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Topics - wsmith96

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Lenses / My New "L"
« on: January 16, 2015, 11:01:39 AM »
I just received my second "L" lens.   Nothing sexy, at least for the audience here, but I needed a standard zoom to compliment my used 5D.  Just received a new 24-105L for $650.   I'm impressed with the build quality and am excited to give it a workout this weekend.  It's a white box, but that's okay for me. 

Next on my list is to upgrade my EF-S 60 to the EF 100L macro.

Photography Technique / Senior Portait Critique
« on: November 12, 2014, 11:55:07 PM »
This past weekend I helped a friend out by taking some senior pictures of her son.  She wasn't happy with the portraits that she had already paid for from another photographer, so I said I would help her out.   I was up front in telling her that I haven't really done any portrait work other than terrorizing my wife and kids with a portable, in-home studio that the CR community helped me set up.   I did not accept any money for my efforts - payment was in the experience.   I have zero training in how to pose people other than finding portraits that I liked on the Internet.

So, with that in mind, I'd like to present a few of my shots to the community here for critique.   The pictures were taken with a 60D with either a 17-55, 50 1.8, 70-200 2.8, or 60 2.8 macro.   I made the most of natural lighting in a downtown "historic" setting.  I did use flash with a flash bender for pictures in the alley.  Pictures were shot in RAW and processed in lightroom 5 only. 

Though this was my first time providing this service, I'm not excited about the results.  I think I spent more time being nervous about getting it right rather than being relaxed and going with the flow.  The experience was invaluable though!

Thanks for your feedback.

Site Information / What do the yellow boxes by your avatar name indicate?
« on: November 12, 2014, 01:33:23 PM »
just curious

EOS Bodies - For Stills / I took the cheap road to FF
« on: November 10, 2014, 01:56:04 PM »
This weekend I purchased a used 5D off of ebay with battery grip, batteries, memory cards, etc. for $445.  I have tried a FF once before and wasn't sure that the price tag was for me at the time.  I realize this camera is old and that there are risks to purchasing a used piece of equipment, but I wanted to better analyze for myself the IQ difference between the 5D and my 60D.  Even if I don't keep the 5D, I could resell it an make most (if not all) of my money back, so this was a better option than renting right now. 

Most members here say that the IQ will be quite evident and I'm looking forward to seeing for myself.  I had been contemplating moving up from my 60D to a 7D Mk II, but I also didn't want to rule out a FF option (most likely 6D).  So why not buy an older FF and have both FF and crop for a while.   I do have a few compatible lenses - 35-80, 50 1.8, 85 1.8, 70-200 f2.8 mk II, 70-300 IS USM - to get me started.

Regarding the 5D, is there anything I should consider getting for general maintenance?   I've not cleaned a sensor before and am not sure what I need for that, or for anything else that might require more manual attention on this camera.



EOS Bodies - For Stills / So what makes a camera a "pro" camera?
« on: October 14, 2014, 01:35:06 PM »
Coming back from a brief photography sabbatical, I've found quite a few posts on the forum regarding qualities that would make a camera considered professional vs. a camera considered non-professional.  But that got me thinking, what is it that makes a camera a professional camera?   Is it build quality?   Is it megapixels or the size of the sensor?   Is it a monetary figure that one must cross, or is it a camera that can perform in any situation even though most of those situations won't be experienced by the owner?  I'm under the current believe that if you are making money on what you do, then the tool is a professional tool whether it is a 1Dx or a 110 film camera.   I'd like to pose the question to the forum here.  What are your opinions?

Photography Technique / Photographer's Block
« on: August 20, 2014, 10:54:33 PM »
Hi everyone,
   so I think I've hit a new low regarding my enjoyment of photography.  I just can't seem to get inspired to do anything lately.  I've worked on macro, sports, portraiture, real estate, architecture, and wildlife but right now none of those seem appealing.   I figure I'm just going through a lull and that it will pass once fall begins.   I'm not saying that I'm going to give it up, but I'm not as ready to get out there and snap some photos as I used to be.  Also, when I do get out there, my pictures don't look right - it's almost like I'm trying too hard.    Maybe I suffer from Low T - who knows.   
   I'm sure that I'm not the only one out there who has run into photographer's block.  So my question to the collective minds is, what do you do to snap yourself out of this funk?


Animal Kingdom / Yard Bird
« on: July 22, 2014, 11:16:15 PM »
I recently picked up a refurb 60D and have been terrorizing all of the animals in my front yard with it.  Here are few of my guests who join me and my family every night for dinner.   What birds do you see in your yards?

Taken with a 70-200 2.8 MkII.

Canon General / canon loyalty program only for camera bodies?
« on: July 21, 2014, 11:14:22 PM »
Are camera bodies the only thing eligible for the canon loyalty program?  I was curious if lenses were on the list as well.

I find it odd that we have not seen our annual update to the rebel line up.  Anyone hear of anything?  I thought it would have be an announced by now.  I guess there's a lot of work going on regarding DPAF to get it right.

 Just an observation.

Software & Accessories / List of plug-in's for photoshop/LR
« on: July 12, 2014, 11:28:15 AM »
  I was watching an adobe tutorial about extending photoshop with plug-ins.  They referenced a blog that had a collection of 43 plug-ins (free and paid) of what the article recommended as the best.  The 'best' is always subjective, but I thought the CR members here might like a reference and I wanted to share it.  There may be something here you haven't seen yet.  Article was written in March 2014.


   I've volunteered to help out my local 4-H group in regards to setting up a website/online storage site that will allow the club members to upload photos that they have taken at 4-H events, but not delete them.  We have quite a few members of our local 4-H group that do not have, or do not bother, to take photographs of 4-H events, members, etc. and when it comes time to produce and turn in yearly record books, some of the kids do not have photographs to add.  The 4-H leadership wants to offer a "public" (only to 4-H members) repository where members who do take photographs of events can upload their pictures for the kids to use.  The problem has been that people upload photos to, say google drive, but then when they are finished, they delete them before others have a chance to use them. 
  I have not tried many online photo/storage options, but what I'd like to do is to set up a solution with two logins - one for administrators that have complete control, and one for members who can upload, download, but not delete the images.   At the end of the year, the photos will be purged or archived in preparation for the next year.  Of course, free solutions are the best, but pay solutions are not off the table.   Is this something that can be done on a One-Drive account?

Thanks for your assistance.


EOS Bodies - For Stills / 60d results - the bird feeder
« on: July 06, 2014, 11:25:55 PM »
Thanks again for everyone's guidance regarding my recent purchase of a 60D.   I've had the camera now for almost a month, but haven't had a lot of time to work with it.   I realize that the 60d is old news, but for $460 it was an easy justification as a upgrade from my T1i.

So this weekend I set up my portable deer blind at a ridiculously close position next to our bird feeder.  We are frequented daily by a woodpecker family and various cardinals, warblers, blue jays, and of course - squirrels.  I wanted to see the image quality as  I've read criticisms about the noise levels on the 18M sensors.

Normally I would shoot manual and am comfortable doing so on my T1i.   I'm not fully acclimated to the 60D yet, so I was shooting in AV with the aperture set to F2.8.  I was using a 70-200 Mk II and a monopod.   I did crop the output and edit in LR.

Overall, I was happy with the pictures.  I did have a lot of OOF shots that I will chalk up to my mistake, but I have also noticed that other shots I've taken with other lenses seem soft too.  I'll investigate this more in the coming weeks.  I hope I don't have to have my lenses/camera calibrated, but if I do then I do.

So, what did I learn from this morning's events?  I learned that chickadee's are lightning fast - holy cow I had a hard time keeping up with them.  They act as if they had 5 red bulls before eating.   I also learned that when I go out to do something, that's when mother nature will change her routine - the woodpeckers did not show, no blue jays either.  I got to see a sap sucker, 2 chickadees, and some cardinals - one which was missing his crest and half of the feathers on his face.   He looked like the bird version of the walking dead and I did not photograph him.  All in all, the few pictures I kept I thought were good and I wanted to share them with the community.

Thanks again for those of you who answered my previous 60D questions and encouraged me to jump on the deal.  I'm looking forward to furthering my photography techniques with this camera.


Canon has the 60D refurb on sale again and the price is such that it's calling my name.  For those who own this camera, what do you think about it for $460 USD?

My usage would be for children's sports and general vacation type usage.   I'm not shooting super models here.


Coupon code is NWERDEAL

You can check out Neewer's website for further details on the products here:

I do not know if this code applies to other products than what are illustrated.

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