On this day in Shenandoah National Park, white-tailed deer and more specifically, fawns, were my primary target. However, I knew that sunsets from the Big Meadows area were often beautiful and therefore, I coordinated my efforts to be in position to photograph the sky should it blow up in color. And on this evening, it did.
I only had the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with a EOS 5Ds R behind it and a Gitzo monopod under it. Fortunately, that ended up being an ideal setup. With the brilliantly colored sky being relatively small in scale, the telephoto focal lengths allowed me to get a frame full of color.
I photographed this scene through and after sunset, but liked this image, with the last bit of sun still shining over the distant mountain, the best. With a great sky, interesting and colorful images can be made with little or no content other than just the sky in the frame. In this situation, I liked how the mountain in shadow gave the image a base in addition to adding some needed framing below setting sun.
The colorful sky found just before, during and just after sunrises and sunsets help to create some of the best landscape images possible. But, there is one post processing adjustment that can give these images some extra "pop" and that adjustment is saturation. Find the saturation slider in your image processing tool, slide it to the right and watch your image come alive.
But, don't move it too far to the right. Use caution in the amount of saturation you add as this adjustment can easily be (and often is) overdone. Add the desired life to the image without creating a garish overdone look that screams "I ADDED TOO MUCH SATURATION!" I like to come back to a processed image the next day to see if I still agree with my original decision. Sometimes, I change my mind months later.
The sky was so amazingly colored on this evening that I only adjusted the saturation setting for this image to "1" (in Canon's Digital Photo Pro software).
It seemed fitting to post a sunset image on New Year's Eve, the sunset of another year. My family and I wish you and yours a Happy New Year and hope that your 2017 is a blessed one!
From the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom YouTube Channel:
Lightroom tips and tricks in 60 seconds or less from longtime Lightroom team member Benjamin Warde.
Nikon Japan has released a product advisory warning that images may be corrupted when using Nikon Trasnfer 2 with View NX-i. See below for the Google translated version of the Nikon announcement.
Thank you very much for your continued patronage of Nikon products.via Nikon Rumors
It turned out that image data may be corrupted when transferring images using Nikon Transfer 2 on macOS Sierra version 10.12.2 in our software "View NX - i".
ViewNX-i Ver.1.2.4 which was released on November 22, 2016 supported macOS Sierra version 10.12, but since it was not designed for macOS Sierra version 10.12.1 or later, we are currently working on compatibility.
For this reason, until compatibility with macOS Sierra version 10.12.1 or later can be confirmed, and please do not use Nikon Transfer 2 until an announcement from us.
We are diligently working on a solution for this phenomenon and we will notify once a fix has been issued.
We appreciate your continued patronage of Nikon products.
Several years ago, Roger Cicala of LensRentals made a few blog posts where he intimated that buying a UV/protective filter was not necessarily a wise investment in a lot of situations. At the time, lens front elements were relatively inexpensive to replace and high quality filters were costly.
However, many of the higher quality lenses produced over the past 5 years have featured more complex front elements, with the result of Roger feeling compelled to revisit his cost-benefit analysis of UV filter use.
See Roger's recent LensRentals Blog post to see if purchasing a UV filter is a wise decision for you and your lens(es).
While actively reviewing a lens, I generally have it mounted and ready to capture any appropriate subject that comes available. On this day, it was a raccoon that provided the entertainment and the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS Contemporary was fortunately the mounted lens.
If you could use long focal lengths in a relatively small, light and affordable package, this lens is worth considering. With the 600mm focal length and image stabilization, I was able to capture this image handheld from a distance long enough to avoid scaring the critter away.
From Canon USA:
New PIXMA G-Series MegaTank Printers are Ideal for Users Seeking Convenient, Maintenance-Free Printing
MELVILLE, N.Y., December 27, 2016 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the launch of the new PIXMA G-series MegaTank Printers; PIXMA G1200 MegaTank Single Function Printer, PIXMA G2200 MegaTank All-In-One Printer, PIXMA MegaTank G3200 Wireless All-In-One Printer and PIXMA G4200 MegaTank Wireless All-In-One Printer. This new line of printers is ideal for high-print volume printing environments within home offices, dorm rooms or anywhere a user needs a low-maintenance printer with enhanced connectivity and convenient, high-quality printing.
Each of the PIXMA G-series MegaTank printers feature a front-facing, built-in refillable ink tank system that makes it easy for users to monitor ink levels and refill when needed. Paired with the ink bottle’s spill-resistant tops, the system is designed to provide seamless and clean usability at home and in the office. This new hybrid integrated system of replenishing ink is cost-effective and offers higher page yield than the prior generation of PIXMA printers. The black ink provides up to 6,000 pages per bottle and the total color ink combination provides up to 7,000 pages2. The PIXMA G-series printers’ easy-to-use refillable ink bottles offer substantial ink capacity with 135 ml in the black bottle and 70 ml in each color ink bottle. Another value-added feature for the new PIXMA G-series printers is the initial quick installation set-up timeframe (for ink installation only) which is approximately six minutes.
"Our PIXMA G-series printer models offer smart design inside and out,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Expanding the line of PIXMA printers with the added benefit of a built-in refillable ink tank system highlights Canon’s commitment to continuing to enhance the printing experience in businesses and in the home with genuine Canon print reliability.”
Convenient, Customized Printing
One of the key features of the PIXMA G-series MegaTank printers is their overall size and ability to save space. Rather than having bulky side-mounted refillable tanks, all of the printers feature an integrated front-facing refillable ink tank system, allowing users to check ink levels and to refill as needed. Furthermore, the PIXMA G2200 MegaTank All-In-One Printer provides users with the option to print and scan while the PIXMA G3200 and PIXMA G4200 printers have similar functionality, with the PIXMA G4200 model offering an LCD screen and fax option, making it even easier for users to get the most out of their printing experience. The PIXMA G4200 printer also features an automatic document feeder to easily copy and scan multiple documents without having to load them one page at a time.
Brighter, Borderless Photos…Faster
Utilizing new pigment and dye hybrid inks, the PIXMA G-series printers provide crisp and pronounced black text and vibrant colors for visually impactful printing. Each of the G-series models offers print speeds of up to 8.8 images per minute (ipm) in B/W and 5.0 ipm in color and can produce a borderless 4 x 6-inch photo in approximately 60 seconds. In addition, the printers offer a maximum color resolution of 4800 x 1200 dpi.
Smart, Enhanced Usability
With Wi-Fi1 capabilities, both the PIXMA G4200 and G3200 Wireless MegaTank All-In-One Printers can help users increase their productivity by allowing users to print from almost anywhere. By simply using a smartphone and the Canon PRINT app, users can easily access PIXMA Cloud Link to print photos and documents from popular online social platforms and services, such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Photobucket, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, as well as from Canon Creative Park. The PIXMA G4200 and G3200 printers also support Google Cloud Print, for printing from Gmail and Google Docs on a compatible mobile device, and from the Google Chrome browser for Mac, Windows, Linux and Chrome computers.
The PIXMA G-series printers are available today with the PIXMA G1200 MegaTank Single Function Printer available for $249.99, the PIXMA G2200 MegaTank All-In-One Printer available for $269.99, the PIXMA G3200 Wireless MegaTank All-In-One Printer available for $299.99 and the PIXMA G4200 Wireless MegaTank All-In-One Printer available for $399.99.
Just Posted: Lastolite Magnetic Background Support Review
For simplifying the use of collapsible backgrounds, this lightweight and easy-to-pack accessory has become and invaluable part of my kit. [Sean]
From the IAMNIKON Blog:
@TastyAsHeck, she has made a big splash on the platform with her colourful and enticing food photography.See the entire article on the IAMNIKON Blog.
Heike’s channel has grown incredibly over the past three years and she has learnt a lot along the way. She now reveals how to boost your channel following, improve your social presence and those little food photography tips and tricks to help you succeed when posting food pics on Instagram.
From the wolfcrow YouTube Channel:
Newcomers are easily confused between F-stop and T-stop markings on lenses. In this video I explain when each is used for apertures, and why one is used in photography while the other is predominant in cinematography.
According to the Egami Blog, Canon has filed a patent for a 135mm f/2 optical design containing two apodization filters.
Apodization is an optical filtering technique, and its literal translation is "removing the foot". It is the technical term for changing the shape of a mathematical function, an electrical signal, an optical transmission or a mechanical structure. In optics, it is primarily used to remove Airy disks caused by diffraction around an intensity peak, improving the focus.Patent Details (Google Translated)
An 85mm lens is usually not my first choice for bird photography, but ... I can be an opportunist. When this shot presented itself, I saw the opportunity for demonstrating this lens' minimum focus distance combined with the look of the 85mm focal length and f/1.4 aperture. The shallow depth of field makes the tufted titmouse stand out in an image containing many potentially distracting details.
Aligning the edge of the bird within the gold ribbon also aids in isolating the subject and the Christmas-decorated basket "ties" the image into the season.
My family and I wish you a warm, joy-filled and very merry Christmas! We consider you part of our family and hope that your Christmas is filled with great meaning, great memories and, as always, great images And, may all of your camera cases be overflowing.
What would a Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art Lens review be without a sample portrait? The problem was that the schedules of my most-potential subjects were crazy and the weather had been mostly not very nice since the lens arrived.
When I saw my best opportunity, time was short, it was raining lightly and with the associated heavy cloud cover, outdoor lighting from the massive overhead softbox was very flat. Fortunately, the giant softbox makes lighting easy (and the f/1.4 aperture means that the low light levels were a non-issue). All that was needed was a form of shade to give some direction/shape to the light. I simply had my subject stand at the edge of a porch roof. The white columns and white window trim background was able to be melted away with the aid of the shallow depth of field this lens can produce.
The diffusely-blurred and neutrally-colored background does not compete for attention with the primary subject and the red scarf adds just a touch of Christmas color.
When capturing portraits with a very shallow depth of field, the closer eye minimally needs to be in focus. If the subject is looking directly at the camera, both eyes can be in focus, but if there is any other head angle, a decision needs to be made and the closer eye should get priority. At this lens' minimum focus distance with the maximum aperture in use, even the eyelashes will not be sharp when ideal eye focus is achieved. Pushing the plane of sharp focus to the closer iris or very slightly farther away will give the best look to the image (shifting focus slightly closer makes the eyelashes sharper, but the more-distant eye becomes even more blurred).
The camera height for this portrait was slightly higher than the subject's head angle. This camera angle keeps the subject's mouth (mostly) in focus (another desirable goal) and usually provides an ideal portrait look. Having the subject shift their head toward the camera slightly helps tighten the skin around the jaw line and un-squishes the neck area. At least for female subjects, I often ask for a slight head tip as also seen here.
The Sigma 85mm f/1.4 Art lens is an awesome choice for portraiture. It makes a great look easy to capture.
Hopefully by now you've seen the incredible imagery created when Mick Fanning went to Norway and surfed beneath the spectacular Northern Lights. The shoot took place in Lofoten, a far flung speck of a town on Norway's smashed plate of a coastlne. The surf is consistent, the aurora borealis is anything but.See the entire article on the Redbull website.
Fanning teamed up with Norwegian photographers Emil Sollie and Mats Grimsæth as they sought to capture that one elusive moment of surfer and natural phenomenon squaring off, and no one ever said that was going to be easy.
B&H is offering free next day delivery on many of its most popular items up through 4:00pm today Eastern Time.
Need some ideas? Here are some resources you may find useful (not all of the products mentioned below will qualify for free next day delivery).
Thank you for purchasing and using our products.
Today, the SIGMA Corporation is pleased to announce the availability of “SIGMA Optimization Pro 1.4.1 for Windows”, the dedicated software for the SIGMA USB DOCK, SIGMA FLASH USB DOCK FD-11 and SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11.
This download service is for users of the SIGMA USB DOCK, SIGMA FLASH USB DOCK FD-11 and SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11 who are using our interchangeable lenses from our Art, Contemporary and Sports product lines or SIGMA ELECTRONIC FLASH EF-630 SA-STTL.
Please ensure you download SIGMA Optimization Pro 1.4.1 for the effective use of the SIGMA USB DOCK, SIGMA FLASH USB DOCK FD-11 and SIGMA MOUNT CONVERTER MC-11.
Benefit of SIGMA Optimization Pro 1.4.1
* this could only happen in the software environment that SIGMA Cine Lenses, SIGMA Mount Converter MC-11 and SIGMA ELECTRONIC FLASH EF-630 SA-STTL were connected in the past.
SIGMA Optimization Pro 1.4.1 for Windows is available to download here.
Changes from Firmware Version 1.1 to 1.2
Download: KeyMission 360 Firmware v.1.2
From the Canon Digital Learning Center:
By Ted HesserSee the entire artile on the Canon Digital Learning Center.
This article will detail practical lessons learned in the vertical pursuit of rock climbing photography. Special attention will be paid to the task of carrying a DSLR around in the mountains and up on the rock wall.
The first logical comparison is the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II vs. I. We first tested the version I lens over a decade ago, but the recent copy we acquired for testing on the 5Ds R turned in better results, looking quite impressive for the price of the lens.
You will likely find the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II vs. 70-300 L comparison interesting, along with many of the other comparisons available in the tool. We will be sharing results from the 1Ds III (for backward compatibility in the tool) and also from the 7D II for APS-C format comparisons.
With a $250.00 instant rebate, the older lens is looking like an especially great bargain right now. B&H has the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens in stock for only $399.00 with free next day delivery (USA) and 4% rewards.
B&H has the Venus Optics Laowa 12mm f/2.8 Zero-D Lens for Canon available for preorder.
Other mount versions are either in stock or anticipated to be in stock soon.
Just posted: Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens Review.
This may be the wide aperture 85mm lens you have been waiting for.
From the DigitalRev In-Focus YouTube Channel:
Learn the history of Adobe Photoshop in 3 minutes.
This video is dedicated to anyone who has ever frantically scrolled through the history menu, tooled around with layer styles for hours on end or been baffled by the pen tool.
Just posted: Canon W-E1 Wi-Fi Adapter Review.
The Canon W-E1 Wi-Fi Adapter arrived on my doorstep about 6-weeks ago, yet it only took a few days to fully appreciate the value this inexpensive (only $39.95) accessory can add to one's kit. If you currently own an EOS 5Ds/5Ds R or 7D Mark II, this easy-to-pack accessory is definitely worth consideration.
If you were a bit underwhelmed by the W-E1's announcement, be sure to read our full review to discover a few details that may surprise you. (Sean)
Shenyang China, Dec 19, 2016 – Zhongyi Optics (ZY Optics) has released a new compact Super Macro Lens for full frame cameras, the Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5x Super Macro Lens and it features a high reproduction ratio up to 4.5:1.
Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5X Super Macro Lens is very compact in its class which allows photographers to capture extremely fine details or patterns with ease. The lens is capable of creating unbelievable macro images ranging from 4x to 4.5x magnification. Users no longer need to DIY or use any extension tubes to reach high magnification shooting. It incorporates a 6pcs of elements in 4 groups structure which delivers impressive resolution from corners to corners. Weighing merely 0.5 lbs (230g) and 6cm long, it is a perfect companion for wildlife and outdoor shooting. The wide angle of view and close focusing distance allows you to compose creative images with more information included into the frame. Greater magnification (up to 13:1) can also be achieved by stacking extension tubes or bellows. The high magnification is also extremely useful for scientific purposes.
Pricing & Availability
Zhongyi Mitakon 20mm f/2 4.5X Super Macro Lens is now available to ship and purchase at ZY Optics authorized resellers and at our official website (http://www.zyoptics.net/). The Recommended Retail price is USD 199.
Note: The sample image posted above as well as the sample images published on Zhongyi's website have been [rather heavily] edited in Photoshop Lightroom 6.5. For more details, check out the full EXIF information for the fingerprint sample image.
Most of the time, images of wildlife approaching are better than those of wildlife going away. The problem is, where the wildlife is going to go is not always predictable. It is much easier to follow wildlife than to stay ahead of it.
These incredibly-cute twin white-tailed deer fawns were with their mother and she was meandering through the woods, feeding in a seemingly random manner. I was constantly adjusting my position, trying to be in the right place as they passed through a potentially good scene.
When I saw the adorable little fawns headed for a fern-bordered clearing, I immediately saw the potential image and moved into position. I couldn't have requested a better direction, though they came through very fast. With the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II in high speed burst mode, I was able to capture a string of images as they came through. The fast frame rate afforded me the opportunity to be quite selective, choosing my favorite body positions. This one stood out to me for the symmetry in the fawns' stride along with their head positions.
Photographing in the woods with direct sunlight reaching through the canopy makes lighting very challenging. The giant overhead softbox that a cloudy day creates resolves that problem and this day had been perfect. There was direct sunlight in the early morning, providing great warm lighting in the fields of Big Meadows. As the sun rose and the lighting cooled, cloud cover rolled in and provided great light for photographing in and near the woods all day long. This image was captured at 2:39 PM on a late spring day.
But, just because the lighting is good does not mean that the animals will be there. Deer typically feed early and late in the day and finding them mid-day can be challenging. Many photographers don't feel that mid-day is worth their time. Perhaps I'm not that smart, but ... this mother had two hungry little ones to feed and was in need of additional meals. I was out hunting for subjects and our paths crossed.
As I've mentioned before, a monopod is faster to setup and adjust than a tripod and the monopod was a key part of my kit on this encounter. Being able to set up fast enabled me to position myself closer to where the fawns currently were, making the ideal position prediction more accurate.
Another fawn photography tip I'll share is the timing for fawn photography. You will probably agree that fawns are their cutest just after birth, before they grow very rapidly. But, newborn fawns are not as active as those a week or two old. The newborns stay hidden in their beds a significant percentage of the time, making them harder to photograph. If your time is short and you want your encounter rate increased, consider timing your photography trip for a week or two later than you would for just-born fawns.