Canon News (Page 24) RSS Feed for Canon News

 Saturday, May 12, 2018
The ideal height to photograph wildlife, especially birds not flying (perched, standing, walking, swimming, etc.) is most often when the camera is level (pitch) and the bird is properly framed. Basically, this is the same level as the subject.
If the bird is on the ground and the ground is flat and void of visual obstructions, getting flat on the ground is a great option and a ground pod is a great support for this position.
If the bird is in or on the water, getting to their level immediately becomes more complicated. The embankments of most water bodies are raised at least somewhat over the water and that makes it hard to get down to bird-level from outside of the water. If possible, and you are OK with the risks involved, getting in the water can be a great way to get down to close to the ideal level. Still, the comfortable/safe height of the camera (and likely the tripod head) above the water usually leaves the bird at a still-lower elevation.
The next option is to get farther away. If the bird is near you, the camera will be angled downward more than if the bird is farther away. Of course, moving farther away means the bird is smaller in the frame. That is, unless a longer focal length is used.
Very long focal lengths are ideal for bird photography for a couple of reasons. The obvious reason is that they make the bird appear large in the frame from a less-frightening (mattering only to the bird usually) distance. The other reason coincides with one of the reasons for shooting from a level: to strongly blur the background.
Long focal lengths magnify the background blur, giving images a more-strongly blurred background that makes the subject stand out. Aside from the perspective making the bird look good, shooting from a lower position pushes background farther into the distance, farther outside of the depth of field and making your long focal length lens blur powers even more magical.
For this image capture, I was wearing chest waders and a Gore-Tex coat and sitting in the water up to my elbows (where the Gore-Tex jacket became an important part of the wardrobe). The temperature was in the 40s F (single digits C) on this day, so I had many layers on in addition. The tripod was positioned so that the apex was just above the water line and I was bent over to reach the viewfinder. Note that I'm not saying that a low shooting position is comfortable, especially after over 4 hours of not moving. But, what is comfort when making a good image is at stake?!
Being as low as I could go and using a long focal length (840mm) on a full frame body provided a great background blur right out of the camera. Of course, it is hard to take a bad picture of a subject as beautiful as a wood duck.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Post Date: 5/12/2018 6:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, May 11, 2018
From Sigma:
Responding to popular demand, the SIGMA Corporation is pleased to announce that another lens is compatible with the Rear Filter Holder FHR-11.
The chargeable installation service of the Rear Filter Holder FHR-11 for the SIGMA 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art for Canon starts from May, 2018.
The Rear Filter Holder FHR-11 is an accessory exclusively designed for the SIGMA 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art (for Canon) and the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art (for Canon). It enables photographers to use a sheet filter on the lens. By attaching the Rear Filter Holder FHR-11 to the rear of the lens, it allows more freedom for photographic expression.
Sigma Rear Filter Holder FHR-11 In-Use

For details of the price and the commencement date of the service, please contact your nearest authorized SIGMA subsidiary/distributor.
PACKAGE CONTENTS (UPC Code: 0085126 934866)
  • Rear Filter Holder FHR-11
  • Guide template
  • Fixing screws (3 pieces)
Please Note:
  • Any damage or faults caused by attaching the filter holder on your own will not be covered by the warranty.
  • This product is exclusive to the SIGMA 14-24mm F2.8 DG HSM | Art 018 for Canon and the SIGMA 14mm F1.8 DG HSM | Art 017 for Canon. Please do not attempt to attach it to any other lenses or mounts. There is a risk that it may cause damage to the lenses and cameras.
  • Please be careful to avoid scratches to the lens or the electrical contacts when attaching the filter holder.
  • Please ensure not to drop the small fixing screws inside the lens.
  • Please ensure you remove the filter after shooting as it could scratch the rear element of the lens.
If you would prefer to install the accessory yourself, the Sigma Rear Filter Holder FHR-11 is available at B&H and Adorama.
Posted to: Canon News
Category: Sigma News
Post Date: 5/11/2018 10:34:19 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Sigma:
Ronkonkoma, NY – May 11, 2018 – Sigma Corporation of America, a leading still photo and cinema lens, camera, flash and accessory manufacturer, today announced that its 70mm F2.8 DG MACRO Art, the first prime macro lens to be adorned with the Art badge, will be available in Canon mount in the end of May for $569.00 USD through authorized US retailers. The Sigma mount model is expected to ship in June. The release of the Sony E-Mount version will be announced later.
The First Macro Lens in the Sigma Global Vision Art Line
Elevating the legendary Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG to the Art line, the brand new Sigma 70mm F2.8 DG MACRO Art prioritizes optical performance that defines the Sigma Art line, delivering stunning resolution and incredible clarity, while at the same time offering extremely smooth autofocus performance for a weightier, high-performance lens.
To achieve optimal results at every shooting distance, the lens features an extending, floating, two-group focus mechanism, which minimizes aberration at all focal lengths. In addition, the lens’ optical elements design increases resolution at close shooting distances, allowing for a razor-sharp in-focus area contrasted with a bokeh area free of color streaking.
Other feature highlights include focus-by-wire system featuring newly developed coreless DC motor for comfortable and precise focusing typically required for macro photography; compatibility of the Canon mount lens with the Canon Lens Aberration Correction function; and compatibility with Sigma Electronic Flash Macro EM-140 DG and Sigma Teleconverters.
Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG MACRO Art Lens Preorders: B&H | Adorama
Categories: Sigma News, Preorders
Post Date: 5/11/2018 9:59:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Making the long backstory short, my wife gave my father-in-law a Jack-in-the-pulpit seed for Christmas. My in-laws planted it in the spring and it grew, only to be dug out by an animal. It was replanted and the next year it was crushed by a bear. After installing three different types of fencing around the vulnerable plant, their Jack bloomed splendidly this year.
That led to the phone call from my mother-in-law, suggesting that I might have interest in photographing the plant. I was nearing the completion of a review and really wanted stay heads-down until it was finished. But, I felt the strong encouraging and started asking questions and for location pics via text.
Flowers do not often stay at their peak appearance very long (and who knew what might try to destroy this plant overnight). With the initial assessment leaning favorably to decent image potential, I went over with a MindShift Gear BackLight 26L full of gear, including a multi-off-camera flash setup and reflectors.
One of the challenges I faced was the background. Winter seemed to hang on forever this year and only a few days earlier a warm spell finally and very quickly accelerated leaf growth. Still, the available leaves, able to add a green color, were minimal and mostly brown was the surrounding forest and ground color, with dead leaves on the ground and bare tree trunks primarily visible. My tongue-in-cheek suggestion that we cut the flower was not found humorous.
Another challenge was the lighting. Good lighting is always key to a good picture. As the forest canopy had barely started growing leaves, I expected mottled direct sunlight to be a problem. The flashes and reflectors (able to provide shade as well as reflected light) were my insurance, ensuring that I could create my own lighting if necessary. Also, waiting until the sun set would give me full shade and completely even lighting.
As the background did not compare in attractiveness to the plant, blurring the background away was going to be a high priority and that meant long focal lengths and wide apertures. I contemplated taking the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens with a 25mm extension tube, but the sloping ground was not going to give me optimal positioning from the subject distance that focal length would have required. I needed a shorter telephoto lens and opted to take the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro and the Canon TS-E 135mm f/4L Tilt-Shift Macro lenses with me. While the macro lens may be an obvious good choice, the tilt-shift lens has a 0.5x maximum magnification and with a narrow aperture desired, I thought the movements feature could be useful. That turned out to be a good choice as in the end, I only used the tilt-shift lens option.
Upon arriving on the scene, I found the sunlight to be mostly diffused on the plant with some of the background being touched by direct sunlight. Shade is typically cool in color temperature and late day sunlight is usually warm. That means a properly white balanced subject in the shade results in the sunlit background turning especially warm and that scenario often works well.
The composition was a bit of a challenge. I wanted to see the full flower without obstruction and the large leaves growing on two sides immediately limited the available angles. I also wanted to see the curved top of the jack in the frame and from the side or front of course. Upon working the scene, I saw that, with a low/level camera position, a pair of background trees were framing the Jack and keeping some border around those trunks framed the trees.
The inside of the pulpit (the spathe) and the Jack (spadix) of this particular Jack-in-the-pulpit are very bright in relation to everything else in the frame. Thus, my exposure goal was to make just a tiny part of the Jack blinking overexposed in the image review. I wanted the background to be as blurred as possible, emphasizing the Jack-in-the-pulpit in the image and that meant using the wide open f/4 aperture for this lens. I was using a tripod and wind was not an issue, so ISO 100 was selected for the lowest noise levels with the camera's mirror lockup and the self-timer mode being used. The shutter speed was adjusted until that small portion of the Jack was blinking during review on the camera's LCD.
As I worked the scene, adjusting/refining the camera position, I captured some bracketed exposures in case I wanted to the background to be brighter in the final image. In the end, I opted to use the original exposure for most of the image and dropped the Jack and pulpit by 1/3 stop to bring the brightest details down on the tone curve, slightly increasing contrast and bring a small amount of detail out on the nearly detail-void Jack.
Notice the tiny fly with red eyes sitting on the Jack? It is difficult to see at this resolution (I'll share a larger version on my Flickr account). Fortunately, I think he was only parking and not eating. Flies are attracted to Jacks by smell and in turn do the pollinating. He was an incidental subject that I didn't notice while photographing and he was only in a few frames. I liked the additional point of interest and opted to not stamp him out during post processing.
For this image, I used the tilt-shift lens as a normal lens with the movements in their zero position. But I did use movements for some images including this Jack-in-the-pulpit image.
As I was leaving, my mother-in-law mentioned "If they turn out well, I want to have a metal print made." Phew, going to take the pics was definitely the right decision.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Post Date: 5/11/2018 8:25:13 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

In this video, Benjamin Warde gives a quick overview of the recently updated profile browser in Adobe Lightroom Classic CC.
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 5/11/2018 7:17:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, May 10, 2018
B&H has the Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI Flash in stock with free expedited shipping.
Product Highlights
  • Auto Intelligent Bounce Head
  • Compatible with Canon E-TTL / E-TTL II
  • Guide Number: 154' at ISO 100 and 105mm
  • Zoom Range: 24-105mm (14mm with Panel)
  • Tilts Upward 120°, +/- 180° Rotation
  • AI.B Full-Auto and AI.B Semi-Auto Modes
  • Optical Receiver Mode
  • LCD Panel
  • AF Assist Beam
  • Runs on 4x AA Batteries
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/10/2018 3:36:12 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Just posted: Rokinon AF 14mm f/2.8 Lens Review.
This is a good value lens.
The Rokinon AF 14mm f/2.8 Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.
Post Date: 5/10/2018 7:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, May 9, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

You can see a higher resolution version of the image on my Flickr photostream.
So who would be interestd in these types of images? Anyone who owns a car that they are proud of (or has a sentimental attachment to). You probably already know someone who spends evenings and weekends working on their pride and joy. Potential clients also abound at car meetups and race events.
Here's a recap of the gear you may need to create dynamic car shots:
Relevant Article
Post Date: 5/9/2018 8:00:22 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, May 8, 2018
It looks like Yongnuo will soon be releasing a new manual focus macro lens, the YN60mm f/2 MF. (thanks Bali)
Focal Length60mm
Lens Construction9 groups 10 blades
Aperture Blades7 blades
Minimum Aperturef/16
Min. Focusing Distanceabout 0.234 meters
Maximum Magnification
Filter Diameter67mm
Size (DxL)about 76×115mm
Weightabout 586g

Although it's not specifically stated in any documentation that I can find, it will at least be released in a Canon EF-mount version as the product pictures clearly show a Canon mount.
Posted to: Canon News
Category: Yongnuo News
Post Date: 5/8/2018 1:45:36 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

From the Adobe Photoshop YouTube Channel:
Explore different blend modes that can be used for creative color and tonal edits in Photoshop CC.
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 5/8/2018 12:02:39 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
The DJI Phantom 4 Pro and Pro+ v2.0 Quadcopters are available for preorder at B&H with free expedited shipping.
DJI Phantom 4 Pro and Pro+ v.2.0 Highlights
  • 1" 20MP CMOS Sensor
  • Gimbal-Stabilized 4K60 / 20MP Imaging
  • Ocusync Transmission
  • FlightAutonomy with Redundant Sensors
  • Four Directions of Obstacle Avoidance
  • Top Speed of 45 mph in Sport Mode
  • Maximum Control Range of 4.3 Miles
  • Visual Tracking of Moving Subject
  • Up to 30 Minutes Flying Time
  • Remote Controller Included
Categories: Preorders, DJI News
Post Date: 5/8/2018 8:37:15 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Canon USA:
Thank you for using Canon products.
We have determined that some units of the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Ext. 1.4x interchangeable lens for digital SLR and mirrorless cameras exhibit a phenomenon in which the focus may not be achieved during AF shooting. Firmware which addresses this phenomenon is available for download below.
We would like to offer our sincere apologies to users who have been inconvenienced by this issue. Going forward, we will spare no effort in our quality management to make sure our customers can use our products with confidence.
When using this lens with some camera models* and performing AF shooting from approximately 3m, the subject may not be in focus in some occasions.
* Camera models: EOS-1D X Mark II, EOS-1D X, EOS-1D C, EOS 5Ds, EOS 5Ds R, EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 5D Mark III
Affected Products
  • Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x lenses with Firmware Version 1.0.0
Download Firmware Version 1.1.0 for the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x
Customers who own one of the affected camera models above, or one of the cameras** that can be used for the lens’ firmware update can download the latest firmware version and then perform the lens’ firmware update using the camera.
** EOS-1D X Mark II, EOS-1D X, EOS-1D C, EOS 5Ds, EOS 5DsR, EOS 5D Mark IV, EOS 5D Mark III, EOS 6D Mark II, EOS 6D, EOS 7D Mark II, EOS 80D, EOS 70D, EOS Kiss X9i, EOS Kiss X9, EOS Kiss X8i, EOS Kiss X7i, EOS Kiss X7, EOS Kiss X6i, EOS M6, EOS M5, EOS M3, EOS M2, EOS M, EOS M100, EOS M50, EOS M10. Please note that EOS M camera models require an adapter EF-EOS M to connect to the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x lens.
If you have not already done so, please register your Canon Product. By registering, we will be able to notify you via email about future announcements.
This information is for residents of the United States and its five territories only. If you do not reside in the USA or its five territories, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center in your region.
Thank you,
Customer Support Operations
Canon U.S.A., Inc
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/8/2018 8:16:16 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From Photoshelter:
Presenting the American Photography Open 2018. A new competition to celebrate the best pictures submitted by photo enthusiasts, taken with any device.
For over 30 years American Photography has been holding a juried competition for pro photographers. Now with the proliferation of so much great photography taken by everyone we are introducing a new competition for photo enthusiasts at all levels.
Our judges will include members of the Pro Photo Daily staff, Julia Sabot from Blink, Alison Zavos Editor of Feature Shoot, Reuel Golden Editor at Taschen, Marc Asnin from Boulevard Artists, a Tamron Image Master and they, along with the community who register, will award prizes for the best images submitted in 2018.
Final Deadline: August 24, 2018
A Short List will be announced in September and a Community Voting Gallery will be available for voting.
In October ten finalists will be announced who will receive prizes including selected products/ services from our partners, an exhibit of their prints and recognition at our awards event at Photo Plus in New York City and a chance to participate in a Photo Walk conducted by one of the Tamron Image Masters during the show.
The Grand Prize of $5000, a Tamron 24-70 G2 lens (value $1200) plus additional prizes from our partners, will be announced along with the Community Voting Award winner at an event at Photo Plus on Thursday Oct. 25th. 2018.
The entire 2018 short list collection will be featured in a book that will be available to download for free or purchase as a hard copy.
Your initial entry (one image) is free through July 1, 2018. You can enter an additional 2 images, for a total of 3, for $25; an additional 6 images for a total of 7 for $50; or an additional 15 images for a total of 16 for $100. If you have more images you would like to enter they can be added for $5.50 each. Once your entry has been paid there are no refunds provided.
You keep all rights to your images: AI-AP does not retain any rights to your work when you make your submission. Upon selection, permission is given only for use in the book, website, finalists exhibit and any promotion for American Photography relevant to the contest. Proper artist credit is always given along with contact information where applicable.
JPG files are required for submission. Upload files 72dpi, RGB, up to 1000 pixels on the LONGEST side, up to 20MB. Use any unique file name, but do not include special characters or spaces in the file name. Save file as a .jpg.
You don’t have to submit high-res files: If your image is selected as a finalist, we will request hi-res files at minimum 300 dpi, 20x13", CMYK for reproduction.
Post Date: 5/8/2018 8:03:45 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
For those shopping for their first non-smartphone camera, a backup camera for a current kit or simply upgrading from a lower level/previous generation Rebel-series camera, the Canon EOS Rebel T7i/800D and EOS M5 are likely to be considered. Today, we're going to look closely at these two cameras to see which might be the better option for acquisition.
Canon EOS Rebel T7i/800D and EOS M5 Shared Primary Features:
  • Resolution: 24.2 MP / 6000 x 4000 pixels
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF, up to 1080p 59.94 fps
  • HDMI out & external mic jack
  • Crop Ratio: 1.6x
  • Processor: DIGIC 7
  • Metering Range: EV 1 – 20
  • Auto ISO Range: 100 - 25600
  • Shutter Speed: 30 - 1/4000 sec
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Low-Energy Bluetooth
  • Flash hot shoe
Primary Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel T7i/800D:
  • Natively compatible with EF, EF-S, TS-E & MP-E lenses
  • AF Working Range: EV -3 - 18 vs. EV -1 - 18
  • Exposure Compensation: +/-5 EV vs. +/-3 EV
  • Higher Max ISO: 51200 vs. 25600
  • Vari-angle LCD screen vs. tilt only
  • Ambience priority, white priority AWB vs. ambience only
  • More Powerful Pop-up Flash: 13.1 GN (m) vs. 5
  • Integrated Speedlite Transmitter vs. N/A
  • Longer Battery Life: 820 shots vs. 295 (420 with Eco Mode On)
  • Larger, more comfortable grip size
  • Optical viewfinder
  • Lower cost
Primary Advantages of the Canon EOS M5:
  • Native EF-M lenses are smaller/lighter than similar EF-S/EF lenses
  • Compatible with EF, EF-S, TS-E & MP-E lenses via adapter
  • More AF points: 49 vs. 45
  • Focus peaking vs. N/A
  • Faster Continuous Shooting: approx. 9 fps (7fps with AF) vs. 6
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • Better Viewfinder Coverage: 100% vs. 95%
  • Larger / Higher Resolution LCD: 8.0 cm (3.2”), 1,620 K dots vs. 7.7 cm (3.0"), 1040 K dots
  • Smaller Size: 4.6 x 3.5 x 2.4" vs. 5.16 x 3.93 x 3.00" (115.6 x 89.2 x 60.6mm vs. 131.0 x 99.9 x 76.2mm)
  • Lighter Weight: 15.1 oz. vs. 18.77 oz (427g vs. 532g)
Who should opt for the Canon EOS Rebel T7i/800D?
If you are a current Rebel-series owner but simply long for the benefits of a Dual Pixel CMOS sensor, and the size and weight of your current kit is a non-issue, then the EOS Rebel T7i/800D will offer a seamless transition with no adapters required to use your current set of lenses and a familiar button/control layout that feels right at home in your hands. With no adapter required, there's one less vital piece of gear to be forgotten or malfunction. Just remember your fully charged battery and a memory card, throw your lenses in a bag and you're good to go (although we do recommend packing other items as well).
Note that the T7i has an optical viewfinder (OVF) while the EOS M5 has an electronic viewfinder (EVF), and both show up as advantages for their respective cameras. Depending on what you're shooting and what your preferences are, either one may be more beneficial than the other. Check out our OVF vs. EVF comparison here.
If you're interested in exploring off-camera lighting, the Rebel T7i offers an integrated Speedlite transmitter that will allow you to control off-camera Canon Speedlites remotely. The Rebel T7i's more sensitive AF system is able to lock on in lower light, and its battery will keep you shooting long after the EOS M5's battery has been exhausted. And if you're on a tight budget, the Rebel T7's lower price tag will make it an even more attractive option.
Who should opt for the Canon EOS M5?
The EOS M5 represents a huge step up in image quality for those coming directly from a smartphone, and its size and weight will provide an easier transition into ILC (Interchangeable Lens Camera) photography compared to a traditional DSLR body. The EOS M5 will also be a great choice for current Canon DSLR owners who want a compact option that can also serve as a backup camera in a pinch (with the adapter) or otherwise want a reduced load for vacations, hiking or business trips, especially when one of Canon's EF-M series lenses will fit the bill perfectly..
On top of the size and weight advantages of an M-series kit, the M5's faster burst rate in single shot mode can help you capture the peak action as long as AF tracking is not needed for the specific situation. And if you prefer the benefits of an EVF (Electronic Viewfinder), then the M5 becomes the easy choice.
While the EOS M5 is a very capable camera with the size and weight benefits a mirrorless system brings, Canon's current [limited] EF-M lens selection may not provide all the flexibility desired in an ILC kit. And while Canon's complete EF/EF-S/TS-E/MP-E lenses can be used with an adapter, using lenses designed for DSLRs on a mirrorless camera negates much of its most alluring quality, its reduced size and weight.
On the other hand, the EOS Rebel T7i/800D, with its native ability to mount Canon's full range of EF, EF-S, TS-E and MP-E lenses, along with its higher battery life and built-in Speedlite transmitter, represents a simpler and more versatile platform on which to build a photography kit.
For those general purpose photography situations where a single, variable aperture zoom lens will suffice, the EOS M5 paired with an EF-M zoom lens can be a very convient option that will not be a burden to carry throughout the day. Note that as Canon releases more EF-M lenses, the versatility of an M-series kit increases along with the M5's appeal.
More Information:
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/8/2018 7:53:24 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
The Canon Digital Learning Center recently posted tips for photographing different events: graduation, bridal and baby showers. Check out the links below for more information.
CDLC Articles
Post Date: 5/8/2018 6:48:27 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, May 7, 2018
Just posted: Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus Lens Review.
This review did not have the typical Zeiss ending.
The Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Milvus Lens is in stock at B&H (available used also), Amazon and Adorama.
Note that the Zeiss 15mm f/2.8 Classic Lens is currently available and is a bargain at B&H (used also available) and Amazon. A specially modified version (shade removed) is available for a $500 premium over the Milvus lens at Adorama.
Post Date: 5/7/2018 8:10:48 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Canon Europe has posted a very interesting article called "Robots to Hand Polishing: 10 Facts from Canon's L-Series Lens Factory" which contains a lot of information on Canon's highest quality lenses. For instance, did you know that if all the Canon EF lenses were laid end-to-end, they would likely stretch halfway around the world?
Check out the entire article on the Canon Europe website.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/7/2018 8:01:28 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Sunday, May 6, 2018
When there is a choice, I nearly always go after the elk with the nicest antlers. While everyone has opinions on what "nicest" means, I generally look for overall size (bigger is better with age, genetics and nutrition aiding this aspect), symmetry (or character if something unusual is present), shape (classic shape with long curved tines and a big whale tail) and color (dark with ground-polished white tips is perfect).
This bruiser checked most of those boxes and in this position, his primary flaw, a missing G2 (second point from the base) on the left side, is nicely hidden. This 6x5 had not long ago lost a fight with a bull with antlers that were smaller overall. In the battles, it is often the size of the elk's body that matters most and this one needed to go eat more. He is still talking to the nearby herd with a bit of food still in his mouth.
This pursuit started not too far from the car, but I eventually ended up on a ridge a good distance from where I parked. When a light rain ensued, I was thankful for weather sealed gear as I did not bring a backpack and would not have been pleased to have to leave a subject as nice as this one.
I usually use a shutter speed faster than 1/400 second when photographing elk. But, elk usually move slowly while bugling. So, I grabbed some immediate insurance shots and then rolled the shutter speed down to go after lower noise images. Manual mode was selected with a wide open aperture and auto ISO adjusting for the shutter speed change I made.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Post Date: 5/6/2018 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, May 4, 2018

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

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

05-03-2018 – I'm inspired by the educators I meet around the world who use technology to improve the way students learn and build creative problem-solving skills. Our research showed that this is important to nearly every educator and policymaker because professions which require creative problem-solving are less likely to be impacted by automation, and more likely to pay high salaries.
The study also confirmed that many of the barriers to teaching these skills that I’ve seen in classrooms are universal — some of the biggest of which are limited budgets, access to technology, and time to learn new apps. As teachers shift their classrooms to incorporate creative projects that build these skills, we at Adobe are also shifting our offerings to give them an affordable, easy, and quick way to succeed.
In January, we announced we were providing access to Spark for Education, a set of storytelling apps with premium features and additional capabilities for K-12 and higher education institutions, free of charge. And now, we’re pleased to announce that beginning May 15, 2018, the full suite of Adobe Creative Cloud apps will be available to K-12 schools via their authorized Adobe reseller for $4.99 per user license, per year, with a minimum purchase quantity of 500 licenses for a single school, or 2,500 licenses for a school district.
Like Spark for Education, Creative Cloud for K-12 provides a method for schools to deploy licenses to students of any age in a way that is consistent with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and other data privacy laws. And, it can be set-up with a single sign-on so that students and teachers can use their existing school ID to access Creative Cloud.
What I’m most excited about is that it allows students to access apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, XD, and more, wherever they are — and on any device. I recall visiting a high school class where the students were creating posters for a social cause they care about using Photoshop. They were so excited to have a visitor from Adobe, they all applauded. But then a hush fell over the room, and one of them asked their teacher, “How will I finish my project if we can’t work on it during this class?” Talking to the teacher more, I learned that because access to Creative Cloud was limited to the computer lab, they had to dedicate much of their class to students working on their project. They could not spend as much time as they wanted teaching students the principles of design and visual communication. With the new user licensing we are announcing today, students can continue working on projects at home, and on any device, simply by logging in and opening the apps and services they need.
In addition to making Creative Cloud affordable, Adobe is working to provide additional professional development resources to educators, in partnership with Edcamp, an organization dedicated to building and supporting communities of empowered educators. Together, we will be bringing educators together to share projects and courses focused on implementing creative problem-solving in the classroom. And beginning next year, Adobe will begin conducting hands-on professional development workshops, both in schools around the country and online, to teach educators new project-based use cases for Adobe Spark and Creative Cloud. This is all in addition to the Adobe Education Exchange, a place where educators can access free courses, workshops, and teaching materials.
We are on an exciting journey, collaborating with educators to empower the next generation to be lifelong creators. With these two new offers, Spark for Education and Creative Cloud for K-12, we’re equipping teachers with the apps, training, and support they need to make this happen. We can’t wait to see all of the amazing things students create on their journey to becoming the creative problem solvers of the future.
Category: Adobe News
Post Date: 5/3/2018 12:35:57 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
From the Canon Digital Learning Center:
By Jennifer Wu
In awe of the spectacular colors, I dreamed of seeing the northern lights and photographing them. I called a friend, asking him to go with me to Alaska and though auroras were on his bucket list, he wanted his first trip to Alaska to be in summer. I promised rugged Alaskan landscapes with fall colors like summer, but with even better colors and he agreed! I hadn’t been to Fairbanks, Alaska before, but I was sure it would be grand. Arriving, we were greeted with a snow-covered landscape. “Where are the fall colors?” he asked and I quickly promised him that the northern lights would be spectacular.
The first two nights were completely overcast with no sign of the lights. By the third night we could only see a hint of green color through heavy clouds. With a promising weather forecast on the forth night, we drove north along the Haul Road to a mountain pass and waited in the bitter cold, hoping for clear skies and auroras.
The moon had set below the horizon, darkening the star-filled sky. At 1 a.m. the clouds finally cleared and the auroras appeared! They were dim at first, but at least visible. We photographed the light show as it danced in the night sky. It was more than I could have imagined! Curtains of light formed, swaying with rhythmic motion, dimming and then glowing more intensely. Excited, I watched a dream coming true. Now, my friend can’t wait to return to photograph more of these "fall colors!"
See the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/3/2018 11:41:26 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Days Inn, a Wyndham hospitality enterprise, is looking for a talented amateur photographer to photograph sunsets across the contitental US for an entire month to for use as artwork in its sun-themed hotels.
From Days Inn:
The Ask
Bring your SPF because this month-long Sun-ternship will have you snapping photos in America’s sunniest cities—from sunrise yoga in San Diego to a sunset sail in Miami, and lots of sunny moments in between.
What’s more, you’ll get major photo props. Photos captured along the way will be featured on our site, social media channels, and hotel walls. We are bringing the sunshine inside with sun-themed art in nearly 1,500 hotels across the country and your very own sun shots will star in select locations. See below for details.
Your summer mission in a snapshot? Seize the days. Take beautiful photos of the sun. See those photos featured in hotels and online. Get paid. Be the envy (and most sun-kissed) of all your friends.
The Perks
  • Travel to select sunny cities across America over the course of one month this summer.
  • Capture as many sun-inspired photos as your camera roll will hold.
  • A $10,000 stipend.
  • Photos featured on the brand’s website, social channels, and walls at select Days Inn hotels in the U.S.
  • Paid travel expenses to explore sunny destinations around the country for one month.
  • Wyndham Rewards Diamond status. Not Gold, not Platinum, but Diamond—which means early check-in, late checkout, and more. Learn how your status with our award-winning loyalty program can also get you free nights.
  • A glowing recommendation upon completion of the Sun-ternship from Barry Goldstein, Wyndham Hotel Group’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer.
Who We’re Looking For
We’re on the hunt for a creative amateur photographer* with a passion for adventure and the ability to travel across the U.S. for one month this summer. If you’re a thrill-seeker looking for new, unforgettable experiences, you might just fit the bill.
*Must be a U.S. resident and 21 years or older to be considered.
How to Apply
Send us your favorite original outdoor photo and tell us in 100 words why you’re the best person for the job. The deadline to apply is May 20, 2018.
Apply Now via Email
Post Date: 5/3/2018 7:29:59 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has UniqBall's new IQuick3Pod Carbon Fiber Tripods in stock with free expedited shipping.
Product Highlights
  • 10-Layer Carbon Fiber Legs
  • Twist Locks
  • Built-In Leveling Base
Post Date: 5/3/2018 5:26:11 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, May 2, 2018

From the Adorama YouTube Channel:
In Ep 113 of Two Minute Tips, David Bergman shows you how to use on-axis fill to enhance your pictures without changing the overall feel.
Note: In this example, the framing and distance to subject lead to a very small catchlight in the subject's eyes. For tighter subject framing, the circular catchlight caused by the ring light would be more obvious. Some people like the circular catchlight while others do not. Be sure to gauge how your subject feels about the circular catchlight before using a ring light (showing examples can help).
I used to own a dedicated ring flash, but it was so cumbersome to set up that I rarely used it and eventually sold it. Now I prefer to use a RoundFlash Magnetic Ringflash Adapter paired with an on-camera Speedlite. [Sean]
Post Date: 5/2/2018 8:57:22 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Post Date: 5/2/2018 8:04:50 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Tuesday, May 1, 2018
The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) development team has just released a major update to its free, open source image editing (Photoshop alternative) application.
From GIMP:
The long-awaited GIMP 2.10.0 is finally here! This is a huge release, which contains the result of 6 long years of work (GIMP 2.8 was released almost exactly 6 years ago!) by a small but dedicated core of contributors.
Notable changes:
  • Image processing nearly fully ported to GEGL, allowing high bit depth processing, multi-threaded and hardware accelerated pixel processing, and more.
  • Color management is a core feature now, most widgets and preview areas are color-managed.
  • Many improved tools, and several new and exciting tools, such as the Warp transform, the Unified transform and the Handle transform tools.
  • On-canvas preview for all filters ported to GEGL.
  • Improved digital painting with canvas rotation and flipping, symmetry painting, MyPaint brush support…
  • Support for several new image formats added (OpenEXR, RGBE, WebP, HGT), as well as improved support for many existing formats (in particular more robust PSD importing).
  • Metadata viewing and editing for Exif, XMP, IPTC, and DICOM.
  • Basic HiDPI support: automatic or user-selected icon size.
  • New themes for GIMP (Light, Gray, Dark, and System) and new symbolic icons meant to somewhat dim the environment and shift the focus towards content (former theme and color icons are still available in Preferences).
  • And more, better, more, and even more awesome!
Check out the GIMP 2.10 Release Notes for more information.
Downlaod: GIMP 2.10
Category: GIMP News
Post Date: 5/1/2018 2:26:58 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Want great image quality but don't want to carry around a full-sized DSLR? Canon's EOS M50 and EOS Rebel SL2/200D are two options you may have been considering. If so, let's take a look at these two cameras to see how they compare.
Canon EOS M50 and EOS Rebel SL2/200D Shared Primary Features:
  • Resolution: 6000 x 4000 pixels (24 MP)
  • Auto Exposure Bracketing: 3 shots, +/- 2 EV, 1/3-stop increment
  • Shutter Speed: 1/4000 sec. to 30 sec.
Primary Advantages of the Canon EOS M50:
  • DIGIC 8 processor vs. DIGIC 7
  • Up to 143 AF points vs. 9
  • EV -2 – 18 AF working range vs. EV -0.5 -18
  • Up to 10 fps burst shooting for 10 frames RAW vs. 5 fps for 6 frames RAW
  • 384 zone metering sensor vs. 63
  • EV 0 – 20 metering range vs. EV 1 – 20
  • Up to 4K video recording vs. Full HD 1080p
  • 100% viewfinder coverage vs. 95%
  • 15mm built-in flash coverage vs. 18mm
  • Smaller/lighter: 4.6 x 3.5 x 2.3" (116.3 x 88.1 x 58.7mm), 13.7 oz (387g) vs. 4.82 x 3.65 x 2.75" (122.4 x 92.6 x 69.8mm), 15.98 oz (453g)
  • .CR3 RAW files with C-RAW support vs. .CR2 with no C-RAW support
  • Native compatibility with EF-M lenses, compatible with EF, EF-S, TS-E and MP-E with adapter
Primary Advantages of the Canon EOS Rebel SL2/200D:
  • +/-5 EV Exposure Compensation vs. +/-3 EV
  • 100-25600 Auto ISO range vs. 100-6400
  • White balance bracketing vs. N/A
  • 9.8m built-in flash GN vs. 5
  • 650 battery life vs. 235 (370 in Eco Mode)
  • Compatible with Remote Controller BR-E1 & E3 remotes vs. Remote Controller BR-E1 only
  • Native compatibility with EF, EF-S, TS-E and MP-E lenses
  • Lower price
Who should opt for the Canon EOS M50?
Those wanting the smallest and lightest camera option, especially for backpacking or family vacations, Canon's mirrorless cameras pack DSLR-level image quality in a take-anywhere size. That the EOS M50 is compatible with Canon's similarly-small EF-M series lenses further bolsters this advantage. And while the M50 is technically more versatile from a lens options standpoint when the EF-EOS M Adapter is factored into the equation, use of the adapter with designed-for-DSLR lenses negates much of the small size and light weight benefits of an M50-based kit.
If you need a camera that shoots 4K, then the choice is easy – the EOS M50 shoots 4k, the EOS Rebel SL2/200D does not. Although you don't get the benefits of Dual Pixel CMOS Movie Servo AF in 4K mode, the ability to shoot 4K combined with the M50's vari-angle LCD and small size/weight will make it an extremely useful tool for filmmaking, especially for vloggers or one-man crews. If you appreciate the benefits of an EVF (Electronic Viewfinder), then the EOS M50 becomes the de facto option. However, note that I didn't list an EVF as a benefit for the EOS M50 nor did I list the OVF (Optical Viewfinder) as a benefit for the Rebel SL2/200D. Your own personal preferences and specific needs will dictate which viewfinder is most advantageous. Check out our article "Comparing Electronic Viewfinders to Optical Viewfinders" for more information. The EOS M50 also features a better/more sensitive AF system, more sensitive metering system, a faster continuous shooting burst rate and a larger buffer.
These features along with the camera's new .CR3 RAW file format (with space saving C-RAW support) result in an overall more versatile camera compared to the EOS Rebel SL2/200D.
Who should opt for the Canon EOS Rebel SL2/200D?
For those who tend to occasionally forget to pack important items in their gear bag, an advantage of the SL2/200D is its native compatibility with all of Canon's EF, EF-S, TS-E and MP-E lenses (no adapter required). Those needing to control larger lenses on their camera and those actively using the camera for substantial time periods will appreciate the SL2/200D's more substantial grip and longer battery life. The Rebel SL2/200D's larger exposure compensation range can certainly come in handy under extreme exposure conditions.
The Rebel SL2 has one particular advantage that nearly every photographer can appreciate – a lower price tag compared to the M50.
More Information:
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 5/1/2018 10:37:53 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
In Shenandoah National Park, early June brings bright green flora that provides a great environment for wildlife photography. Ferns are one of my favorite sources of bright green and there is no animal that stands out in starker contrast to ferns than a coal-black black bear.
This mother bear paused her food hunting task to look intently toward her two cubs, treed high in a large pine tree nearby.
While the green flora is very helpful in compositions, it also adds challenges. One flora challenge is that it frequently obstructs the view of the subject with small animals (including fawns and cubs) being most-easily obscured. While an eye-level shooting height often works well for wildlife photography, a higher level may sometimes be needed to clear the obstructions.
Another flora challenge is AF-related. The contrast and brightness provided by the green leaves and grasses along with their closer-to-the-camera position often gains the camera's AF system preference, causing a strongly front-focused image.
The bottom line is that the eyes (minimally the closest one) must be in focus. While MF may sometimes be required to work around obstructions, they can often be worked around by selecting a focus point off of the animal's eye, on a nearby part. Which nearby part depends on the animal and its head position. If the animal is looking sideways in the frame, much of the head, from nose to ear, may provide a sharp eye. If the animal is facing the camera, the challenge is often greater with long noses also being a big AF system lock-on favorite. Parts that situationally may work include the forehead, the base of an antler or the base of an ear.
Carefully watching what is sharp immediately upon focus lock can help identify any series issues in that regard. For this frame, focusing on the eye worked fine.
I have had the privilege of photographing a large number of bears and know that they are not equally attractive. Within a species, they have somewhat different shapes and especially their coats are not all the same. This one; however, was a quite beautiful specimen.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Camera and Lens Settings
400mm  f/4.0  1/320s
ISO 400
4618 x 3079px
Post Date: 5/1/2018 7:00:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Monday, April 30, 2018
 Saturday, April 28, 2018
Having a selection of RRS parts is a bit like having a pile of Legos. Once you get started, you just want to keep building (and you find yourself "needing" more parts).
During an evaluation, I decided to put most of the items I was working with together into one setup. And, thought I'd share it with you. Supported in the Radical Rig are:
Used for support in the Radical Rig are:
While the rig looks cool, it is surprisingly usable. And, the gear is truly impressive.
Here is the back view:
Really Right Stuff Radical Rig Back View
Based on what you see here and knowing what I've already reviewed, you can likely figure out what the next review subject is.
Crazy rigs of course need a name. I decided to call this one the RRS Radical Rig with "Extravahead" in the running. Sean had some other good ideas – please share your own alternative name suggestions with us.
#MYRRS #RRS #ReallyRightStuff
Post Date: 4/28/2018 6:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, April 27, 2018
Canon has released a new version of Digital Photo Professional which supports earlier camera models, including the EOS 10D and the original Digital Rebel. (thanks Scott)
From Canon USA:
Changes for Digital Photo Professional 4.8.30 for Windows :
  • Newly supported EOS D2000 *, EOS D6000 *, EOS D30, EOS D60, EOS 10D, EOS Kiss Digital / EOS Digital REBEL / EOS 300D Digital.
  • Added Partial adjustments functions (to only 64bit OS).
* Can now handle CR2 files converted with the CR2 Converter.
Download: Canon Digital Photo Professional 4.8.30
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/27/2018 4:58:33 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
Image quality test results from a third lens have been added to the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens Review.
I finally made this lens part of my kit.
Great deal: the Canon USA Store has the Refurbished Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens available for only $779.20 with free shipping. Compare at $1,099.00 new. Refurbished items from the Canon USA Store are like new and come with a retail-matching 1-year warranty.
The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/27/2018 9:17:33 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Whitetail fawns are cute and curious – and they are bundles of energy (when not sleeping). This one abruptly stopped after leaping around, intently watching something of interest.
Alert poses are one of my favorites for wildlife with the ear position usually being ideal. From a compositional standpoint, the direction of the gaze adds weight to the side of the frame being gazed toward. That means this fawn works well being positioned toward the left side of the frame to provide overall balance. Of course, the beautiful SNP spring green landscape nicely compliments the colors of the fawn.
Fawn photography at this location can make use of all available telephoto focal lengths, from short telephoto to the longest super telephoto focal lengths available. The flexibility offered by a zoom lens has its advantages and, in this case, the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens' built-in 1.4x extender was especially helpful.
I have a unique, limited opportunity for you: I'd love for you to join me for "Whitetail Fawns and More", a Shenandoah National Park Instructional Photo Tour. Our goal is to photograph these beautiful little creatures along with many of the other great subjects found in Shenandoah National Park while actively learning photography skills. Read the just-linked-to detailed description to learn more.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Camera and Lens Settings
560mm  f/5.6  1/1600s
ISO 2000
4308 x 2872px
Post Date: 4/27/2018 7:25:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
Post Date: 4/27/2018 7:20:31 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
From the Canon Digital Learning Center:
By Loren Simons
For years, I’ve been searching for the perfect camera. Now, as a disclaimer, I don’t actually believe such a thing exists. Rather, there is a perfect balance of technology and physical size for my own intended purpose of everyday carry.
I categorize myself more as a cinematographer than a photographer, but I’ve always wanted a camera I could utilize as a director’s viewfinder for location scouting, as well as something that had the capability of capturing stunning candid photos for use in a look book or simply to share on social media. At the end of the day, I firmly believe that the best camera is the camera you have with you. Some may say, just use my trusty smartphone. However, I’ve rarely connected emotionally with an image produced by a small sensor the same way I do with images captured by more traditional cinema or larger format photography sensors. Aesthetically, achieving the shallow depth of field on a small sensor camera is much more difficult with current technology. I’ve used all of the fancy depth mapping and dual lens tricks that very smart people have built to try to simulate the depth of field achieved by a proper camera. However, whether it’s strange edge artifacts or just a much less pleasing focus roll off, those images just never felt right to me.
This same small-sensor aversion is also what kept me away from Canon’s original G Series and other PowerShots. However, with the introduction of the larger 1” sensors in cameras like the G Series, XC10, and XF400 I saw the beginning of a move in the direction I had always been hoping for.
See the entire article on the Canon Digital Learning Center.
Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III – B&H | Amazon US | Adorama
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/27/2018 7:02:33 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, April 26, 2018
B&H has the Oben GH-30 Gimbal Head in stock with free expedited shipping.
Product Highlights
  • Load Capacity: 44 lb
  • Height: 9"
  • Weight: 3.2 lb
  • Arca-Type Compatible
  • 360° Pan with Independent Lock
  • Ideal for Sports or Wildlife Photography
  • Balance and Maneuver Large Tele Lenses
  • 3/8"-16 Tripod Mounting Socket
  • Plate with Two 1/4"-20 Mounts & Bushings
  • Numbered Scales for Repeated Set Up
Post Date: 4/26/2018 1:41:00 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
The Tamron 70-210mm f/4 Di VC USD Lens is in stock at B&H with free expedited shipping.
Product Highlights
  • Aperture Range: f/4 to f/32
  • Ultrasonic Silent Drive Autofocus Motor
  • VC Image Stabilization
  • Fluorine-Coated Front Element
  • Moisture-Resistant Construction
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • Compatible with TAP-in Console
Post Date: 4/26/2018 11:52:51 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
by Sean Setters
About 8 years ago, I purchased a 4' x 6' (1.2 x 1.8m) softbox from eBay (they aren't even available anymore) and really liked the soft light it projected onto my subjects. However, the more I used it, the more I realized how impractical it was. The biggest problem was that the softbox's weight was too heavy for my studio strobes' spring loaded mounting fingers. The softbox would mount to a studio strobe under ideal conditions, but any movement of the softbox (repositioning, small gust of wind, etc.) would cause the it to dismount from the strobe and [usually] break the modeling light and/or flash tube in the process.
And even if the softbox stayed connected to the studio strobe, the studio strobes positioning handle couldn't be tightened tight enough to prohibit the softbox from slowly inching its way downward at the pivot point. The problems inherent to the weighty modifier meant that it was rarely ever used. That is, until I recently came across a solution to the problem.
EZ Lightstand 3 8in Mountable Speed Ring

Shown above is a Mountable Speed Ring, and it works with any soft box that features a traditional speed ring and spoke design (it won't work with collapsible/umbrella-like folding ones). The mountable speed ring features a threaded insert that can attach to a 3/8" stud which is mounted in a traditional umbrella swivel. This setup relieves the strobe's mounting fingers from supporting the weight of the modifier; instead, the fingers only have to support the weight of itself.
The mountable speed ring will be especially helpful for anyone suspending a large softbox above a subject or with the modifier pointed downward at a significant angle as gravity will be pusing the strobe into the mounted speed ring instead of pulling the speed ring away from a traditionally mounted strobe. However, if planning to do this, it would likely be best to permanently affix the 3/8" stud to the mountable softbox with epoxy/glue. The mountable speed ring's risk-reducing design may be the most economical insurance you ever buy.
There are three versions of the mountable softbox currently available for compatibility with Paul C. Buff/Alien Bees/White Lightning, Bowens and Profoto. However, while I cannot confirm that this is the case, if you have a similar non-mountable speed ring with interchangeable mounts (most third-party speed rings are designed this way), then you may be able to swap out any of the mounts available to make it compatible with your own strobes.
Post Date: 4/26/2018 8:34:37 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Now live: Canon EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens Review.
A big thanks to John Reilly for his continued efforts in reviewing the EF-M series lenses!
The Canon EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/26/2018 7:49:42 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Canon has released its financial results for Q1 of 2018.
Financial Information Pack – 1Q 2018 (.zip)
In the Imaging System – Cameras section of the presentation material, Canon notes:
  • 1Q: Unit sales were limited to a slight decline despite one-off factor
  • Full year: Increase market share through sales expansion of new products, including mirrorless models
  • Improve product mix, and new product composition to raise profitability
On the same page Canon displays a picture of the EOS M50 with the label "New Mirrorless Model - M50." It will be interesting to see what Canon has up its sleeve in regards to mirrorless cameras which may further impact its market share in 2018.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 4/25/2018 8:58:05 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

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

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

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

From the Profoto YouTube Channel:
Photographer Michael Anthony creates engagement and wedding portraits with different Profoto OCF lighting set-ups in three different locations.
B&H carries Profoto gear.
 Saturday, April 21, 2018
I had been watching this pair of red fox kits (what baby fox are called and not to be confused with the kit fox species) at a relatively close distance, within photo range, for perhaps an hour with essentially no good images captured. They were running, resting, wrestling, eating (the mom or dad would occasionally bring them captured food), nursing and simply being extremely cute.
While I was thoroughly enjoying watching the adorable babies, I of course wanted photos to take home. The problem was the thick brush including vines, trees, limbs, grasses, etc. constantly obscuring the view and creating hard shadows that were nearly as problematic as the obstructions. There were very limited unobscured areas to shoot into at this location and the kits seemed to seldom go into these.
At one point, the kits started running together in a big circle. I saw that the arc, if followed, was going to lead them through one of the small openings. I told the small group I was with to get ready, followed my own advice and when they hit the opening, I hit the shutter release.
The result of anticipating the shot was one of the few images worth processing I captured on the trip and anticipation is often the key to successful wildlife photography. Wildlife is frequently moving and determining where that movement will correspond with a good composition is often what is required for good results.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Camera and Lens Settings
600mm  f/4.0  1/1600s
ISO 160
5901 x 3934px
Post Date: 4/21/2018 7:30:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
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