When shooting track sports with multiple laps involved, the participants will often get into a line and, especially at the beginning of the race, will be bunched tightly together. If the participant in first place is your primary subject, you can generally get a clear front-on shot from anywhere on the track. But, if you are shooting a second place participant or beyond and want a front-on shot, minimally the person in first place has great potential to block that shot.
That is unless you are in the corner. As the racers break into the corner, visibility of the next person in line becomes momentarily clear for a front-on shot or shots. Yes, you can often get a clear side view on the straights, but the corners are better for a clear front-on shot. Also, passing happens most frequently on the straights, meaning that even the side view is more likely to be obstructed.
While this advice applies to multiple sports (including motorsports if safety permits), I most frequently use this strategy for shooting distance running on the track. I most frequently choose the first corner, just past the start/finish line (so that I can photograph the finish of the race as well), on condition that the background and lighting are good. In this indoor venue, access to turn 1 was not available and a wall of windows would have created a blown white background or silhouetted subjects, so I opted for turn 3. In this corner, a second wall of windows provided a great broad, shaded light source.
Taking a very low-to-the-ground position helps keep the runners looking large/grand and often aids in keeping the background relatively clear of distractions by positioning ground-based distractions below the subject's head. Using a wide aperture telephoto lens at max aperture on a full frame body also helps create a strong distraction-eliminating background blur.
Those of us in the northern hemisphere are in the dead of winter as I post this photo. Motorsports are mostly in hibernation and track and field events are indoors. Indoors usually means very low and potentially spectrum-starved light and, in the case for this track venue, mixed light sources were present.
Mixed light sources often mean white balance trouble. By positioning near the wall of windows, the outdoor shade light source became primary on the subject. While auto white balance keeps getting better in-camera and I nearly always use this setting while shooting, the key to easy white balance for this image was the neutral colored number label on the runner. Selecting the custom white balance eyedropper and clicking on the white part of this label brought the subject into nearly ideal color balance with a very slight warming being the only additional post processing color change I made.
It is a race and that means participants are going fast. This means that the duration of the into-the-corner visibility is going to be very short and this is where a great sports camera and lens combination is going to make a big difference in your results. A great AF system is needed to quickly lock onto the just-exposed subject and track them into the corner and a fast frame rate increases the odds of catching the perfect subject position. In this case, I was anticipating the shot. I positioned the camera (on a monopod), leveled using the electronic level in the viewfinder, pre-focused the lens to the expected need and then tracked the runner. As soon as the view opened, I pressed the shutter release and relied on AI Servo AF tracking and the fast frame rate to capture the ideal shot.
The Canon EOS-1D X is an awesome sports camera choice and the EF 200mm f/2L IS is an equally impressive lens for the task. This combination rocks for indoor sports action and that the 1D X Mark II promises to bring us a significant upgrade ... I can't wait!
Hopefully you were not told to "Stand in the corner!" very often during childhood, but ... I'm telling you to do this today. Take your great sports camera and lens and go find a corner to stand in!
According to the Egami Blog, Canon has filed a patent for a CN-E 24-70mm f/2.8 L S lens.
The curious thing about this patent is that Canon already makes a CN-E 30-105 T2.8 L S lens. With so little to differentiate the lenses, one wonders whether the extra 5mm on the short end will be a huge selling point compared to the 30-105's extra 30mm of focal length range on the long end. [Sean]
Patent Publication No. 2016-14816
I'm not focused on me, can be accused of under-marketing myself and until very recently, I had never taken a selfie (at least not one shared beyond the immediate family). Of course, when the request for a portrait came in, I didn't want to under-deliver on the effort and set out to have some fun, creating my first selfie. Since the task turned into a major project, I thought I would share some of the undertaking.
I know, I gave away the focal length choice in the title and right away some of you are thinking that I've lost my mind. The 12mm focal length, and anything close to it, is not going to create a pleasing portrait perspective, right? Not necessarily. Perspective is created by distance and, if you are far enough away from the subject, any rectilinear focal length can work (I'll save the fisheye discussion for another day). The 12mm angle of view includes a lot of environment in the frame at that adequate distance, and that was my goal for this shot.
I should mention that human subjects tend to look best closer to the center of an ultra-wide angle frame, avoiding the stretched look that can be present in the corners. Keeping the camera level (both pitch and yaw) also helps keep perspectives looking reasonable in this image, though you can still find some stretching closer to the borders. For example, the white lens on the left appears somewhat wide.
I stopped short of making this image into an I Spy photo, but there are lots of (hopefully) interesting items in this photo. Some are easy to see and some are more obscure (such as the Multicart R12RT loaded with camera backpacks). Overall, I tried to keep the image borders free of lines, fully containing most items in the frame. I also attempted to position the closest lenses so that the hoods were directly aligned with the camera with the hood lines mostly clear of intersecting lines, making them stand out, including the one in my hand.
After "decorating" my workspace (my wife's reference to what I was doing), I positioned the camera for the composition I was envisioning. Then, I started pulling out Speedlites.
For the main light, I opted for a Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash with a Photogenic Eclipse 60" Umbrella positioned mostly above the camera. This setup provided a soft light over the entire foreground. To reduce the remaining shadows, a second 600EX-RT, with the wide angle diffuser down, was directed into a 30" umbrella positioned behind the camera. This flash was below the first umbrella and acted as a fill light. Note that it is a good idea to use the camera's eyepiece shade/shutter when firing a flash into the back of the camera (especially if using E-TTL metering).
I added a third 600EX-RT on a backlight stand behind me with the unmodified flash firing directly toward the camera. This light provided some rim lighting that helped to separate me from the background and lit up the middle layer of the image including some strong reflections.
The last Speedlite, a Canon 430EX III-RT, with its wide angle diffuser down, was placed on the floor deep into the studio. This flash's job was to keep the background from going dark.
While I ended up selecting this image for use, I also photographed with other camera positions and lighting variations. One change that I liked was moving the background-most flash under the desk and aimed at the left wall seen in this image. This added a pop of brightness that created some stronger lines in that area of the photo.
The Canon EOS 5Ds R was tripod-mounted and the tripod was placed immediately against the edge of the desk and triggered via a Canon RC-6 wireless remote. See it on the desk in front of me? I would press the release button, put the release on the desk and grab the lens in time for the 2 second self-timer trip the shutter.
I photographed this image in three exposures. The primary f/11 exposure was selected to keep the cloudy sky properly exposed (this exposure happened to be convenient for the overall image) with the flash output, controlled by a Canon Speedlite Transmitter ST-E3-RT, adjusted to balance the overall image.
A second exposure utilized a more-diffraction-softened f/16 aperture for keeping the closest subjects in better focus and the third exposure was 4 seconds, necessary to capture the image on the monitor. The three images were composited in Photoshop.
Note that ISO 200 was used to increase battery life in the flashes (18 AA batteries in use, I used two sets).
See the ColorChecker in the foreground? It is serving a dual purpose. The first purpose is to add some color pop that balances with the images on the walls and on the monitor. The second purpose is for an easy custom white balance. While the Canon EOS 5Ds R provided a good auto white balance in-camera, it was extremely simple to select the custom white balance eye dropper and click on a gray square for the ideal white balance.
So, that is the story of my selfie. If you are interested in capturing a selfie of your own, be sure to check out Sean's guide to self-portraits in the site's photography tips.
This lens is definitely ultra high resolution sensor ready.
Changes from Version 1.0.1 to 1.1.0a (Windows)
Download: Nikon ViewNX-i for Windows v.1.1.0a
From Canon USA:
Feb 9, 2016 – MELVILLE, N.Y. – On February 7th, the top sports photographers from across the country gathered in the San Francisco Bay Area to cover the Big Game between the teams from Carolina and Denver. With more than 70 percent of the photographers in the San Francisco stadium using Canon EOS DSLR cameras and EF lenses, Canon’s iconic white lenses filled the sidelines from the opening kickoff to the final whistle.
“Seeing such a large number of the country’s most talented sports photographers choosing Canon equipment to photograph the country’s biggest sporting event of the year is always such a humbling honor for Canon. Their iconic images of the game will be seen by millions of people around the world for years to come, and this drives Canon to ensure both our products and support live up to the requirements and expectations of our loyal customers,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Veteran sports photographers and Canon Explorers of Light Peter Read Miller and Damian Strohmeyer were on the sidelines using the brand-new EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR Camera, the first public use of the camera in the U.S. since being announced to the public on February 1. "The EOS-1D X Mark II is a marked improvement in file quality, and the performance was huge at higher ISO," said Strohmeyer. "This camera is a big step up!"
A full complement of friendly and knowledgeable staff from Canon Professional Services (CPS), a fixture at major sporting events throughout the year, were on site at the stadium for the entire weekend providing comprehensive equipment maintenance, extensive equipment loans and expert technical support to the major photo agencies and individual photographers covering the game. "The equipment loan from CPS really gave us some opportunities for our coverage we wouldn't have otherwise," said Carlos Avila Gonzalez, photo/video journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle. "When an event as large and globally renowned as this is in your area, you have to step up to deliver the kind of work that keeps readers and viewers engaged and constantly seeing your publication as the go-to source for visual content. Canon's help with equipment allowed us to provide that kind of coverage."
Canon Professional Services will be proudly attending to photographers at over 32 events this year including major sporting, auto racing, Hollywood, and political events throughout the year.
In addition to the lenses on the sideline, Canon’s line of HD broadcast lenses were also used extensively to help deliver the game to more than 110 million television viewers.
I think that everyone expected awesomeness from this lens and I think that we got it. Here are some comparisons you might find interesting:
Zeiss 28mm f/1.4 Otus compared to Canon 24mm f/1.4L II Lens
Zeiss 28mm f/1.4 Otus compared to Sigma 24mm f/1.4 Art Lens
Zeiss 28mm f/1.4 Otus compared to Canon 35mm f/1.4L II Lens
Zeiss 28mm f/1.4 Otus compared to Sigma 35mm f/1.4 Art Lens
Zeiss 28mm f/1.4 Otus compared to Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus Lens
From the Canon Professional Network:
"New levels of shooting performance — speeds to 14 fps, with AI Servo AF — along with 360,000 pixel RGB metering, multiple on-board processors, and so on mean that the EOS-1D X Mark II needs an even more powerful battery than in previous generation EOS-1D cameras. To meet these demands, the EOS-1D X Mark II is launched along with a higher-energy battery, the Canon LP-E19 battery pack."For more detailed information on the LP-E19, including backwards compatibility, check out the full article on the Canon Professional Network.
In a notice to its shareholders, Tamron has announced that it is replacing its President and CEO Morio Ono with the current Corporate Vice President, Shiro Ajisaka. Tamron listed "...to rejuvenate the company’s management structure" as the reason for the top level replacement.
We really liked where Tamron was headed with their 35mm and 45mm f/1.8 VC primes released late last year. It will be interesting to see how this change in management impacts the already evolving product line.
According to the Egami Blog, Canon has filed a patent for an EF-S 18-100mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM optical design.
Description of Patent
Patent Publication No. 2016-1224
I find rockslides photographically entertaining and the lichen-covered granite rocks found on the south side base of Deboullie Mountain (Deboullie Public Reserved Land, North Maine Woods, T15, R9, Maine) make this rockslide especially so.
The composition of this image was not very complicated. I zoomed out to 10mm and moved in close to a set of rocks with one having a particularly strong amount of lichen growing on it. I chose the camera elevation to keep the top point of that most-prominent rock within the water background, avoiding additional line intersections and adding to the horizontal layers effect in the upper portion of the frame. I then adjusted the camera distance to fully frame the closest rocks and avoid strong lines of contrast leaving the frame.
Since the sky was clear and blue in color, I didn't need a lot in it in the frame for this particular image. I chose to keep enough sky to yield a clean top border and to add a full layer of blue color over and contrasting with the distant evergreens.
This photo was captured handheld. I used the in-viewfinder electronic level to keep the image properly leveled and captured two frames. One frame was focused closer than the other and the two were manually focus stacked during post processing. Alternatively, a narrower aperture could have been used, but with the clean separation of foreground and background, I chose to use a sharper aperture (f/8 shows less diffraction softening than f/11 or f/16) and the focus stacking technique.
This capture was timed with early evening, resulting in the best possible light quality just prior to the rocks went into full shade. While I frequently use a circular polarizer filter when photographing landscapes, I chose not to in this case. Because the sun was at a relatively low angle to my side and because I was using a wide angle focal length, the sky would have showed strong uneven darkening if this filter was used.
A Canon EOS Rebel camera and EF-S 10-18mm IS STM Lens make a great lightweight combination for hiking.
Learn about Bryan's background, the site's genesis and much more in the PetaPixel interview.
We are excited to announce that over 100,000 native 4K video assets have been added to our ever-growing content collection on Adobe Stock. The collection already includes over one million video assets and over 45 million images and graphics.
4K is increasingly becoming the new standard for video production, and demand for higher resolution content, sometimes referred to as UHD, is growing quickly. For precision post-production work, 4K provides significantly more image detail than HD, giving you options you wouldn’t have at lower resolutions. 4K gives you the room to crop, reframe, pan, or add camera moves and effects to your footage, even if your final output will be in HD or 2K resolution.
Adobe Stock 4K content is native, meaning that it was shot in 4K or, in the case of computer-generated media, rendered in 4K, which offers more precise edges when creating mattes or for other compositing tasks.
Adobe Stock video content is available for licensing on stock.adobe.com and can also be searched and purchased directly from the Creative Cloud Libraries panel in Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC and from there dragged directly into an open project. Whether you need video clips for corporate or commercial use in videos, commercials, television shows or websites, Adobe Stock will have the video content you need.
These new 4K assets are available today for $199.99. While standard license terms apply, there is no limitation to the number of impressions. (HD versions of the 4K clips are available for $79.99).
We can’t wait to see what you make with Adobe Stock.
Adobe Stock assets are accessible via the Creative Cloud Libraries panel in Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, InDesign CC, Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, and Dreamweaver CC.
Roger has posted a very objective, well thought out article on lens quality and manufacturing tolerances. It's definitely worth a read if you have a few minutes to spare.
"After we published a number of posts about copy-to-copy variation, people were quick to say that this company or that needs to 'just' improve quality control. I totally agree but realize most people don’t have a clue what ‘improving quality control’ would really look like. I think they have some vague idea of hiring a guy named Joe to sit at the end of the assembly line, check all the lenses, and reject all the bad ones. Optical quality control for lenses is way, way more complicated than that."Check out the LensRentals Blog for more info.
From Samyang Optics:
A global optics brand, Samyang Optics, has announced the release of 2 new lenses: XEEN 14mm T3.1 and 35mm T1.5. These two lenses, along with the existing 24mm T1.5, 50mm T1.5 and 85mm T1.5 lenses, create a perfect balanced five-lens-set for filming video and cinema with the outstanding image quality from resolving power for 4K+ production.
XEEN is a specialized brand in professional video-cine lens launched by Samyang Optics in 2015. The XEEN lenses are designed with Samyang Optics' know-how and have outstanding optical performance for 4K+ with the X-Coating Technology, ensuring maximum image quality to create a cinematic look.
The 24mm x 36mm negative size allows XEEN to not only work with full frame cameras, but also with Super 35, APS-C and APS-H cameras. The lenses are available in five different mounts - PL, EF, F, E, and MFT and two different focus scales - metric and imperial units. Also, the aluminum metal housing is known for its reliability in various shooting conditions.
Most of XEEN lenses come in a bright T1.5 aperture. The lenses deliver high quality footage with clear contrast and impressive colors, even under less-than-optimal lighting conditions. The large aperture also creates a pleasing bokeh effect for a cinematic look.
“Thanks to the rise of multi-channel networks, the demands for video creation is internationally surging and the expectation of video quality is also increasing,” stated by a XEEN official. He continuously said, “to satisfy the international needs, we have completed the first perfection of XEEN lenses with five lenses which deliver a high-quality cinematic image.” As an answer to the future product plan, he carefully disclosed that two more XEEN lenses will be announced in the second half of the year.
Created to deliver infinite possibilities, XEEN 14mm and 35mm lenses will be globally available in early March. The recommended retail price of each lens is USD $2,495.00.
It's Friday, so let's have a little fun this morning. I captured a single exposure of this plastic, Christmas-themed jar last night.
The question is – can you figure out what technique and / or tools I used for lighting the jar?
Note: The only editing I did in Photoshop was add the watermark and apply a small Brightness/Contrast adjustment.
Submit your answer in the comments. I'll let you know if you're right. [Sean]
Site visitor Nancy just emailed us the correct answer (she said she forgot her Disqus password so was unable to comment).
"Possibly cross-polarized (polarizing filter on lighting, polarizing filter on lens, set at right angles to each other to eliminate the facing-forward reflections).Indeed, she is right. I first opened up a blank / white document in Photoshop giving me a large blank white background via the laptop's WLED screen. The clear plastic jar was placed on a black laminate board on top of my laptop's keyboard (I used a couple of books to raise the height a bit).
Clue - rainbow stress marks on the plastic."
As the WLED is a polarized light source (no filter required for it), I was able to use a polarizing filter on the 24-105 f/4L to block all light coming directly from the screen. However, the light passing through the plastic gets diffused (and changes directions, rendering it unpolarized), so the light passing through it is visible.
Here's a picture using the same exact exposure settings with the CPOL turned so as not to block the light coming from the screen (you can see my framing actually caught the left edge of the screen):
From Canon Australia:
Friday, 5 February 2016
Dear Professional Photographer,
For the past 13 years, Canon Australia has been the major sponsor of the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography) awards. Through this sponsorship, we have worked with the AIPP and in consultation with photographers to shape a program that benefits entrants and promotes the industry.
Importantly, we have been determined to see as much of our sponsorship dollars as possible used to support the entrants and winners directly. Over recent years, though, this has been an increasing challenge as a result of the investment decisions and changing priorities of the AIPP administration.
These differences of opinion between us have limited our ability to provide the help that ‘professional’ photographers were telling us they needed through the Major Sponsorship.
The result of extensive discussion and proposals is that Canon will no longer be the Major Sponsor of the AIPP APPAs in 2016. Still determined to maximise the potential of the APPAs for professional photographers, we have requested a category sponsorship to allow us a more flexible structure to contribute. We await confirmation from the AIPP.
Staying true to our aim
This decision does not detract from our mission, but empowers us to do more to support the profession of photography and, specifically, the photographers that comprise it. To that end, we are preparing to announce ‘pro community’ events and enablement grants to help professional photographers, directly.
We want you to be the first to know and will be contacting you closer to the time with more details. In the meantime, please send us any questions and suggestions through to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your support and I look forward to being in touch.
According to the Egami Blog, Sigma has filed a patent for a 20mm f/1.8 optical design earmarked for their Contemporary lineup.
If / when this lens is released, it will likely be the first prime lens in Sigma's Contemporary series of lenses.
Description of Patent
Patent Publication No. 2016-12034
The Canon Professional Network has several well-illustrated pages highlighting various features found in the newly announced 1D X Mark II. The information covers:
There are some interesting facts found on these pages. For instance, the 1D X II does not support 4K HDMI output and, even though the body is backwards compatible with the LP-E4N battery pack, the 14 fps burst rate (with AF/AE) is only possible when using the new Canon LP-E19 battery.
From the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom YouTube Channel:
Lightroom tips and tricks in 60 seconds or less from longtime Lightroom team member Benjamin Warde.
Note: The sound is extremely low on this video, so low that it may be hard to hear for some.
With that in mind, here's the tip – you can use the CAPS LOCK key to cause Lightroom to auto advance to the next image after rating. [Sean]
The Creative Cloud Photography Plan (Photoshop CC & Lightroom CC) is an excellent value at only $9.99/month.
From the Federal Aviation Administration:
The Federal Aviation Administration is launching a new public service announcement to let people know the airspace around Levi’s Stadium is a No Drone Zone during the Super Bowl.
Temporary Flight Restrictions will prohibit certain aircraft operations, including unmanned aircraft operations, within a 32-mile radius of the stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. on game day. The restrictions will be in effect from 2 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 7.
The FAA produced a 20-second video that tells people to bring their lucky jerseys, face paint and team spirit to the game–but leave their drones at home because the stadium is a No Drone Zone. The agency is promoting the video on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the FAA website.
“With so many drones being sold for recreational use, we want to do everything we can to get the word out that the game is a No Drone Zone,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “We’re working closely with our safety and security partners to spread this message as widely as possible.”
The FAA is committed to working closely with its unmanned industry partners to educate people about how to fly safely. Two of our key initiatives are the unmanned aircraft registration requirement and the Know Before You Fly campaign.
Originally slated to hit retail shelves next month, the Nikon D500's ship date has been delayed until late April.
In a press release posted this morning, Nikon Japan stated that it could not produce a sufficient number of cameras (and other accessories) to fill demand for the originally scheduled April release date.
Nikon has released its financial results for 3Q of the fiscal year ending in March, 2016.
Third Quarter of the Year ending March 2016 [February 4, 2016]
Learn how award-winning photographers turn their love for adventure into a career!
We’ve partnered with Red Bull Illume to release The Guide to Action & Adventure Sports Photography.
Inside, hear from photographers who have won the most exclusive action and adventure sports photography contest - Red Bull Illume - and learn what you can do to impress the 2016 judges.
Check out interviews from thrill-seeking photographers including Morgan Maassen, Krystle Wright, Clark Fyans, Jody MacDonald and Chris Burkard who share:
In one of the oddest major camera brand patents we've seen, it appears Nikon has filed a patent for a smart watch that releases a fragrance.
According to the Egami Blog, the watch would contain a fragrance cartridge that emits a fragrance triggered by time of day or face detection, with variables such as age and gender taken into account.
Patent Publication No. 2015-228943
"Anyone have the time?"
"Why yes! It's half past 8 o'clock. Care to smell?"