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Messages - Rick Massie

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Photography Technique / Re: Photographs in the "Blue Hour"
« on: October 04, 2014, 01:57:36 AM »
Fall, winter and Spring in the Yukon offer some good "blue hour" opportunities.

-50 in Circle, Alaska on the Yukon Quest. My body could only manage about a half hour, but the camera (5dC) and flashes were fine. On longer stints (1-2 hours) in -40, the shutter would sound like it had slowed down, but still worked fine. Keeping batteries warm were the biggest problem, but the camera really had no issues.

Lenses / Re: Best setup for falling stars
« on: August 14, 2013, 05:37:44 PM »
I tried this for the first time last night in my garden. I was pointing the wrong way for the milky way (as that'd be pointing towards my flat) and failed to catch any significant asteroids (as I was only out there for 10 mins just playing about)

I'm pretty sure that if I recreated these settings in the proper settings and persevered for a good amount of time these would serve me well:

canon 5Diii, 24-105L @ 24mm, f8, 1600iso, 30 sec, around 2900k for white balance (or shoot auto in raw and sort it out after)

I did do a bit of noise reduction in post.

you might want to pop the odd flash off at f8 if there are any points of interest within the frame when shooting...

it's not a great shot as it was just messing about, but the theory is sound...

Just to help the OP - I would not recommend these settings. They will work good for normal stars since they get to let their light bleed into the photo for 30 seconds. However, a shooting star will only last for about 1 second or less, and at F/8 Iso 1600 I really don't think it will register on the sensor. Wider aperture, and shorter shutter speed is likely to work better, at least in my limited experience.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Using Custom Dial Settings
« on: August 07, 2013, 10:45:35 AM »
Here are my typical scenarios:

At A Wedding
-I'll set manual settings for my inside shots, and have my C setting pre-programmed for when we walk out of the Church into the light.

At Events
-I'll set up my M mode to use my pocketwizards for lit shots, and have my C mode set so I can immediately switch to natural light shots. Just flick the dial to the C, and flick off the pocketwizard.

Actually my old 5DC is actually much better and quicker for this type of situation than my 1DIV, even though the 5D only has one C mode. If only I could add C mode to my 1DIV, it would be pretty much perfect!

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: July 24, 2013, 02:05:59 AM »

Animal Kingdom / Re: Bird Photography Critique/Tips
« on: July 24, 2013, 02:03:56 AM »
100-400mm is really irritating on the 7d too... (sarc., implied  ;))
1/320 sec.
ISO 100

I love my 400mm 5.6 but I will never get a shot as sharp as this at 1/320sec, probably not even with a monopod. That's my one dislike of the lens.

Back on topic for the OP- your edits sounds about right. Getting closer will definitely help. The other option that sometimes works for me is bumping up the "clarity" a little in lightroom. It's very easy to overdo it, but it can help accentuate sharpening if you're careful.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: June 28, 2013, 10:14:36 AM »
Awesome. Great timing Rick. 8) Congrats on this one.

Thanks! I spent a good while waiting for that one.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: June 28, 2013, 01:30:47 AM »

1D X Sample Images / Re: Weddings
« on: May 07, 2013, 02:00:02 PM »
The photo was made with a flipped lens, so I didn't have control over aperture. That's why I bought an extension tube recently to cover this type of shots  ;D

Can you explain this technique a little? I've never heard of "flipping" a lens before. I love the results! Great photo (and the non-macro ones a awesome as well).
Here's ste-by-step manual:
1. Take off the lens from your camera (wide angle works better, such as the 18-55);
2. Flip it around;
3. Hold it up to the camera and shoot  :)

Few hints:
- Autofocus won't work, you need to focus by camera movement;
- Aperture cannot be controlled; though I saw people removing the lens with camera turned on, so it has aperture value persistent (I don't recommend following their example);
- There are converters that can be attached to the front of the lens (filter mount) and EF mount from the other side;
- This trick is called super-macro, because focus plane is really close to your lens (you can identify the distance with your finger as a starting point).

Enjoy  ;)

Thanks! Though it kind of scares me to think of doing that. I can't imagine the dust-on-sensor issues. Great results though!

1D X Sample Images / Re: Weddings
« on: May 02, 2013, 11:37:15 AM »
The photo was made with a flipped lens, so I didn't have control over aperture. That's why I bought an extension tube recently to cover this type of shots  ;D

Can you explain this technique a little? I've never heard of "flipping" a lens before. I love the results! Great photo (and the non-macro ones a awesome as well).

Landscape / Quantarid Meteor Shower
« on: January 04, 2013, 01:43:17 PM »
Did anyone get any photos of the Quantarid Meteor Shower yesterday morning? I spent a few hours outside, and managed to capture 2 bright ones, and a few faint ones. They were very impressive to the naked eye, but not always bright enough to register in camera. This was my first time trying for meteors, it was fun and frustrating at the same time - I think I need many more cameras pointing in a lot of different directions to get a higher success rate!

Landscape / Re: Help Me Get Better - Crashing Waves - Round 2
« on: November 28, 2012, 11:27:12 AM »
They look good! If you want to improve them, I think your best bet is to wait for better light. It looks duskish, or very cloudy in these photos, but if you get a low sun shining through, it'll add contrast and clarity to the waves and splashes, and possibly nice colours as well. Keep trying the location in different light to get a feel for what works best.

Also, it may help to add something to the foreground (ie, a person in the frame - don't let them get too close to the waves though!) to give a sense of scale. Waves and rocks can greatly vary in size, and without something in your frame for size reference, it's sometimes hard to tell whether the wave is big or small.

Just some thoughts from my years shooting beaches and ocean in Newfoundland.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Alaska: 5D2 or 1D4
« on: November 06, 2012, 11:54:46 PM »
Typical Vermont Weather Report: "6-42 inches of snow followed by a tropical blast with thundertorms in the afternoon followed by a deep freeze and no sunshine for a month"  Lets just say that it gets cold enough where even the heariest of us won't go out.   8) 8) 8)

that's the key thing, will you really be outside shooting when the weather gets extreme?  or will you be inside enjoying a 40 and wondering why it's got to be so dark all the time?  any of the 5D series cams should be able to handle things just fine, unless you're planning on dogsledding the Yukon and documenting it.  the main thing that will happen will be your batteries draining really fast.

I followed the Yukon Quest (dogsled race from Whitehorse, Yukon, to Fairbanks Alaska) as the official photographer in 2011, and had only a 5D (original), 30D, and a 20D. I had no issues, and it was -40 to -50 the whole two weeks. It's a matter of taking care of your equipment when moving indoors and outdoors a lot (big ziplocs seem to help!) and making sure your spare batteries are kept warm when not in use. So a 5D should be able to handle it, unless the AF of the 1D series is a must for you. And I actually had better luck with the 30D AF than with the 5D.

Hope this helps!


I don't get one thing right. Minimum focus distance for 70-200 is 1.2m, but when you use 500D on it working distance is 50cm. Does this mean no AF?

Can somebody describe me workflow with 500D on 70-200? I mean, do I have to put my subject 50cm from the lens and that's all I can get?

I just got one recently, and was surprised at how it works. It focuses at 50cm, and give you a little bit of leeway since you can still move your focus ring to focus slightly closer or farther away. So basically 50cm plus or minus a little bit. So your framing is very limited unless you use a zoom lens, which will let you increase or decrease the size of the subject in the viewfinder.

Af does work still, but it's tough to get it accurate due to the high magnification (I often use it on a 400mm with a 1.4x), and only makes a difference in the 50cm range. You won't be able to AF on anything outside of this range. 

It sounds limiting, but I love it. I don't want to buy a dedicated macro lens, and this little piece of equipment is amazing. Even got an adapter to fit it on my 100mm F2.0 to get closer with it if I need to.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon EOS-1D X AF at f/8 with the Kenko 1.4TC
« on: September 04, 2012, 10:17:13 PM »
now with my 1DX, im starting to feel really cheated by Canon - i really do.

my 7 year old 1D Mark IIN and 8 yr old 1D Mark II paired with a third party TC works at f/11 just fine
~ while my 1DX wont.

also - tested it on the Canon T3 - it worked - a bit slower than the 1D Mark II's but very acceptable.

      - tested on the 5D Mark II - it will AF and Lock only if you pre-focus it manually.
      - 5D Mark II without pre-focus will AF and Lock 1 out of 10 or even more - so not acceptable in any standard.

but they will work - while the 1DX wont - WTH Canon!!!!

Awesome! Glad you checked it out. Even though it doesn't fully confirm it will work with an MKIV, I may have to pick up a kenko on the chance that it might work!

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