Monday, February 27, 2012

pair of red-tail hawks

A couple of red-tail hawks earlier this afternoon in Shepherd Park, Oak Park, MI, USA. 1/1000 sec, f5.6, ISO 400, 135mm on a Canon 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS lens. Natural light only.  Temporary blue sky, full sun, breezy and about 40 degrees F.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Canon 5D Mark III Specs Confirmed? Official on Feb. 27?

Canon 5D Mark III Specs Confirmed? Official on Feb. 27?:

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Cheap strong neutral density filter hack for long exposures

You know those terrific landscape pictures where the lake looks like a sheet of glass?  Or a waterfall is all milky smooth?  Or the clouds streak in haunting wisps?

Well, you know as well as I that that is accomplished with long exposures (and a steady tripod).  But in order to take said long exposure without completely blowing out your scene, you need to either shoot around abouts daybreak or sundown.   If you are anything like me, you don't really want to get out there at dawn.  And even at sunset, the light changes fast and you may have to change your settings frequently.

Another option is to use a strong neutral density filter to reduce the light input and allow shooting in brighter situations.  The really good ones (and the really dark ones) start to get expensive.  So, if you are like me and always looking for a bargain, or just like the DIY take on things, you may like this alternative.

A Lincoln Electric #10 Shade Welding Lens Replacement.  $5 at Lowe's.  Until you hold it up to a good strong light you'll think it's black through and through.  Nope.  It's transparent, but just barely.

This terrific shot by CJ Schmit:
was shot using this very same welding lens.

So I just bought mine and I can't wait until conditions are right in my area for me to try this out.  Just have to think on how I'm going to strap in onto my wide-angle lens (probably great big rubber bands, maybe binder clips, too)  This may also involve some sort of rubber gasket. I'll post my results when I have some to show.

Hope this tip is useful to you!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Yongnuo flash heads

Yongnuo has a couple new (or updated) flashheads.

I would consider getting three or four of these (probably the 560) to put on my newfangled DIY tri-flash brackets  (see post from last week).  It says "recycle time of three seconds" but it also says "Supports 8 fps continuous shooting at 1/8th power output" so I think the three second business is strictly for full power (which would rarely be necessary in a threesome on the new bracket).

I've used Canon, Nikon, Sunpak, Starblitz, and Focal flashes, but never Yongnuo.  I would welcome comments from anyone who has used the Yongnuo.

PocketWizard Plus III Announced for $139

PocketWizard Plus III Announced for $139:

'via Blog this'

Monday, February 20, 2012

red bellied woodpecker

A red-bellied woodpecker from a slightly obscured view position. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

$1 DIY tri flash bracket

($1 assuming you already have some single bracket hardware. About $19 if need to get the single bracket.)

Disappointed with your flash power or your recycle times, but already have speedlites?  One great solution is to put multiple speedlites together.  You can double or triple your power or tone down the power (but multiply by your two or three speedlites) to get the same photon power without sacrificing recycling time.

There are a number of ways you can get your flash heads together, especially if you are triggering them with radio triggers.  I've used ball bungees to strap a couple together -- boy did that contraption make me nervous.  Another way to go is one of those nifty double or triple brackets that you can buy, like this:

They start at about $60.  I wanted to get one of these and then I started to think about how simple the mechanism could be.  So off to the hardware store I went.  I purchased a 3 inch long 1/4 in./20 headless bolt for 59 cents.

Now I already had several of the Impact Umbrella Brackets: .

I slid the new bolt in front of the brass stud at the top of the bracket (you may have to loosen the screw that tightens on this stud) -- then tighten it all up.  I screwed on the CS triggers, and subsequently the flashes.  And this is what I got...

All it took was this 59 cent bolt:

I think that I will add some washers and nuts to prevent rotation on the two side triggers/flashes, but what you see here is pretty much my answer to the $60 and up tri flash bracket.  For only 59 cents to $19.  Now to add the ol' umbrella (or maybe a brolly box) and get shoot, shoot, shootin' at low power and virtually no recycle time!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Ben Franklin and your right to photograph

JD Photo Imaging - Blog

JD Photo Imaging - Blog: 10 Tips for Marketing at a Bridal Show

Great tips for booking and working a bridal show. I've done four or five bridal show with limited results but some people get a good proportion of their business this way. Check out JD Photo's tips.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

The iPhone Rangefinder

The iPhone Rangefinder:

OK, if I were an iPhone guy (Android, that's me), I would soooo want one of these functional rangefinder cases. Very awesome!

at sylvan glen lake

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

bowlero, royal oak, mi

Just Out – Nikon D800 & D800E | BH inDepth

Just Out – Nikon D800 & D800E | BH inDepth:

Um, freekin' wow! I'm a Canon guy (but, depending on what they release this year to update or supplement the 5D MII, I may have to start re-thinking that choice), but this camera looks like a market buster. 36mp, with large pixels at that, on a full-framer for $3000 and $3300 for the version without the low-pass filter. That's only a few hundred more than the 5D. I'll be waiting to see what Canon releases the rest of this year, but this Nikon sounds amazing -- keep your eye out for hands-on reviews. I know I will.