Canon and Sony News for Dec 2017 (Page 3)

 Sunday, December 3, 2017

I shared this white-tailed buck image in the LensCoat RainCoat Review and decided I would share it individually as well. This deer encounter was mid-afternoon on a mid-fall day in Shenandoah National Park. The time of the day combined with the time of the year meant a relatively low sun angle and the time of the year also meant that the buck was in rut. This nice-sized buck was with a doe and he was making sure that rivals did not intrude and was constantly watching for such.
 
The constantly watching aspect is a key point. During non-rut times, it can be hard to get a buck to lift its head in this national park, but during rut, that problem vanishes. The buck are constantly giving their best alert poses. And, when a challenger shows up, the action gets especially entertaining.
 
Many basic image composition strategies involve establishing balance in the frame. When an included subject has eyes, the direction they are looking adds weight to the side of the frame being peered toward. This means the subject, adding weight itself, should be moved toward the opposite side of the frame for equalization. There is some flexibility as to how far to move the subject and the rule of thirds often has value in this situation.
 
Had this buck simply turned his head the other direction, I would have had to rapidly change AF points to the other side of the frame and recompose to move the majority of empty space to the right side of the animal to again achieve the desired balance. As an aside, if that head turn happens, quickly grab a photo placing the already-selected AF point on the closest eye. Then switch AF points as desired prior to continuing to photograph. I often do this because moments with wildlife can be fleeting and as long as you have the entire animal/bird in the frame and in focus, you still have the option to photograph additional empty space after the animal is vanishes. The photo of empty space probably will not be very special (don't accidentally delete it later), but it can be perfect for stitching into the fast-captured wildlife image.
 
In this case, the buck was motionless for a long enough period of time for me to capture a dozen or so images. All seemed ideally-composed in the viewfinder, most were composed slightly differently and many variants still looked potentially the best during review on the computer. That of course meant that picking only one of them to share was a challenge.
 
Some of you remember that I often use the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens at SNP. The zoom is ideal for working around obstructions, but this time I opted to use the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens. I made this choice primarily to get the stronger background blur (and foreground blur in this case). I know, you are thinking that this is a big and expensive lens. But, it is among my most-frequently-used and a large percentage of my favorite images were captured with it.
 
One editing question regarding this image remains in my mind: should I remove the small branch over the deer's head? Or does that detail add to the image, emphasizing of the thickness of the brush he is in?


A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.

Post Date: 12/3/2017 6:45:00 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, December 1, 2017

Canon has issued a product advisory for the EOS 5D Mark IV to alert customers of a delay in the release of a firmware update.

From Canon USA:

We would like to inform you that release of firmware to enhance functions of the EOS 5D Mark IV, which was originally scheduled for November 29 at the same timing as the firmware updates for six other models (EOS-1D X Mark II: Ver.1.1.4; EOS-1D X: Ver.2.1.0; EOS 5D Mark III: Ver.1.3.5; EOS 5DS: Ver.1.1.2; EOS 5DS R: Ver.1.1.2; EOS 6D Ver. 1.1.8), has been postponed until late February 2018 for reasons related to firmware preparation. We would like to offer our sincere apologies to users of this product who have been inconvenienced.

In the firmware to enhance functions of the EOS 5D Mark IV, we are planning to incorporate the following enhancements:

  • Support will be added for chromatic aberration correction, peripheral illumination correction, distortion correction, and Digital Lens Optimizer when using Digital Photo Professional to process RAW images captured with the following TS-E lenses: TS-E 17mm f/4L, TS-E 24mm f/3.5L II, TS-E 50mm f/2.8L MACRO, TS-E 90mm f/2.8L MACRO, or TS-E 135mm f/4L MACRO.
  • Support will be added to fix a phenomenon* in which standard exposure may not be obtained, or an irregular exposure may result, when Silent LV (Live View) shooting with the following TS-E lenses: TS-E 50mm f/2.8L MACRO, TS-E 90mm f/2.8L MACRO, or TS-E 135mm f/4L MACRO.
  • Support for Exif 2.31 will be added.

*This phenomenon occurs when tilt or shift is applied on a TS-E lens (TS-E 50mm f/2.8L MACRO, TS-E 90mm f/2.8L MACRO, or TS-E 135mm f/4L MACRO) during LV shooting when Silent LV shooting is set (set to Mode 1 or Mode 2 on the menu). For this reason, until the firmware update, when performing viewfinder shooting or LV shooting, please shoot with the Silent LV shooting set to [Disable].

Post Date: 12/1/2017 3:04:17 PM CT   Posted By: Sean

by Sean Setters

I was in the middle of a head shot session with a local Savannah model when I thought to myself, "Just how many flashes do you need in a studio setting?" After the session was over, I thought a little bit more about that question.

Before going any further, let me be clear – a flash is not absolutely necessary to create a compelling studio portrait (but the use of flash can make capturing compelling portraits easier). Many beautiful, classic portraits have been created using window light alone, or possibly combined with an inexpensive reflector or two. Other constant, man-made light sources (either inexpensive or high-end LED panels) can be used for compelling portraiture, and can even be combined with flashes for interesting effects. But when I think of a versatile lighting tool for the studio, my mind immediately goes to "flash."

With that said, flashes have a few inherent benefits over constant lighting:

  • Wide range of light output variability (and easily controllable)
  • Action freezing potential regardless of ambient light level
  • Full-spectrum light, ideal for color rendering
  • Huge range of light modifiers available

Right now, I have (5) shoe-mount flashes and (6) studio monolights. I use the shoe-mount flashes and monolights interchangeably in the studio, often in the same setup.

So let's walk through a few of the images from my most recent studio session to see how many flashes were used and why.

Portrait with Front Bokeh Battery Powered LED Lights Nov 2017

In the shot above, I only used two flashes, but a total of three light sources were employed. The main light was provided by a shoe-mount flash which was boomed above the subject and diffused by a 24" gridded softbox. Another shoe-mount flash was fired through a 43" collapsible umbrella positioned below the boomed softbox and provided fill light (the two flashes producing a traditional clamshell lighting setup). With the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM lens mounted to a tripod, I used my free hand to dangle a string of battery powered LED lights in front of the lens to create the bokeh effect.

Brittney Headshot 5 (with Lightblaster)

In this shot, I used two studio strobes slightly behind the subject, both diffused by gridded strip boxes to accentuate the subject's hair and provide separation from the black background. For the main light, I used a shoe-mount flash firing through a Light Blaster (with 35mm transparent slide installed) to create the pattern on her face. So for this particular setup, that's two rim/hair/separation/kicker lights (take your pick on the terminology, but for the rest of this post, I'll use the term "rim") and one main light for a total of three lights. In post-processing, I used Topaz Impression to make the photo look like a painting.

Now let's take a look at a more traditional headshot.

Brittney Headshot 1

This shot required the most lights of the setups we tried. Like the first image, I used a clamshell lighting setup with two flashes located above and below the subject (the same modifiers were used). But as in the preceding shot, I used the two monolights, diffused by strip boxes, to provide rim lighting on both sides of the subject. All told, that's four flashes used. Aside from lighting, I used a fan camera right to create movement in the subject's hair.

So is four the magic number? I don't think so, because I can think of a couple of situations where you I may want one or two more flashes based on the last setup.

For instance, if I had wanted to create a similar headshot to the one directly above but on a darker background (possibly black or gray) I could have used another flash to create a color gradient spotlight behind the subject (using a colored gel and grid modifier). Otherwise, if I had wanted the background to be completely white, with a nice, even coverage, at least two flashes would likely be required to achieve a clean white background.

So, with that in mind, I think a studio lighting kit with at least six flashes would be ideal, allowing for a very wide range of portrait styles to be captured. With six flashes, you'd have:

(1) main light
(1) fill light
(2) rim lights
(2) special use/background lights

If you have a reflector or two handy, then you could likely get by slightly fewer flashes, with the compromise being that reflectors are not nearly as versatile as flashes. But keep in mind, the actual flashes are only one part of a lighting kit. As you add additional flashes, you'll also likely need to add more light stands, umbrella swivels, light modifiers, radio receivers (if not a built-in feature of the flashes), etc. to support use of any flashes added to your kit.

Are there any circumstances that would warrant more than six flashes? Absolutely. But with six flashes (and the corresponding gear) in your kit, accomplishing your creative portraiture goals will rarely be inhibited.

Post Date: 12/1/2017 9:30:02 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

Macphun/Skylum has released an update to Aurora HDR 2018. See below for details.

Changes include:

Aurora HDR 2018 version 1.1.1 for MAC:

  • Added Luminar 2018 in plugin menu
  • Added “Expand All” feature for filters
  • Added support for Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018
  • Added amount slider for image presets in Batch Processing
  • Improved RAW, DNG support for several cameras including Nikon D850
  • Improved Touch Bar support
  • Improved Batch Processing UI
  • Improved UI and performance
  • Fixed localization issues
  • Fixed several issues related to macOS 10.10
  • Fixed colorspace mismatch issue with Adobe Photoshop plugin
  • Fixed saving issues with Adobe Lightroom plugin
  • Fixed DPI resolution issues on exporting files

Aurora HDR 2018 version 1.1.1 for Windows:

  • Added Luminosity Mask feature
  • Added Resize option to export dialog
  • Added hotkeys for main application modes, brush, zoom
  • Improved stability, particularly app crashes on exporting files
  • Improved UI and performance
  • Fixed issue with Adobe Photoshop plugin
  • Fixed image orientation issue

Aurora HDR 2018 is designed to receive all free software updates automatically. However, if for some reason this doesn't occur, or you want to make sure you're using the latest version:

  • For Mac choose "Check for updates" in the Aurora HDR 2018 menu in the upper left-hand corner (near the Apple logo).
  • For Windows choose "Check for Updates" in the Help menu of the top bar menu.

While the UI for Aurora HDR 2018 is not necessarily my favorite, the results you can get with the program are great and well worth acclimatizing to its (somewhat quirky) interface. [Sean]

Post Date: 12/1/2017 9:08:15 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

From the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom YouTube Channel:

Lightroom tips and tricks in 60 seconds or less from longtime Lightroom team member Benjamin Warde.

B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.

Post Date: 12/1/2017 7:07:30 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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