago, I had a moment of inspiration while sitting at my work desk and setting up our family's third Echo Dot. "What if I could make this Echo Dot say anything I wanted? That could be pretty funny," I thought to myself. And so my quest began.

But first, a little backstory. My wife, Alexis, despises our Echo Dots. When we received our first Dot at the end of 2017, we changed its wake word to "Echo" because the default wake word, "Alexa," was too close to her name and she thought that could be confusing. Unfortunately, there are a lot of commonly used long-"o" sounding words in the English language, meaning that our Echo Dot often got triggered unintentionally, especially while watching TV. The frustration caused by the device's (now devices') inaccurate triggering was compounded by my wife's relatively private nature.

"They're always listening. It's creepy," she would say.

Our first Dot was placed in the living room, and we did find it useful for controlling the lamp that provides the primary illumination for the room (the lamp is connected to a smart plug). Being able to turn the living room lamp on and off without having to leave the couch proved very convenient, so the pros of having the device seemed to outweigh the cons. When a sale on Echo Dots rolled around, we added another Dot to our kitchen which proved useful for adding items to our shopping list.

This past Christmas (during another sale), my moher sent us another Echo Dot for my photography studio. I will likely use it to control the window air conditioner without having to leave my desk chair once the warmer weather rolls in.

Oh, the conveniences of the twenty-first century are indeed marvelous. But what if we got a peak at the darker side of these amazing devices? That's what I wanted to explore.

If I could figure out a way to get my Echo Dots to say very precise, well-timed responses, then I could make it look like the devices were much more of an invasion of privacy than what they actually were. But I first had to figure out how to manipulate the devices to do my bidding.

A little bit of Google research showed this wasn't the first time a person has wanted to make their Amazon Alexa device say custom statements. One site suggested that you sign up for the Amazon App development program so that you had access to Alexa and Echo app development testing platforms. But the steps involved in registering to be a developer made that solution less than desireable. And then I stumbled upon TextToVoice.io,i.e., exactly what I was looking for.

TextToVoice.io is an Alexa skill that enables you to type speech commands into your browser and send them to your Alexa device. With the skill enabled, that familiar Amazon Alexa voice will say [just about] anything you wish using the wake word (in my case, "Echo," but by default, "Alexa") and "Tell TTV to speak."

TextToVoice Amazon Alexa Skill Screenshot

While that's a neat trick, in order for this prank to work, we need the device to say things without being prompted to "Tell TTV to speak." So the next hurdle to overcome is recording the Echo Dot (or Alexa device's) voice while she's saying the custom message.

There are actually several ways to tackle that problem, but I'll describe the two that worked well for me (I tried multiple ways just so that a wide variety of people could benefit from theis scheme) and a backup way I didn't attempt.

First, you can use a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cord to plug your Amazon device directly into your computer's microphone jack. Press the record button, then say "[Wake word], tell TTV to Speak." When the sound finishes playing, stop the recording. Note that TTV will say your custom text, pause and then ask if you want to hear the response again. Just stop the recording after the first long pause or later delete the unwanted portion after your desired response. Using Audacity, a free audio editing program, you can record the output of the device and save it as a WAVE file (or .MP3, if you install an optional LAME encoder).

Second, you use the same 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable and a portable audio recorder (Zoom H2n, Tascam DR-07X) to record your custom message, which will then need to be transferred (via card reader) to your computer.

Third is to use a portable audio recorder's (or possibly a phone's) microphone placed near your Amazon device and record the audio that way. As this won't produce a clean recording (ambient sounds may be captured), this is not the recommended approach.

No matter how you record the audio, you'll likely need to edit the file to make it optimal for playback (Audacity works great for this). You will likely need to amplify the sound (using the Amplify filter feature), add a few seconds of silence to the beginning of the track and delete any TTV prompts afer your custom message. The reason for adding a period of silence at the beginning of these files is because they will be sent to the Amazon device from your smartphone, and you don't want the device saying odd things right as you push a button on your phone. By adding 3-5 seconds of silence to the beginning of each custom message, you have time to put your phone down and/or begin a conversation with your mark which could be interpreted as the catalyst for triggering the device's custom response.

What kinds of custom prompts should you create? That's where you can have a lot of fun with this. I suggest starting small and building up to bolder statements. Also, making your device make references to other Amazon products aids in this pranks believability. During a three week span, I played all of the following custom messages on our living room Echo Dot while my wife was in the room.

While baby is crying:

"Would you like me to play lullaby music to soothe a crying baby?"
While discussing the weather with my wife:
"The weather is very cold. Your baby will probably need a jacket today."
After saying, "I think I'm going to get a sweater,":
"It seems a bit chilly in here. Would you like to order a smart thermostat from the Amazon Store?"
As my wife was getting ready to leave for work:
"I sense that you're leaving for work. Would you like for me to read you a book along the way. Just select a title from the Amazon Alexa app on your smart device."
As my wife is describing a terrible day (she got really annoyed at this one):
"It sounds like you're having a bad day. Would you like me to play some soothing music so you can relax?"
And the one that pushed my wife over the edge, just after I mentioned to her that a bank statement had arrived that day:
"Did you receive your tax documents from Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo? If so, you may be ready to do your taxes. Turbo Tax is highly rated and available at the Amazon Store. Would you like me to purchase the version that's appropriate for your financial needs and family of three?"
Apparently, Amazon mentioning two banks we have accounts with was a bit too much for her. After that, I had to let her in on the joke or she would have chucked all our Alexa devices in the trash bin outside the house. I'd like to say that we had a good laugh about the prank and that she was impressed by the effort I had put into it, but I think that would require a genial, fun-loving, carefree sense of humor that my wife wasn't necessarily born with.

Our couch is actually a quite comfortable place to sleep, thank you very much. Moving on.

Note that with my wife already being annoyed with our Echo devices, I knew she wouldn't say "Yes" to any of Amazon's supposed offers to help (she did say "No" rather emphatically to all of them, though). If she had, the device would not have responded. In the unlikely case of an affirmative response, you can prompt your Amazon device to perform the appropriate task ("Alexa, play some soothing music."), as if the device didn't hear the mark's affirmative response.

Once you have the files recorded, you'll need to get them on your smartphone or smart device. Being an Android user, I found WiFi File Explorer PRO to be the best method for transferring files from my computer to my phone. Otherwise, you can likely use a data cable or Dropbox/cloud storage solution to do the same thing.

Once you have the sound files on your phone, you'll need to connect your phone to the Amazon device (via bluetooth) so that audio files played on your phone will be transmitted to the device. To discreetly connect your phone to an Amazon Alexa device, I'd suggest enabling "Whisper Mode." Here are the steps to do this:

Using a browser:

  • Go to: alexa.amazon.com
  • In the left side menu, click "Settings."
  • Scroll down to the General section and click "Alexa Voice Responses"
  • Enable "Whispered Responses."

Using the Alexa App:

  • Open the Alexa app on your Android phone or iPhone.
  • Tap the menu button on the top left of the app.
  • Select “Settings.”
  • Tap “Alexa Account” at the top of the screen.
  • Choose “Alexa Voice Responses.”
  • Enable the “Whispered Responses” mode.

With that done, you'll need to set up each device for whispered responses. The first time you whisper to a device (it works best if you're very close to the unit), it'll ask if you want to turn on the feature for that specific device. Say "Yes" and you're ready to go.

I found the whisper feature to be crucial for discreetly connecting my phone while my wife was in another room. The feature has also been handy when a sleeping baby is nearby. Also, after connecting your phone, you'll want to make sure the volume setting for playback on the connected device is at its maximum level. If it's not, your mark may not be able to hear the message (that happened to me a couple of times).

Before you start playing custom messages from your Amazon Alexa device, you might want to mention to your mark that "Our Alexa asked me today if we'd like to be in a pilot program where new features are tested and the device demonstrates 'more personality,' or something like that. Anyway, I said 'yes.'" By doing so, your mark will be prepared to hear new things from your device, making the prank much more believable. So, here's a quick rundown of the steps for this prank:

  • Enable the TTV skill.
  • Record custom messages and edit them accordingly.
  • Enable "Whispered Responses" for your Alexa devices.
  • Connect your phone to the Alexa device and play the custom message(s) at an opportune time.

After you get everything in place, it's a good idea to conduct a trial run without your mark around so that you can work out an issues. You may find that you need to amplify your recorded message a little more to match the volume level of Alexa's natural responses. Otherwise, you may find that your smart device refuses to connect to the Alexa device at full volume, requiring that you adjust the volume level each time you connect.

One downside to this prank is that the device will not light up during the custom message's playback like it would if Alexa were really speaking. Many people may not notice the difference, but if you think your mark will, you might try putting some objects around the device to block their view of it. My wife still has Christmas cards all around our living room Echo Dot (making it practically invisible), so she never noticed the LED light discrepancy.

So there you have it, the best prank I could come up with to share with you before April Fool's Day rolls around. If you decide to follow the steps above, send us an email to let us now how it went. I'd enjoy knowing if you had as much fun as I did and how long you let the prank endure.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Pranks
Post Date: 2/2/2019 8:15:35 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, February 1, 2019
Post Date: 2/1/2019 9:40:31 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From AdoramaPix: It's our 8th annual Your Best Shot Photo Contest and we want to see what amazing picture you captured in 2018. Enter to win thousands of dollars in prizes, including a grand prize of your choice of a Nikon D750, a Canon EOS 7D Mark II or a Sony Alpha A7 II. So what are you waiting for? Give it a shot with these 3 easy steps to enter:

  • Every entrant must submit only ONE image – jpeg – along with your name and email.
  • Like Adoramapix on Facebook and load your web-ready image to our timeline. Or follow AdoramaPix on Instagram and tag your image #YBS2018.
  • The image must have been captured in the year 2018. Entries are due by February 17. 2019 midnight PST.

Enter Here

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: AdoramaPix News
Post Date: 2/1/2019 6:56:58 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From B&H

B&H and Sony Present #BeAlpha

Join us for an exciting evening celebrating B&H and the Sony Alpha community! Try out the latest gear from Sony onsite to capture themed photo and video vignettes as well as dance performances. Get inspired by talks and panel discussions with Sony Artisan and Collective members. Mingle and create new connections with the B&H, Sony and the New York photo community. Enjoy complimentary food and drinks.

Event Date: Wednesday, February 13th Event
Location: Hudson Mercantile, 500 W. 36th Street
Time: 5:00pm - 9:00pm

Panel with 3 Collective Members | 6:30-7:00pm – How to step up as a creator today

Artisan Talk with Katrin Eismann | 7:15-7:45pm – “Shoot and Share” Camera to Social Media workflow: Learn how to quickly, download, process and share your best shots on social media

Artisan Talk with Ben Lowy | 8:00-8:30pm – Going from Photo to Video?

Register Now

Posted to: Sony News   Category: B&H News
Post Date: 2/1/2019 6:47:36 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, January 31, 2019

by Sean Setters

Several years ago I started snapping pictures of various objects with unique, interesting looking textures and patterns which I would place in an appropriately named "Textures" folder on my hard drive. The purpose of this folder was to have a personal collection of images I could pull from whenever I wanted to create an image with an overlay. And while I don't utilize the images in my textures collection very often, I'm really glad that I have texture/overlay options available whenever an image looks like it would benefit from an additional layer of interest.

Below are just some of the images in my Textures folder. Looking at the file names, they were all likely captured on the same outing with the camera.

Sean's Textures Folder

There are lots of everyday items that can provide an interesting texture for an image overlay. As evidenced by the screenshot above, wood, tree bark, gravel, tiles, fences, concrete/pebbled sidewalks, brick walls and mud/dirt are just a few of the options that are likely only a short walk away from your front door. If it's a rainy day, you might consider photographing all the interesting textures and patterns that are right inside your home. Old/crinkled paper, patterned fabrics and wallpaper are just a few of the indoor options I can think of.

So which awesome image did I use to create the texture in the image above? That would be this one.

Sean Setters Pavement Texture

From a photographic point of view, the image above is as lackluster as a photo can be. It's a snapshot, and the subject (old pavement) is quite boring on its own. But when you adjust its levels/contrast in Photoshop, the difference between the light and dark areas is accentuated and the pattern becomes much more interesting.

Processing the Image

To get the image above, I added the texture layer to the top of my already-edited portrait photo in Photoshop CC and proceeded through the following steps:

  • Changed texture layer blend mode from "Normal" to "Linear Burn."
  • Added a Curves adjustment layer to the texture layer (using ALT+dragging the adjustment layer over portrait layer to create a clipping mask so that the adjustment layer only affects the texture layer).
  • Adjusted the texture layer's blending properties (by double clicking on layer) so that it would not appear in the darkest areas of the underlying portrait layer. By ALT+left clicking the "Blend If - Underlying Layer" slider adjustment, I feathered the blend.
  • Added a mask to the texture layer and lessened its visibility over parts of the face using a black brush at various opacities.

To see a larger resolution sample of the image, click on the picture atop this post.

Do you already have a textures collection? If so, what items have you saved in it that I didn't mention above?

Post Date: 1/31/2019 9:50:17 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

In one of the best marketing videos I've seen from the company, DJI urges its viewers to "step outside" to embrace the adventures that await us all outside the walls of our familiar dwellings. This film is beautifully shot and the voice over dialogue is excellent.

B&H carries DJI products.

Post Date: 1/31/2019 8:17:03 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, January 30, 2019

From the Phlearn YouTube Channel:

Today Aaron shows you some basic tools that will help skin look its very best. Learn to remove fine lines and hairs with the Spot Healing Brush Tool, recover skin texture with the Clone Stamp Tool, and get smooth, natural skin tones with Curves.

B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.

Post Date: 1/30/2019 12:39:40 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

Sony has released a firmware updated for its FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM that resolves an issue when the lens is used with the Sony a7 III and a7R III mirrorless cameras. (thanks Niklas)

From Sony:

Benefits and Improvements

  • Resolves an issue where, in rare cases, a SEL1635GM lens is not properly initialized when used with an ILCE-7M3 (a7 III) or ILCE-7RM3 (a7R III) camera.

Download: Sony FE 16-35mm F2.8 GM Firmware v.03

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Sony Firmware Updates
Post Date: 1/30/2019 6:17:31 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

Through midnight tonight Eastern Time, B&H has the Dracast LED500 Pro Bi-Color LED Light with V-Mount Battery Plate available for $199.00 with free shipping. Regularly $699.00

B&H customers have given these LED lights very positive reviews. At the time of this deal, 93 out of 97 reviewers rated these lights 4 or 5 stars (out of 5).

Product Highlights

  • 3,200-5,600K Variable Color Temperature
  • Works with V-Mount Batteries
  • 12 x 6 x 2" Panel, Weighs 4 lb
  • 45-Degree Beam Angle
  • AC or DC Operation
  • 100-0% Dimming
  • CRI: 95
  • 100-240 VAC Power Adapter Included
  • Carry Case

See today's full list of B&H Deal Zone Deals for excellent savings opportunities.

Post Date: 1/30/2019 6:11:10 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, January 29, 2019

From Tamron:

Product

  • 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD A036 for Sony

Firmware v.3 Changes

  • This update improves the stability of control signal communication in continuous shooting for a long time.

Download: Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD Firmware v.3

B&H carries the Tamron 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD.

Posted to: Sony News   Category: Tamron Firmware Updates
Post Date: 1/29/2019 5:07:24 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, January 28, 2019

B&H has the Godox Round Head Magnetic Modifier Adapter in available for preorder with free standard shipping on orders over $49.00.

The Godox Round Head Magnetic Modifier Adapter allows you to attach various modifiers to your shoe-mount flash quickly and easily.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Preorders
Post Date: 1/28/2019 3:09:07 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

In the video above, photographer David Bergman announces that he is ending his long-running Adorama YouTube series "Two Minute Tips" to work on a new series, "Ask David Bergman," on Adorama's Instagram TV channel. If you'd like for David to answer a photography question on an upcoming episode of the new show, you can submit your question here.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   
Post Date: 1/28/2019 9:42:15 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

Gimbal tripod heads make using big super telephoto lenses very easy. With a level tripod under them (and the lens collar tightened at precisely 0° or 90° rotations), gimbal heads allow a neutrally-balanced camera to be easily panned and tilted up or down with the camera always remaining level. All of the gimbal heads I've used provide an adequate range of motion for most of the subjects typically encountered, but occasionally, there is a need to shoot at a strong upward angle. For me, those occasions seem to frequently have the word "eclipse" associated with them and fresh on my mind is the Jan 2019 lunar eclipse.

When shooting at a strong upward angle with a gimbal head, the bottom of the camera will typically impact the tripod apex and that impact will solidly prevent any further upward angle to be achieved. Most of us photographers will not let gear get in the way of a good image and there are some work-arounds for this one.

Remove the Battery Grip

When the bottom of a camera impacting the tripod is the problem, a battery grip compounds the problem. Remove the grip to gain some extra degrees of upward rotation. If battery life is going to be a problem, periodically swap out the drained battery with a fresh one.

Warning

Before reading any further, I need to raise a very important point: using any of the strategies discussed below will destabilize your tripod and the entire setup tipping over will be a real concern. Use extreme caution if implementing any of these ideas and be ready to catch your rig if tipping happens.

Highly recommended is the use a very strong tripod (the UniqBall IQuick3Pod 40.4 for example). Extending one or more of the tripod legs longer while using the next-higher leg locks can provide a larger, more-stable footprint. The orientation of tripod legs relative to the camera's weight can make a difference in stabilization. Also wise is to strap/stake the tripod down, add weights to the tripod feet and/or to use counterweights. Pressing long, spiked tripod feet deep into the ground can also aid tripod stabilization.

Tripod Leg Orientation

Orienting the tripod legs so that the camera is centered between two of them usually provides the camera the most range of vertical motion. If the subject will be moving horizontally (solar and lunar eclipses check this box), the tripod may need to be repositioned to keep the camera centered.

Lens Plate Position in Clamp

Observe your setup and determine if adjusting the lens plate or tripod foot dovetail's location within the gimbal head's clamp will provide additional clearance. Remember that longer lens plates offer a greater range of adjustment.

Meade Glass White Light Solar Filter Camera Setup

Raise the Gimbal Head Cradle

When using a gimbal head with a height-adjustable cradle, such as some of the excellent Wimberley Gimbal Heads, typical is to place the center height of the lens at the axis of the tilt pivot. This position provides ideal balance and handling. However, raising the cradle higher will raise the camera higher above the tripod apex, providing more clearance and allowing a greater degree of camera tilt. The cradle is raised only partially in the above image, but this height provided enough angle to photograph a high-overhead sun (important: solar filter in use). This tactic also moves the center of gravity of the camera and lens combination when the lens is not positioned level. Tilting up will then make this setup back-heavy.

Use a Tripod with a Narrower Apex

Tripods designed for big camera and lens combinations often have big, broad apexes. While a large apex is great for strength and rigidity, it can impact cameras at lower angles than narrow apexes. If a strong-enough tripod with a narrower apex can be used, a few degrees of upward angle may be gained. Note that the tripod legs can also be the first-impacted. The top of the legs being positioned tighter together can be helpful in this regard.

Tilt the tripod Apex

If the tripod and head combination will not provide enough upward angle, it might be time to tilt the tripod, or more accurately, tilt the tripod apex to move it out of the camera's way. This may be as simple as extending a leg or two by a short amount or it can be more involved such as using far-rear-extended legs positioned in the next-up angle lock (reaching back like the wheelie bars on a dragster) with the front leg angled more sharply toward the ground and raised higher.

Tilting the apex of course eliminates the level base that is ideal for gimbal head use. One solution is to use the camera's tripod collar to level the camera each time it is repositioned. Much better is to use a leveling base or a tripod that has a leveling base built in.

Use great caution with the tilted-apex strategy as the tripod can become strongly unbalanced.

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS III USM Lens Vertical

Reverse the Vertical Arm

If the gimbal head uses a vertical arm design similar to that of the Really Right Stuff PG-02 Pano-Gimbal Head and FG-02 Fluid-Gimbal Head, reversing the vertical arm places the camera to the side of the apex, clearing potentially great amounts of space. The image above shows a pro-sized DSLR (Canon EOS-1D X Mark II) and a non-gripped Nikon D850 is shown in this article's lead image.

Both of these rigs are shown with the reversed vertical arm as close to the center of the head as possible. Moving this arm toward the other end of the horizontal panning base would permit even more rotation, potentially 360°.

Assuredly, this technique is going outside of the manufacturer's intended use for this gear and tipping of the tripod is a serious risk. Consider positioning a longer-extended leg locked into the next-up angle lock under the camera and lens' center of balance. Also note that the right hand (or a reaching-over left hand) will be needed to access the gimbal head's now-right-side-located tilt angle lock.

Use a Video Head

Some video heads are able to direct a tripod-collar-mounted lens straight up, and the heads with a counterbalance avoid the lens flops risk.

Use a Ball Head

With the tripod foot raising the camera up and a drop notch likely available for use, a very high upward angle can often be achieved when using most ball heads. The downside to this option is that using a big, heavy lens over a ball head is not ideal and such a lens tipping over can cause an entire tripod to crash to the ground. Finding the sun and moon in a 1200mm angle of view while using a ball head is very challenging and keeping that setup level increases the challenge. But, it can work. A strong ball head is needed if the lens is substantial in size.

Mount the Camera Directly to the Head

I hesitate to offer this suggestion due to the awkwardness and risk involved, but most tripod heads are capable of angling a mounted camera straight up. A large, heavy lens supported by a camera's tripod mount will make engineers cringe and the setup is difficult to manage with a high risk of toppling over. However, this option can orient a camera and large lens straight upward. As always, you are at your own risk.

Wrap Up

I don't shoot at strong upward angles with my big lenses very often, but when I do, I quickly remember that camera or lens contact with the tripod quickly becomes an issue when using a gimbal head. While perhaps none of the above strategies may be the perfect solution, hopefully a combination of them can get your upward shooting angle job done.

Post Date: 1/28/2019 7:37:49 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

From Canon USA:

MELVILLE, NY, January 25, 2019 – Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, returns as a Sustaining Sponsor to the 2019 Sundance Film Festival (January 24 - February 3) in Park City, Salt Lake City, and Sundance, Utah. Canon will celebrate filmmakers with programming at the Canon Creative Studio, located at 592 Main Street.

At least 61 of the 241 films and projects that will screen as part of this year’s slate – over 25% percent -- are shot using Canon equipment. Festival projects filmed using Canon cinema cameras include Paddleton, Tigerland, This Is Personal, Ask Dr. Ruth, Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, American Factory, Hail Satan?, Lorena, The Great Hack and others.

“The Sundance Film Festival is home to bold filmmaking, driven by filmmakers who push the boundaries of technology to better the art form,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and COO, Canon U.S.A. “We take great pride in celebrating the incredible talent behind the lens, and leave Park City every year inspired and honored that so many select our products when forging new expressions in visual storytelling.”

Canon will host Sundance Film Festival attendees for hands-on, interactive displays of Canon equipment, panel discussions curated by American Cinematographer, and refreshments at the Canon Creative Studio (592 Main St; Open Friday, January 25th - Monday, January 28th, from 11am-7pm). Inside the studio, guests can touch-and-try the latest Canon gear, including the EOS C700 FF cinema camera, CN-E 20mm lens, and the new EOS R, which is Canon’s first full-frame mirrorless camera. Also on hand will be the EOS C200 Cinema Camera, which features Canon’s innovative Cinema RAW Light 4K technology as well as Canon’s CINE-SERVO, COMPACT-SERVO, EF and RF lenses.

Guests can have their headshots taken by professional photographer Michael Ori, who will be shooting with the EOS R. Canon will provide guests with an 8” x 10” copy of their portrait, printed on-site with the Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 Professional Inkjet Printer. All portraits will be available online at orimedia.com/sundance after February 15, 2019.

On Sunday, January 27th, Canon will toast creativity behind the lens at the seventh annual invite-only Raise Your Glass with Canon cocktail party.

The Canon Creative Studio will feature three nights of Magic Hours, co-hosted by the AFI Conservatory (January 25th), Francis Ford Coppola Winery (January 26th), and Adorama (January 28th). Each event presents opportunities to network with companies and organizations that share Canon’s mission to support filmmaking.

Canon will also continue its partnership with American Cinematographer, the world’s leading publication dedicated to motion imaging and the art and craft of professional cinematography. The monthly international journal published by the American Society of Cinematographers marks its centennial this year and Canon will honor its history and industry expertise with several on the ground partnerships. The magazine’s editors will be on-site at the festival and several of its contributors will moderate a series of six in-depth panel discussions at the Canon Creative Studio. The panels will be streamed through Facebook Live via American Cinematographer’s page, allowing viewers the opportunity to engage with the panelists. American Cinematographer’s website, ascmag.com, will also feature a series of online interviews with Sundance cinematographers, along with additional articles exploring cinematography trends at the festival, all sponsored by Canon.

On Wednesday, January 30th at 3:00 pm MT, Canon will present a panel titled “Demystifying the Technical Process: Where Art Meets Technology,” featuring experienced filmmakers and Canon U.S.A. representatives. During the discussion, panel participants will share how Directors of Photography and directors can best collaborate to craft the visual aesthetic of a film. They will speak to their experiences on recent films to lend real-world context to their insights. The panel will take place at The Box at The Ray, 1768 Park Ave., Lower Level.

For a full schedule of events for Canon's activities at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and to request access to attend, please visit canonatsundance19.splashthat.com.

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Canon USA News
Post Date: 1/28/2019 6:09:05 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, January 25, 2019

From TASCAM:

Santa Fe Springs, CA - January 2019 – TASCAM has introduced the next generation of their acclaimed line of professional grade handheld recorders, the DR-X Series. The natural evolution of TASCAM's highly successful handheld recorders, the DR-X Series marks a dramatic update to these recorders' already robust feature sets.

The perfect companion for videographers, voiceover artists, songwriters, and podcasters, the DR-40X's integrated unidirectional stereo mics with scalable A/B or X/Y configuration, dual XLR/1/4-inch combo inputs, built-in phantom power for condenser mics, integrated 4-track capability, and wired remote control option make it an essential tool for DSLR video, music recording, sound design, and more. DSLR filmmakers will love the DR-40X's Auto-Tone function, providing an audio cue tone identifying each recording take.


The new DR-X Series now adds a new model, the powerful yet affordable DR-07X, designed to deliver professional performance for musicians and voiceover artists. With its dual integrated scalable unidirectional A/B or X/Y configurable mics and crystal clear sound, the DR-07X is great for music recording, spoken word, and more.

Incorporating all of the DR-07X's features minus the scalable microphones, the DR-05X is equipped with a pair of omnidirectional condenser mics, making it the ideal tool for recording music, meetings, dictation, and more.


The DR-X Series also taps into TASCAM's decades of innovation in computer-based recording, incorporating a studio-quality 2 in/2 out USB audio interface that makes all DR-X Series recorders a perfect fit for live streaming, podcasting, and digital audio workstations.

All DR-X models boast a totally revamped user interface, making it easy to access recording, adjusting levels, deleting takes, adding markers, and other common functions with just the click of a thumb. Multi-language menus in English/ Spanish/ French/ Italian/ German/ Russian/ Chinese/ Korean/ Japanese/ Portuguese are included. And with increased capacity for microSDXC cards up to 128GB, DR-X Series recorders can literally record for days on end.

Other features in the DR-X Series include a new powerful bright white backlit display that's easy to see even in the brightest sunlight, as well as Dictation Mode, which enables the user to instantly jump back audio playback in preselected increments including speed control and a special dictation EQ, and Overwrite Mode, which allows users to select a precise Record drop-in time for replacement recording with one level of undo. The DR-X Series' Auto-Recording function can be set to begin recording when a sound is detected, and its Pre-Recording function delivers fail-safe recordings with up to 2 seconds of pre-record time.

DR-X Series recorders are available now. The DR-40X carries an estimated street price of $199.99, the DR-07X $149.99, and the DR-05X $119.99.

B&H has the following available for preorder:

Posted to: Canon News, Nikon News, Sony News   Category: Tascam News
Post Date: 1/25/2019 10:05:04 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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