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Messages - anthonyd

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Lenses / Re: Gear for upcoming trip to Italy and Greece
« on: February 25, 2015, 12:32:22 AM »
There is next to no problem in Greece as far as I am concerned. In fact there is probably more safety than ever right now as they work through some horrendous political and social issues, but no hostility to visitors that I could discern - at all! Lovely country, lovely people...

Good to hear. I had absolutely no trouble in crete years ago, was a lovely vacation and the people really were very nice.

The only cities where I've ever felt really uncomfortable were places like Strasbourg, Berlin and London in the 90s. Generally in poorer areas I've found people to be more welcoming.

Dear Graham,
Some very misleading kind of "information" must have been spread to many places around the world. Greeks called "poor"! Do you know that 92% of Greek people own at least TWO houses (with no mortgage and no bank waiting to take our heads off), we also own at least two cars in each four member family and have a median of 41.000$ in bank savings??? All of them acquired after working our a@@es off, but being helped by our nature, climate and sun, to be able to party until sun is up and then go to work. As we say in Greece, "you can't become a Greek, you're born one". So, until having better knowledge about Greek matters, go get informed by CNN and other crappy TV networks and feel free to suppose whatever you like about Greece, Greeks and what really happens here. 10.000 years of history is just too much for new world order puppets (not referring to you but to politicians, most journalists and others like them) to swallow.

Be strong, be lucky.

Dear Yianni,

You have all the reason to be on the edge lately, but Graham didn't call anybody poor, he spoke nicely of Greece and its people and if anything, he implied that Greece is poorer than France, German and England ... which you can't blame him for.
Also, I wonder where you draw your statistics from, but I don't want to start a flame war about the Greek economy on this forum.

Lenses / Re: Gear for upcoming trip to Italy and Greece
« on: February 24, 2015, 05:40:33 PM »
... although I'd be a bit more wary of greece given the current climate.

I go to Greece every single summer.  Nothing has changed in the behavior of the people in the street. You could consider me biased because I am Greek, but my wife and kids are not and they share my view.

... Don't bet on cloud backup in either of those locations, hotel wifi is generally quite slow and cellular is pretty hit or miss.

I don't know about your past experiences, but in present day Greece, descent size hotels should have good internet and you can always find an internet cafe with good bandwidth.

I didn't have any major issue flying with a bunch of gear. The only airport that's ever given me trouble is Paris CDG where they made me actually take every piece of camera equipment out so it could be xrayed separately. That was a pain in the ass  (especially to the people behind me)

That's true. Many European airports make you take your camera and lenses out of the bag(s). I flew to France to do a wedding with a roller bag and a backpack full of camera equipment once. Let's say it wasn't very pleasant for the guy behind me in the line!

My other advice would to be enjoy your vacation and not be so fixated on shooting that you miss what's (probably) more important.


Lenses / Re: Gear for upcoming trip to Italy and Greece
« on: February 23, 2015, 05:02:14 PM »
I have spent a lot of time in both Greece and Italy, ...

Me too ... like the first 26 years of my life :-)

In any daylight shooting you´ll have more light than you need (want) and can use any of your lenses (I´d bring circular polarising and ND filters!).

I second that.  You didn't tell us where your cruise will take you, so I'll assume the cliche Cyclades with the white houses that reflect the fierce Greek sun like crazy.  The sunrise and sunset are great, but there is only about an hour of shooting time around each, so if you want to shoot during the day, you better bring filters (or resort to the three letter technique that shall not be named).

I´d recommend a tripod, even if it was just a Gorilla variant.

+1 on this too.  I would even go as far as recommending a pano head.  I took the following picture in Santorini by stitching a whole bunch of shots taken with a pano head and it's crisp at 36x20'' print size (and causes a nice wow every time someone comes to my house).

One more note. Some people traveling abroad worry about theft.  In Greece and Italy there will be some thieves (just like in any other country) but there will also be truckloads of tourists with their cameras around their neck.  This gives you at the very least safety through numbers (you know, like the zebras), but also attracts the thieves.  You will be fine if you (a) don't stand out (use your equipment, don't show it off) and (b) don't leave expensive stuff unattended.

Lenses / Re: Which Lens to buy for Portraits
« on: February 20, 2015, 02:30:56 AM »
I shoot with a crop body (60D), I do a lot of people photography, a lot of it indoors, and I use the 50/1.4, the 24-70/2.8 II and the 70-200/4.0 so here is my two cents.

First, as was said by someone else before in this thread, portraiture is not really about using the sharpest lens. Especially if you work in the 5.6-11 range (why would you do that anyway?). So forget about which lens is the sharpest and find which one is the most appropriate for what you are trying to achieve.

I find the 70-200 to be an outstanding lens (and it's only the f/4.0) but I don't think I've used it indoors a single time in the five+ years that I've own it.  What kind of indoors are you talking about?  There is a difference between my son's bedroom and an auditorium.

The 50/1.4 is my go to lens when I want a nice bokeh.  It only works as a 80/2.2 on the crop body, but that's plenty of bokeh if you put some distance between your subject and the background.  However, you shoot at f/5.6 and above, so you must not care much about bokeh. So why do you love your 50/1.4 so much?

The 24-70/2.8 II is the lens you are looking for.  It's sharp, it's fast, it's accurate and it can zoom in a range that indoors and on a crop body should be ideal (it is for me anyway). Also, since you are doing corporate portraits, it's big enough and has that nice red line on it that tells your client that they hired a pro.  A Nikkor lens on a Canon body ... I don't know.

Here are my samples in the following order:
24-70 @38/2.8 (60/4.5 equivalent)
70-200 @104.0/5.0 (165/8.0 equivalent)
50 @50/1.4 (80/2.2 equivalent)


Wow! Thanks. I thought for us in cattle class it was 8 kg...  I will now have our admin look at BA.

In the US they never check your carry on for weight, only size. Even the size is only gauged by eyeballing. If you have a small bag full of lead the people at the check-in and gate will be ok with it -- although lead is not known to be very helpful in photography, and you'll probably get the attention of the screening crew :-).
In Europe they are a little more strict.  They quite often ask me to put my carry-on in that little metal cage that defines the maximum size (because it is the maximum size), but I've never had a carry-on checked for weight.

I don't own a 600mm, but if I did, I'd find the smallest bag it fits in, put it in and fill up the gaps in the bag with packing peanuts, or some type of foam.
The maximum carry on size (according to google, check with your airport to be sure) is 22" x 14" x 9".
Delsey Helium Sky 21' (and a bunch of other roller bags) is 21''H x 14"W x 9"D
The Canon 600/4.0 is 17.6" x 6.6''
You have plenty of room for packing peanuts, and nobody will be throwing your bag around in the first place.

... I can't really imagine checking it on a plane. If you do check it, you just let them bang up the $800 gray luggage, or you put that luggage in another box?

You never check an $11K item. Ever!  It's not only them braking it, but also them stealing it.  Yes, that's right, you have no way to know that someone in the pipeline will not open your bag and take your lens. This might sound crazy, but I've had much much cheaper equipment stolen from my checked luggage and I'm not talking traveling to third world. I'm talking a flight from Europe to the US.

Lenses / Re: Advanced bokeh computation?
« on: February 10, 2015, 09:07:45 PM »
This is a pretty cool article. Thanks for the link mackguyver.

Lenses / Re: A New Nifty Fifty Coming [CR1]
« on: February 04, 2015, 11:31:40 AM »
In my book the Canon 50/1.8 lost the title "nifty fifty" when the Yongnuo came out.  The lens was never considered nifty because of it's quality, but because of it's value/price ratio and at almost half the price (let alone slightly better optics), the Yongnuo is very hard to beat.

Photography Technique / Re: Beginner Tips for Home Studio and Portraits?
« on: January 31, 2015, 01:08:50 AM »
Thank you all! Those are all helpful tips.

To clarify, I have 1 430EX II and 2 YN-568EX II (Youngnuo Masters) speedlights and my wireless transceivers are YN-622Cs. Seems like they support ETTL as the option worked on the camera when I tried it out the other night. Also my 3 soft boxes are 24'' x 24'' in case any of you are curious.

I don't really know how to work the histogram and the graph intimidates me.

Also, I do have the Speedliter's Handbook and currently going through it.

Your softboxes are on the small side, as light modifiers go, but much much better than using a naked speedlight, or these silly diffusers you stick on the speedlights.

Here is my advice on how to learn how to use multiple lights.  First, take advantage of the largest "softbox" in your house, a north facing window (or any window through which you can _not_ see the sun).  Put your subject next to that window and take a picture in Av. Move the subject and yourself so that you get different directions of light. When you are happy with the direction of the light adjust the exposure up or down if you need (that's usually called exposure compensation in Canon cameras) and mark the aperture and the speed that the camera chose. Now go to M and set the same aperture and speed as before. Then bring one of your softboxes on the other side of your subject (facing the window) and set the flash to the lowest setting.  Keep increasing the power of the flash (without changing the speed and aperture of your exposure) and see how that affects the shadows on your subject.  Then move the softbox so it's not facing the window but rather it's at an angle and repeat the experiment with the power settings. Keep moving the softbox until it's next to you, or even behind you.

When you are able to decide what kind of shadows/catchlights you want before taking the shot and setting your lights so you can achieve it, you can throw away your manuals.

Photography Technique / Re: Why Photography is Precious
« on: January 31, 2015, 12:52:34 AM »
I'm bad with drawing. Photography helps me to capture moment likes this:

+1 Dylan. I've liked photography for a decade now, but I started loving it after I had children.  That is a sweet little girl you have there.

And then the blacks:

To summarise, we have lost saturation in the lighter blue and have gained nothing in the smoothness of the blacks.

Thanks for taking the time to do such an elaborate illustration of your point.  However, maybe you don't see gain because your sensor didn't produce noise in the blacks in the first place.  Is it possible to repeat your experiment with a much higher ISO? (I could try it myself, but if I post the results my crop sensor will spark DR arguments I fear, so I'll refrain).

Photography Technique / Re: Best Place to order good quality prints?
« on: January 30, 2015, 11:56:39 PM »
If you are looking for a budget option "Nations Photo Lab" does a pretty good job for a fraction of the price of Mpix (they also run "specials" practically all the time).
I used them a lot in the past and had been very satisfied with all but one or two prints that had some washed highlights. Unfortunately, when I complained they didn't assume the responsibility so I switched to Mpix.  As mentioned above, Mpix will reprint any picture that came out suboptimal (they reprinted and mailed me a 20x20 at no additional cost).

Business of Photography/Videography / Re: The Pros or The Enthusiasts?
« on: January 30, 2015, 06:20:10 PM »
Its not just about taking the pictures there's often the drama you have to create or sometimes minimise completely to make the job run how they would like. Then turnaround the images the next day all processed really nicely.


I am clearly an enthusiast as I spend more money on photography than I make out of it, but I do payed work when the opportunity arises.  My gear is inferior to that of a pro, but all my clients have always been "impressed" by the size of my camera/lenses (which for this audience are small to average). My pictures and post-processing are probably worse than those of a good pro, but they are good enough to usually get a "wow" from people and have my pictures decorate their walls.  However, I would not even want to take a job where the client needs drama or needs to minimize drama, I won't promise consistency, I won't bring a backup photographer or gear, and I will certainly not deliver processed pictures in less than a week or two.  That's where the pro differs from the amateur, not the artistic ability, but the ability to treat photography as a serious profession rather than a hobby.

And one more note, I don't want to prove that I am "as good as pros", I don't have "plenty of time on my hands" and my income is certainly not disposable. I put my hard earned money into photography because it's the hobby I love, just as other people buy expensive cars, clothes, golf clubs, what have you.

Killing something beautiful in nature just to take a picture of it
Hmmm...ya can't kill it for a picture...are ya allowed to take a picture of it, then eat it?      ::)
I always photograph my endangered wildflower stuffed turducken before eating it.

Lenses / Re: The Canon EF 50mm f/1.0L
« on: January 20, 2015, 11:19:33 PM »
Fastest ever lens was the Zeiss Super-Q-Gigantar 40mm f/0.33:

But that was just a marketing gag.

So regularely Zeiss made sone with f/0.7, also mentioned in the article above.
Enjoy reading. ;)

From the article: "...and photographers became fixated on the speed of lenses on paper rather than their performance in real world situations."
Amazing how different photographers were back then... :-)

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