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 Monday, October 2, 2017
Most of those who photographed the solar eclipse captured images from the beginning until the end, from C1 through C4. While every one of those images may be intriguing, showing all of the stages of the solar eclipse in the same image can take the intrigue to a new level. So, plan on creating at least one solar eclipse composite image. Fortunately, the process is easy. Here are the steps necessary:
 
First, visualize the composite image you want to create. In this case, I went with a single row, but curves, multi-stacked rows, etc. can also work well. Consider searching for results others have created, or just let your imagination go wild for a completely new take on this event.
 
With a design in mind, select the individual images to be included. You likely want a near-equal time period between the partial eclipse selections and that means breaking out your math skills.
 
Use the EXIF information in the images you captured to determine the precise time of totality (or maximum coverage within totality) (or use a reference to find this information). Then look at the capture time of the first image you want included. This gives you a timespan that can be divided by the number of partial eclipse images you want included on either side of totality/max. Select images captured at each of the timespan milestones you selected. Having equal time periods between images is not a rule and I veered slightly from it in my example (partially to avoid some clouds encountered).
 
To cleanly merge into a black background, each image being included in the final composite should have a completely black perimeter. While partial eclipse images most likely already have this attribute, a tightly framed HDR image of totality may not. An easy way to darken the border of these non-conforming images is to darken the darks. Adjust levels or curves to make the dark colors darker until they turn pure black along the entire perimeter.
 
Each image being included in the final composite should be cropped relatively tightly. This facilitates image position adjustment in the composite image without having frame borders overlaying lower layers.
 
Next, the images should be loaded into layers in Photoshop (or a similar app). I use Adobe Bridge for this task, browsing to the folder the files are located in, clicking on the first of the series and shift-clicking on the last to select them all. Then select the "Tools" menu, "Photoshop", "Load files into Photoshop Layers ..." and a new Photoshop document will open with all of the images stacked in layers.
 
Once all images are loaded into the PS file, they will likely be stacked directly on top of each other with a canvas size equal to the largest individual image loaded. So, the next step required is to increase the canvas size (press CTRL-ALT-C) sufficiently to hold the visualized layout. Don't worry if you get this setting wrong as it is easy to further increase the canvas size or crop the image later. My preference is to go big and opt for the crop.
 
The increased canvas size results in insufficient border color with the newly added space likely being transparent. This is an easy problem to fix. Create a new layer (click on the new layer button at the bottom of the layers palette). Select the paint bucket tool (press G, or SHFT-G repeatedly until the paint bucket is the selected tool). Then change the selected color to black (press D, then X). Then click anywhere on the canvas with the new layer selected. That entire layer will turn black. In the layers palette, drag the new layer to the bottom of your layers stack to make it serve as the background.
 
Next, move the image on each layer into place using the move tool (press V, or SHFT-V repeatedly until the move tool is selected). After selecting the layer to be moved (turning off the move tool's auto-select feature might be helpful), drag it into place. Repeat Consider using a grid (View > Show > Grid) with the grid size adjusted (Edit > Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices...) to something that works for you to help with the alignment process.
 
Massage the design as desired and then publish it to the world. Consider creating multiple layout designs as most of the work has been done at this point and new designs require only minimal effort. Simply drag the layers around as you like, saving a new version of the file each time you create a design you like.
 
While I had three complete camera setups in operation during the eclipse, it was the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens-based setup that I relied most upon. When I need the most focal length possible, this lens is my go-to option. Yes, the 600 f/4 is big and expensive, but the combination of the impressive image quality it delivers and the frequency in which I use it makes the cost a good value to me. In this case, I relied heavily on the focal length and image quality attributes as a 2x Extender will magnify any aberrations present and there were already enough of them between earth and the extreme-distant subject.
 
Back to the main point of this article: make the effort to create some composite images and you will be rewarded by the results. It has been over a month since the 2017 total eclipse event captivated us, and simply looking back into the images captured on this day will bring back great memories, helping you to re-live that rare experience.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
Post Date: 10/2/2017 11:21:39 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
From Tether Tools:
 
Phoenix, Arizona – September 26, 2017 – Tether Tools, the leader in providing innovative equipment and accessories for tethered photography, announces that the company will be assuming exclusive manufacturing, global sales, and distribution of TetherBlock products.
 
One of the photography industry’s most reliable cable management tools for tethered photography, the TetherBlock, created by professional photographer David Blattel, is a well-designed solution that helps tethering cables stay connected and secure.
 
Camera data ports are fragile and expensive to repair. When shooting tethered in-studio or on location, a trip or tug can cause a photographer’s tether cable to become dislodged or cause serious damage to a camera’s data ports. Blattel originally developed TetherBlock to solve this common issue and TetherBlock has become a must-have for photographers shooting tethered both hand held or using a tripod.
 
The TetherBlock’s patented cable-channeling design prevents accidental removal of a cable from the camera's data ports by routing a USB, FireWire, or HDMI cable through the TetherBlock’s S-channel. From there, a photographer can either shoot hand held or attach the TetherBlock to their camera's tripod mount or with the TetherBlock Arca, directly to an Arca compatible tripod.
 
B&H carries Tether Tools and TetherBlock products.
Post Date: 10/2/2017 8:08:35 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
AdoramaPix is bringing back one of their most popular print promotions. Through Oct. 3, you can use coupon code ADOPRT25 at AdoramaPix to save 25% on photo prints.
Post Date: 10/2/2017 7:24:27 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Hot Deal: B&H has the Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens (review) available for $399.00 with free expedited shipping. Regularly $599.00.
 
Product Highlights
 
  • Aperture Range: f/1.8 to f/16
  • One LD Element, Two Aspherical Elements
  • eBAND and BBAR Coatings
  • Fluorine Coating on Front Element
  • USD AF Motor, Full-Time Manual Focus
  • VC Image Stabilization
  • Rounded 9-Blade Diaphragm
  • Moisture-Resistant Construction
  • Includes SILKYPIX Developer Studio
Post Date: 10/2/2017 7:19:20 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Saturday, September 30, 2017
While a 70-200mm lens is seldom my first choice for wildlife photography, it can work quite well if used for tolerant and/or large animals, especially if used on an APS-C format body. In this case, the camera was full frame and the fawn was quite tame.
 
What tame does not directly translate to, however, is still. While the adorable little white-tailed deer fawn had no problem with my presence, it was constantly moving and often moving very fast. I had a fortunate break when it bounded over the small hill above me, stopped and turned its head. I quickly adjusted the AF point selection slightly to the eye and captured a burst in AF-C focus mode.
 
At 200mm f/2.8 with a close subject and relatively distant background, especially on a full frame camera body, the subject pops from the melted background.
 
At 20 fps, I had many images to choose from as this camera can deliver a sometimes-overwhelming number of images. I liked this specific image for a couple of reasons. The first is of course that the eye is in focus, but that wasn't much of an issue while the fawn was stopped. Nice also was the beautifully-blurred, void-of-distractions background with spring colors that attractively contrast the fawn. I also like that that both ears are fully-contained in the frame and that are very few lines of strong contrast leaving the frame is usually an aspect I like. Lines are often an important compositional element and that most lines in this image point in the general direction of the eye (or to another line in that direction) make them "leading".
 
The extremely versatile 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is one of the most important lenses in many kits. Going beyond 200mm with an f/2.8 aperture results in a substantially higher price tag, making the 200mm focal length the longest affordable f/2.8 option for a large number of photographers. Specifically in this case, the Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS Lens, though not inexpensive, is currently the best choice for kits based on Sony Alpha cameras.
 
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
 
Camera and Lens Settings
200mm  f/2.8  1/1600s
ISO 640
6000 x 4000px
Post Date: 9/30/2017 9:52:51 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan
 Friday, September 29, 2017
From Canon USA:
 
Firmware Version 1.0.1.1.00 incorporates the following fix:
 
  • Fixes a phenomenon in which the start time code is not correctly displayed when MP4 clips captured at 59.94P/50.00P frame rate are imported into NLE software.
*RAW clips are not affected.
 
Caution:
 
  • You cannot perform the firmware update using CFast 2.0 cards. Please use a commercially available SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card that is 128MB or more for the firmware update.
  • Firmware version 1.0.1.1.00 is for updating Cinema EOS C200 cameras running firmware version 1.0.0.1.00. If your camera's firmware is already version 1.0.1.1.00, it is not necessary to update the firmware. Once the camera is updated to the latest version, it cannot be restored to a previous version.
Download: Canon EOS C200 Firmware v.1.0.1.1.00
 
B&H carries the Canon EOS C200 Cinema Camera.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 9/29/2017 11:58:30 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
Through October 1, use coupon code EMWD20 at AdoramaPix to save 20% on wood prints.
Post Date: 9/29/2017 9:30:35 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has a Really Right Stuff TVC-34L Versa Series 3 Carbon Fiber Tripod (Long) available in "Open Box" (like new) condition for only $900.00 with free shipping.
 
Act fast! These awesome tripods (review) are normally priced at $1,098.00 (new) and this one will not last long.
 
Need something even more solid? B&H also has a Really Right Stuff TVC-43 Versa Series 4 Carbon Fiber Tripod (100 lb load capacity) in 8+ condition for $999.00. This model sells for $1,315.00 new.
Vignetting, flare and distortion test results along with specs and measurements have been added to the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens page.
 
Notably (and disappointingly) missing are the image quality results. We captured a full set of ISO 12233 test chart images from this lens using three cameras, processed and loaded them into the image quality comparison tool ... and I had a hard time believing what I was seeing. Unfortunately, not for a good reason. The corner image quality looked very bad, worse than I remember seeing in a long time.
 
Closer analysis of the RAW images indicated that all four corners were performing relatively similarly in terms of image quality, but I still have a hard time believing that the results are indicative to how this lens should perform. Therefore, I have taken the results down and await delivery and testing of another copy of the lens.
 
Assuming that the lens indeed has a problem ... while 100% perfection cannot be expected in lenses, most disturbing to me is that we had a similar problem with this lens' predecessor, the Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD Lens. As explained in that review, it took two lenses and two repairs (the second repair appeared to be resolved with a replacement) to get a good version of that lens.
 
Big coincidence? Or quality control problem? It is painful to think of the number of hours we have spent testing these bad lenses.
 
The Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2 Lens is in stock at B&H | Amazon | Adorama | WEX (preorder).
 
But, you might want to wait for our second set of tests before making your decision to go with the Tamron G2.
Post Date: 9/29/2017 7:29:39 AM CT   Posted By: Bryan

 
From the f64 Academy:
 
So what if I told you there was a second dimension of data in your photos that can help you make the most accurate color correction ever? You probably wouldn't believe me because it is a bold statement and you might not be as into Sci-Fi as I am. However, this other dimension is not in a galaxy far far away as it sounds, it is as simple as inverting your photo to access it.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 9/29/2017 5:37:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
eBay (via 6ave - 98.9% positive feedback) has the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera available for $2,669.99 with free shipping. Compare at $3,299.00 after $200.00 instant savings.
 
Note: This is likely a grey market item and therefore would not qualify for a manufacturer warranty.
Posted to: Canon News
Post Date: 9/29/2017 5:24:29 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, September 28, 2017

 
GoPro has announced its latest action camera, the GoPro HERO6 Black. Highlights include:
 
  • Supports 4K60, 2.7K120, 1080p240 Video
  • Capture 12MP Photos at 30 fps
  • Improved image stabilization
  • Ultra-Wide-Angle Glass Lens
  • Waterproof to 33'
  • Voice Control
  • Rear Touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi for Remote Monitoring and Control
  • Interval Capture for Time-Lapse
  • Linear Video Mode Corrects Distortion
  • Flat and Curved Adhesive Mounts Included
B&H has the GoPro HERO6 Black in stock with free expedited shipping.
 
Besides the HERO6 Black, GoPro also announced Fusion, an action camera capable of capturing 360-video.
 

While Fusion is arguably the more exciting GoPro announcement today, it isn't available for purchase (or preorder) at authorized retailers just yet.
Category: GoPro News
Post Date: 9/28/2017 12:47:46 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
B&H has the Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head with Lever-Release Panning Clamp (Open Box) available for $500.00 with free shipping. Compare at $640.00 new.
 
Note: These RRS BH-55 deals have been disappearing quickly. If you're interested in picking this item up, don't hesitate to add it to your cart!
 
Product Highlights
 
  • 50 lb Load Capacity
  • Max Height: 4.6"
  • Dual 90° Notches for Portrait Mode
  • Separate Tension Control Knob
  • Panning Base with Engraved Degree Marks
  • Base Diameter 2.9", Ball Diameter 2.2"
  • Weight: 2.3 lb
  • Accepts Optional Arca-Type Plates
by Sean Setters
 
When packing up for my exodus from Savannah, GA with the center of hurricane Irma forecasted to hit the city dead on (it later hit farther west), I made sure to pack as much photography equipment as possible (we all have our priorities). One of the things I brought with me was my infrared-converted EOS 7D.
 
Deciding not to brave the flood of traffic heading to Atlanta, we instead headed west to New Orleans to stay with family who resides there. One of the places I visited while in New Orleans was The Fly (or, more precisely, Butterfly Riverview Park), a waterfront area located in southwest Audubon Park along the Mississippi River. The Fly is a popular hangout for college students, who typically enjoy sunbathing and other outdoor activities in the manicured lawns next to the river.
 
While the hordes of college students were certainly interesting, a few isolated trees on the opposite side of the road from the river bank caught my attention. With my IR-converted 7D available, I photographed a few of the trees. My favorite appears at the top of this post, and another image I enjoyed can be seen below.
 
The Fly in New Orleans Tree 2

Photographing isolated trees on flat land set against a bright blue sky with a Super Color IR-converted camera creates a dramatic contrast that helps draw the viewer's eyes directly to your subject. If photographed with a normal camera, the scene would have much less impact.
 
Upgrading DSLRs in the near future? Consider converting your older DSLR to an infrared camera to add an inspiring and creative tool to your kit.
Post Date: 9/28/2017 10:28:14 AM CT   Posted By: Sean

 
From The Art of Photography YouTube Channel:
 
One of my favorite features in Adobe Lightroom is the mobile syncing function. My favorite use in addition to syncing to the mobile app is the ability to create web galleries that automatically sync to your edits. This is particularly useful in collaboration situations when working with a client. In this tutorial I will show you how to create these.
 
B&H carries Adobe Photography Plan subscriptions.
Post Date: 9/28/2017 8:50:38 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
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