Just posted: Oben ASPTA-20 Smartphone Tripod Adapter Review.
This is a really handy accessory and a great value.
The most difficult aspect of capturing this sunset image was being there. Once in location, wait until the sun is nearly set behind a distant mountain, use an f/16 aperture to create a sunstar (but not lose too much sharpness to diffraction), select a shutter speed that nearly blows the red channel at ISO 400 (I had been running and did not have a tripod), compose for the foreground, sun, and clouds, focus roughly 1/3 into the frame, press the shutter release, and get that great feeling of knowing that a beautiful scene was part of the evening's take-home.
On this mid-July evening, I timed a trail run with the sunset and the clouds and slightly hazy summer sky cooperated to provide great color. The Sony FE 24-70mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens, small and light enough to not pose a physical limitation, was also getting a workout. This lens has the core general-purpose focal length range needed and it handled this scene nicely.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr (and the foreground appears brighter in the larger size).
From Canon USA:
CANON U.S.A TO HOST VIRTUAL PRESS CONFERENCE FOR NEW PROFESSIONAL IMAGING PRODUCTS AND TECHNOLOGIES
MELVILLE, N.Y., March 30, 2020 –– Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced today that they will be hosting a Virtual Press Conference to unveil the company’s new professional imaging products and technologies. The Virtual Press Conference, which will be streamed on the Canon U.S.A. website at usa.canon.com/VPC2020, is scheduled to air on Monday, April 20, 2020, at 1:00 PM EDT/10:00 AM PT.
“As Canon continues to monitor the global response surrounding the spread of COVID-19, the effects of which have impacted every aspect of our lives, we would like to thank everyone for their understanding and ongoing support during this challenging time,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president, and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc “The road ahead is long and filled with uncertainty, but when the broadcast and cinema industries are ready to resume ‘normal’ activities, Canon wants them to know we will be there to continue to support professionals with new products and technologies that meet their needs.”
The new Canon broadcast and cinema products featured during the Virtual Press Conference are aligned with the current and growing needs of the respective industries such as 4K UHD and HDR, as well as evolving technologies.
Just posted: Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens Review.
How does Sony's inexpensive general-purpose zoom lens perform?
For a much lower price, buy a used model at B&H.
Find out what I think of this super-zoom lens.
From Canon USA:
Printing Simplified with the New Canon PIXMA TR150 Printer
Wireless1 Printer Provides Exceptional Quality Prints, While Small Size and Optional Battery Allow Portability for Out Of the Office Business Professionals
MELVILLE, NY, March 26, 2020 – Millions of people across the United States routinely work from home. It’s helpful if they, along with people who work from other remote locations, have transportable equipment that can fit into a variety of work-related circumstances. In the spirit of working wherever the business takes you, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, unveils today the new Canon PIXMA TR150 Wireless1 Printer, as well as its optional battery for portability . The Canon PIXMA TR150 printer, when paired with the optional battery (sold separately), provides a lightweight portable option for quality printing needs for the out of the office business professional.
“With their time-consuming schedules, today’s business professionals require products that are easy to use and produce high-quality documents,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “The new Canon PIXMA TR150 printer can help business professionals in and out of the office to conduct business efficiently, leveraging Canon print technologies and features, including an OLED screen and Wi-Fi®1 connectivity.”
Printing Where and When Needed
If your office is the kitchen table or the living room sofa, bulky and clunky office equipment would not be feasible. Powered by USB charging or the optional battery, the Canon PIXMA TR150 printer can be your “whenever and wherever business calls” printer. Coming in at 4.5 pounds2 and approximately 12.7 inches x 7.3 inches x 2.6 inches, the Canon PIXMA TR150 printer features a 1.44 inch OLED display to help users easily install, set-up and connect the printer to compatible mobile devices. The screen also alerts the user to any troubleshooting issues such as paper needing to be refilled or low ink, helping to alleviate certain additional stresses that could occur during crunchtime moments.
The new Canon PIXMA TR150 printer features wireless connectivity via built-in 2.4GHz Wi-Fi®1 and if available, 5GHz Wi-Fi®1and, for users of compatible mobile devices, the added benefit of access to the Canon PRINT app3, allowing for easy setup and basic operations on compatible smartphone devices. Through the Canon PRINT app, users can easily access PIXMA Cloud Link3 to print documents from popular online social platforms and services, such as Box®, Facebook®, Dropbox®, Evernote®, Google Photos™, Google Drive™ and Microsoft® OneDrive®.
The new printer also features two black inks: a pigment-based black ink that delivers laser-like sharp text and a dye-based black ink that works to improve color contrast and image stabilization when printing photographs. With print speeds, of up to 9.0 ipm for black4 and 5.5 ipm for color4 – which stay consistent when using the optional battery, this small, lightweight printer can help you deliver client-ready projects quickly and professionally.
Pricing and Availability of the PIXMA TR150 Printer
Planned to be available in late March 2020, the Canon PIXMA TR150 printer will have an estimated retail price of $199.995 and the optional battery will have an estimated retail price of $99.995 For more information and the full list of product specifications, visit http://shop.usa.canon.com
# # #
† Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Availability and specifications are subject to change without notice.
1 Wireless printing requires a working network with wireless 802.11b/g/n/ac or ad capability, operating at 2.4/5.0GHz. Wireless performance may vary based on terrain and distance between the printer and wireless network clients.
2 Weight without optional battery.
3 Requires an Internet connection and the Canon PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY app, available for free on the App Store and at Google Play. Compatible with Apple devices running iOS® 11 or later, and AndroidTM mobile devices running Android 4.4 or later. Your device must be connected to the same working network with wireless 802.11 b/g/n/ac/ad capability as your printer.
4 Document print speeds are the averages of ESAT in Office Category Test for the default simplex mode, ISO/IEC 24734. Print speed may vary depending on system configuration, interface, software, document complexity, print mode, page coverage, type of paper used etc. See www.usa.canon.com/ipm for additional details.
5 Price is subject to change without notice. Actual price is set by individual dealers and may vary.
Awesome lens. Create some comparisons.
Save up to over $2,000: check out the used EF 500mm lenses in stock at B&H.
From Canon USA:
Future Firmware: EOS-1D X Mark III
Thank you for using Canon products.
We have confirmed that the following phenomenon may occur during use of the EOS-1D X Mark III digital SLR camera. A new firmware release is planned for early April; once the new firmware is ready, we will make an announcement on our website.
We would like to offer our sincere apologies to users of these products who may have been inconvenienced by this issue
When the camera is used with the electronic level set to “Show” in the viewfinder display, in rare cases, the camera may not perform normally when operating the AF-ON button or shutter button.
EOS-1D X Mark III (Firmware version 1.0.0)
Use the “Hide” setting for the “Electronic level” in the “Viewfinder display”.
Menu / Set-up 2 tab / Viewfinder display / Electronic level* [Hide]
*Default setting: [Hide]
In early-April 2020, we plan to release a firmware update to address the phenomenon listed above. Once the new firmware is ready, we will make an announcement on the Canon U.S.A website.
In the interim, please follow the steps provided in the workaround.
If you have not already done so, please register the EOS-1D X Mark III. By registering, we will be able to notify you via email about future announcements.
From the Adobe Photoshop YouTube Channel:
Meredith Stotzner shows you how to get rid of tools that don’t spark joy. Do some spring-cleaning in your Photoshop Toolbar to make it simple and more efficient.
Life has become crazy for a vast number of people as I create this post and the fragility of life has become more real. Know that the time we are in is a temporary one. As always, hold onto Faith and make the most of the situation.
If temporarily unemployed, you suddenly find yourself with a huge amount of time available. Even if still working but from home, you no longer have commute time in your schedule. While relaxation has some value (I keep telling myself that), I challenge you to stay motivated and make good use of your extra time.
Shoot the Kids
If you have kids, they are extremely important to you but finding time in overlapping schedules is often a major obstacle for photographing them. Your schedule and their schedule have likely been cleared, green-lighting this project. I promise that you will not regret having the images and your kids might find it of value to share the pics on their social media (market that usage to get their buy-in).
Shoot formal portraits ranging from full-body (slightly wide-angle to normal focal lengths) to tight headshots (telephoto lens), find brightly-colored clothing and props, go wild with lighting, photograph them doing something they are passionate about, make them go out and get some exercise while you work a run and gun approach to catch them in action, etc.
When the kids lose patience, move to the pets — or consider including the pets to extend the kids' patience.
Perhaps your Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media profile pictures are lacking in quality? No need to hire someone for this — go into full selfie mode. Consider photographing yourself doing something you frequently do such as exercise (which should always be part of your routine) and consider using an exposure long enough to create some motion blur as motion is a minimum requirement for exercise.
Shoot Something Different
If birds and wildlife are your thing, try shooting architecture. If you are a portrait photographer, try wildlife. Browse Instagram, Flickr, etc. for ideas. Now is a great time to learn to shoot video. Perhaps the portfolio you build from this experience will open new doors.
Shoot with Something Different
A lot of the fun of photography is using new gear and that is a valid reason to try another brand camera. This is a great time to try a mirrorless camera model. Tilt-shift lenses are very educational (and useful).
A new season is coming and now is a great time to research the gear you need to capture it. If unsure about your future with that gear or you can't afford to buy it, go big for a small cost by renting something. It is super easy to order a camera, a lens, lighting gear, etc. from Lensrentals and have it show up on your doorstep.
Shoot from New Heights and Angles
Shoot from positions that require you, your tripod, and/or minimally your camera to go into positions they are not normally used in. This may be from up high, down low, very close, very far, etc. Go for a walk with your camera with a self-imposed limitation such as "All images must be captured within 6" (150mm) of the ground.
I know, that electronic viewfinder level not showing all green makes us perfectionists hesitate to press the shutter release but sometimes it is OK to take a not-gravity-level photo. Consider imposing a limitation on the angle of the camera such as angled 45° downward, tilted 45° sideways, or both.
Shoot Your House
Think like a real estate photographer and photograph your house. Shoot the exterior during the blue hour. Stage and photograph the interior with an ultra-wide-angle lens, timing the shooting with exterior light levels if relevant for your space. Then market yourself to the local real estate companies.
Shoot Something Small
Especially for a macro lens, there are unending subjects available.
Bring a flower in from your garden. If your garden is bare, perhaps a neighbor would trade one of their flowers for a much-longer-lasting print. Or, perhaps you can buy a subject.
Go through your cabinets and drawers looking for interesting subjects that could include noodles, candy, utensils, etc. Find colorful art supplies such as crayons and pencils.
Hint: if it comes in a box or bag and is in your cupboards, it might make a great pattern subject. Consider photographing one unique small subject among a significant amount of similar subjects.
Hint 2: Avoid eating too much of your subject until the project is finished.
Hint 3: This is a great time to learn lighting including with flash.
Hint 4: Try focus stacking.
Hint 5: Try strong white balance adjustments.
Everyone loves a lens blur and an easy way to get artistic is to intentionally blur a scene by making it out of focus. I often shoot intentional focus blurs when testing lenses and sometimes I like the results enough to keep them. Shooting these blurs will teach you how to approach a scene differently with the structure created by color and contrast taking over the frame.
Consider going really crazy with zoom blurs. Use an exposure long enough to allow you to turn the zoom ring a noticeable amount while the exposure is being captured. A tripod will usually improve these results.
Attach your camera to something moving. Use an exposure duration that is long enough to make the scene blurred with, ideally, whatever the camera is attached to remaining sharp. If lacking a good mounting platorm, simply hold the camera in front of a colorful scene and, while using a long exposure, pan the camera left and right to create a sea of color. Note that a Neutral Density Filter may prove vital for achieving exposure durations necessary for optimal results.
Include something very close in the foreground that adds blur to an otherwise-common-appearing subject such as a person (please do not block their face).
Consider using a tilt-shift lens to create interesting blurs.
Focus calibrating cameras and lenses can be time-consuming but the adjustments can be worthwhile to make. Go through your kit, shooting a Datacolor SpyderLensCal or other focus calibration aid and fine-tune your combinations to perfection.
Shoot for the Background
Find a background that works superbly with the focal length you are using and then find an attractive subject to place in the foreground for a sure win. Sometimes different lighting on the subject and background can create a look that stands out.
Research Your Next Shoot
Determine what subject you want to photograph, determine where and when is optimal for that subject, and make plans to be there with the right gear. Utilize apps such as The Photographer's Ephemeris and Photo Pills to determine the alignment of the celestial attractions.
Sign up for a workshop going to a location that interests you. Enjoy the anticipation of capturing your planned image(s).
Improve an Image You Already Shot
Re-post-processing is a thing. Hopefully your photo editing skills are improving and likely you captured some great images in the past that could now be re-processed for better results. Perhaps some challenging images you didn't attempt processing are now within your capabilities.
Now is a great time to learn a new software application. Consider adding Photoshop & Lightroom, Capture One, and/or Luminar (use coupon code THEDIGITALPICTURE to get a $10.00 discount) to your kit and skill set.
Share What You Shot
If you are not already maintaining a portfolio site, now is a great time to set one up. I use SmugMug and highly recommend their service which optionally includes selling. Plans start at only $48 per year and a 14-day trial is available.
Consider taking your marketing/professionalism to the next step by purchasing a personal domain name and hosting for it. Through experience, I can tell you that there are a lot of bad web hosts out there. There are also some very good ones and an inexpensive host I have grown to trust is InMotionHosting. SmugMug can also utilize your custom domain name with their hosting.
If you already maintain a portfolio site, this is a good time to remove the lower-grade images still there. Your skills are surely improving and some of those old images are no longer reflecting your abilities.
Print What You Shot
You now have time to create that family or trip photo book you have been putting off. Perhaps it is time to put some of your prints on your walls. Consider metal prints — they are awesome and you don't have to select or buy a frame. Also not requiring a frame and loved by most are canvas prints. Printique (formerly AdoramaPix) is one of my favorites.
Backup What You Shot
You have a backup plan that includes secure, remote off-site storage, right? If so, make sure that those backups are current. If not, fix that problem ASAP. WD My Passport external drives are a great option.
Scan What You Shot
Still have prints and slides hanging around? Don't wait any longer to digitize them. I used the predecessor to the Epson Perfection V550 Photo Film and Document Scanner to digitize my old prints and the kid's artwork and still use it to eliminate most of my paper receipts.
Learn to Shoot Better
Learning is worth intentionally interrupting work for and the decision to spend time learning during a forced interruption is a no-brainer. Our Photography Tips page is a good place to start. Professional Photographers of America (PPA) has made a huge set of free online classes available.
Upgrade your Computer and Home Office
You have been tolerating that old, slow computer for long enough. It is time for a change and you have time to set up a new system, migrating your images and workflow. A faster system will save you valuable time later and a more reliable system will save more than time. I have been using Dell XPS computers for about 20 years.
While at it, if kids are involved, upgrade all of the systems. Education is extremely important and making learning easier will encourage that practice.
Is your printer adequate? A wireless printer makes life much easier in our house.
Do you enjoy music while at your desk? A quality sound system can make a big difference.
During a time of change is a good time to drop bad habits and start new ones. Hopefully something just said has stirred your creativity and motivation. Move in positive new directions. This world is a better place with you in it — carpe diem.
Just posted: Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Lens Review.
You are going to want this lens.
It is so hard to get kids to smile nicely but apparently, even animal kids have this problem. What was this black bear cub thinking? What induced it to bend its nose sideways? I have no idea, but I love humor in wildlife images and am always looking for it.
A second cub is facing the opposite direction in the background and the side of the mother bear can be seen along the left edge of the frame.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
From the LensRentals Blog:
By Roger CicalaRead the entire article on the LensRentals Blog.
I’m qualified to talk about this subject to some degree; I take care of a ton of camera equipment, and I was a physician in my past life. And I’ve had so many requests for information about this that it seems logical to put something out, so everyone has access to it.
Disinfecting Equipment and People – What you can and can’t accomplish.
If you are going out amongst people, you’re taking some risk. You can reduce it, but you can’t eliminate it. Masks protect others from you a bit; they don’t protect you from others. Beards increase your risk of both giving and receiving a bit and negate any benefit of a mask. Gloves keep stuff from getting on your fingers, but otherwise, virus transfers from gloves-to-face and gloves-to-anything else just fine.
This virus transmits by aerosol, so if you breathe an infected person’s air, bad things happen. That’s what the 6-foot rule is about, although 6 feet probably isn’t quite enough. The virus also settles on surfaces, and if you touch the surface and then your face, bad things happen. How long the virus can live on surfaces isn’t clear and depends a lot on the surface and ambient conditions. At least 8 hours is a reasonable rule for encapsulated virions (virus particles), but under ideal (for the virus) conditions 24 hours seems likely. There have been some reports of 72 hours in lab conditions, but that seems unlikely in real-life conditions.
So there’s one thought for you; if the gear hasn’t been touched or breathed on in 24 hours, it’s almost certainly safe; at 72 hours, you can take off the almost.
Then go rent something.
Just posted: Really Right Stuff Tripod Bag Review.
This is a quick review of an excellent tripod accessory.
A university administration building had caught my eye. It seemed a perfect subject for the Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Lens I was reviewing and photographing it was on this evening's to-do list. During the blue hour is a great time to photograph architecture and starting with a shooting direction away from the sunset provides the earliest brightness balance between the building lights and the sky. As the sky darkened, the light balance on the other side of the building, looking toward the sunset (brighter sky), improved and that was the direction the camera was facing for this image capture.
To get a level camera for this perspective required fully extending the Really Right Stuff TVC-24L Mk2 Carbon Fiber Tripod legs and positioning the feet as close together as possible without risking stability. The camera was well above head height but the tilt LCD enabled proper leveling and composition. The low geometric distortion of this lens makes it a great option for photographing subjects with straight lines along the edges of the frame.
This was a single RAW image (not an HDR) captured with the brightest areas of the image somewhat too bright. In post, utilizing the Sony a7R IV's excellent dynamic range, the highlights were pulled back and the shadows were boosted for a balanced appearance.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
From the TamronVids YouTube Channel:
Mountain Biker Mitchell Bryan. Shot with Tamron's SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD G2 on Canon mirrorless R camera.
MELVILLE, NY, March 18, 2020 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced today that Mr. Eliott Peck, the company’s executive vice president and general manager of the Imaging Technologies and Communications Group, will retire effective March 31, 2020. Canon U.S.A. credits Mr. Peck’s 45 years of strong leadership, dedication and achievements shaping the success of Canon’s consumer and professional imaging products, which include camera, lens, video, inkjet printer, projector, display, broadcast lenses and new business innovation.
“Over the past 45 years, I have been fortunate to assume different roles at Canon and to have been part of the growth that saw the company become one of the premier brands in the world, said Mr. Peck. “It has been a true honor for me to have worked with some amazingly bright and supportive people that have helped define and revitalize our industry through the years and created a brand that has emerged, adapted and grown to be the digital imaging solutions leader it is today.”
Mr. Peck is an associate member of the American Society of Cinematographers, a non-profit association dedicated to advancing the art and practice of filmmaking. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Industry Leaders for the Consumer Technology Association. He is also on the Executive Steering Committee of the Canon Americas Board of Group Management.
“Eliott is a respected leader within our organization as well as within the imaging and consumer technology industry, said Joe Adachi, chairman and chief executive officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “On behalf of Canon U.S.A., we share our immense gratitude for his service as well as his innovative contributions to our company.”
The "Which software should I use for image editing?" question hit the inbox so I thought I'd share the software I am using with you.
If processing Canon RAW images, I use Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP). While this software is not as feature-filled as other options, it is easy to use and more important is that it produces very good image quality, including very good color. That this software is free is a strong positive feature.
The huge industry favorite is feature-packed Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop is included in the Adobe CC Photography Plan required to acquire this software. I process Nikon images with Lightroom and finish most web-bound images with Photoshop.
I use Capture One for editing Sony RAW images. This is well-designed software and when I last compared results, Capture One produced noticeably-better-looking noise patterns in Sony images than Lightroom. The Sony Express version is free.
Another app growing rapidly in popularity is Skylum Luminar.
Nikon and Sony both offer free image processing software but I find both challenging to use.
Don't forget to use our coupon code THEDIGITALPICTURE to get an additional $10.00 discount!
No, post-processing was not used to create that perfectly-placed shadow. Outdoor photography is often about being at the right place at the right time. On this day, my timing was about perfect for the shadow of a large university field house to fall across the lanes of the outdoor track next to it, shading all but the first lane.
Also aiding in emphasizing the "1" was the perspective. With the 20mm lens positioned closer to the "1" than the other numbers, the "1" becomes the largest in the frame and therefore the most prominent. Everyone loves number "1" and there are far more uses for an emphasized "1" than any other number.
The Sony FE 20mm f/1.8 G Lens is very fun to walk around with, letting your creativity take over. The results from this lens are quite impressive.
A larger version of this image is available on Flickr.
From the Adobe Photoshop YouTube Channel:
In this episode of #PHOMO, you’ll learn how to match the color, brightness, and tone of your photo composites using Photoshop. Follow along with Paul Trani to see how.
You are going to like these results. The full review for this lens should be available soon.
Just posted: Really Right Stuff TQC-14/TFC-14 Mk2 Tripod Review.
This tripod is very impressive, outperforming many significantly larger, heavier models.
From the B&H YouTube Channel:
What is focus stacking, and how does it work? In this product photography tutorial, Jake and Bobby show you how taking and processing multiple images at different focus distances can produce a greater depth of field than a single image is capable of. The final effect being the full image in sharp focus.
Note from Sean: I often use focus stacking when photographing flowers and highly recommend giving the technique a try when photographing small [motionless] objects.
From the Adorama YouTube Channel:
In this video Gavin Hoey takes you through his process of using fake walls, made of fabric, for a portrait shoot in his small home studio. Gavin's idea is to create the feeling of depth by lighting his model but letting the far corner drop in to dark shadow. It sounds simple enough but in order for the set-up to work, Gavin will have to compromise on his vision and come up with some creative lighting solutions. Problem solving and compromise, it's all part of the photographic process.