March 06, 2015, 06:27:25 AM

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Topics - jdramirez

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1
So I'm being more creative than I am talented.  What I want to do is take a long exposure shoot, 1/4 second or so, of a baseball swing...

I want to start the shutter at the beginning of the swing and have the flash go off at the end of the swing.  I'd like to use bulb mode, but I need to see if it is compatible with 2nd curtain.  And both flashes/umbrellas will be on my peripheral.  (If I'm at 6, that are at 4:30 and 7:30)

And I want ambient light so the swing path is evident during the shot... So I want cheap bulbs that will give me close to white light, since flicker will be minimized by the long shutter... And I can use a lamp... a normal house lamp. 

Alternatively, I can open the shutter, see the swing, and hit the flash release on the st-e3-rt..., then close the shutter.

So... is this a fools errand?  I feel it will work. 

2
Many of us had humble beginnings... only to be addicted to L glass and full frame camera later down the road.  But I was looking at my pile of gear... and I was thinking that my umbrellas alone (I haven't ventured into softboxes yet) cost more than my first SLR, which was the more than adequate Canon XS. 

So I decided to do the math...

I purchased the XS with the kit lens and a medicore 75-300mm lens.  I sold the 75-300 for a $100 and the kit lens is worth $75... so that makes my XS initial cost $237.88.

And I'm looking through my purchases... and it was mostly lenses... I even upgraded the body before I picked up accessories.  I'm actually surprising myself.  I bought my first speedlite, a used 430ex ii for $112... but that seems more like a necessity than an accessory...

But if we count the speedlite, it would have been in September of 2013 when I went nuts and bought additional tripods, umbrellas, brackets, etc... The body was purchase in December of 09... so almost four years.

So in the last 1.5 years... I've gone nuts... monopod, tripod, backdrops and frame, wireless shutter release, umbrellas, bags upon bags upon bags, 3 600ex-rt and the st-e3-rt, a white balance card... it is all quite overwhelming.  So maybe I throttle back a little it... but it is interesting to look back and take stock of what I used to have... and what I have picked up along the way.

3
First of all... I know it's bad... but I'm just trying to knock down one pin at a time to get this thing right.

2nd - Technique...

Monopod mounted (which I know isn't as secure as a tripod, but it was in a walkway... so this is the best option without potentially killing people... But the monopod was reasonably stable... used a wireless shutter release... and hit the shutter here and there in order to get a progression of still movement.  Then I placed the different images into photoshop using muliple layers... deleted the portion that didn't have the player, and then left the section with the player in the respective layers.  Then flattened the image.  The image settings for the series was manual, iso 3200, f/6.3 (and I realize that is high and i didn't fix the grain, but that is the least of my concerns), and 1/200 of a second. 

So it is pretty obvious that when there are no players on the ice, the camera meters the image differently.  I dont' think the variance in exposure is related to light/white balance flicker.  So... to correct this... instead of using (.) I should probably opt for ( )... or I can just brighten it in lightroom and then export it to photoshop (elements 12) so it matches the others or at least comes close.

So... if I do this outside under clouds... taking a shot before... then selecting out another image to lay over the background layer... will I experience this same sort of variance?  I feel as though i will.  So if it is metering... how do I get that to stick.  With the lock toggle on the back of the 5d mkiii work... or is that just wishful thinking. 

Sorry for sounding so naive... I usually try to hide my naivate' and simply edit single images... but this combing of images is killing me slowly.

4
Photography Technique / Keeper rates and sports?
« on: January 28, 2015, 11:54:54 PM »
I went out tonight and I shot another hockey game for practice... and I came to the conclusion... I get a ton more wow keepers when I shoot football and basketball, and I'm sure part of that is not having to shoot through glass, the other part is that I have some experience in those sports... So maybe it is just having the experience to know what is coming and where to focus the camera. 

Then there is hockey... shooting at 1/500 of a second... it looks like people are standing around not doing much... The puck in the air is not quite frozen, but it doesn't look like it is telling much of a story either... not the way a football in the air does... maybe a basketball after release and it is hanging in the air as is the shooter...

So I thought it would discuss keeper rates of really good photos... as always... it is subject dependant with sports... but I think my personal ranking is as follows:

Football
Basketball
Baseball/Softball
Track (maybe shooting at an Olympic level would be awe-inspiring... but not so much at the junior high level)
Hockey

I haven't shot... nor do i want to shoot soccer... I haven't shot wrestling... though that might be interesting, and I haven't shot volleyball, though I think that would actually be fun to shoot... and if I were to throw them into the rankings... they all three would be above track, but below baseball. 

Oh... and to continue my rant about hockey... the smudged glass doesn't help... the panning with your subject only to find "spokes" between the glass love to obscure you view... shooting from above the glass doesn't seem to help, shooting @ eye level isn't that great... When someone has the puck... inevitably there is someone between the camera and the shooter... ugh. 

Am I overly frustrated with ice hockey legitimately... or maybe it is just me (which I'm prefectly accepting of... because that means I can get better.)

5
Canon General / What's a good studio lens for a small studio?
« on: January 13, 2015, 01:18:10 PM »
It isn't really a studio, but with limited space, we have a backdrop, a few flashes and a few umbrellas... I adore my 85mm, but in a studio setting I generally shoot at f8 and it is a touch long given the space.


Also, 85-135mm is considered the portrait zone... So that's not happening...

I have my 24-105 and I think I can comfortably work between 24-50mm... So the lens doesn't have to be sharp wide open, but it should be sharp at f8...

I was thinking the 35mm f2 is.... maybe the 50 art... I'm probably looking at a prime more than a zoom.... So yeah...

6
I'm not looking to reinvent the wheel (or the cliche)... I just want to confirm that I'm capable of doing the grab bag of photography.  I've decided the 70-200 stays home... though it would be nice at the zoo.  What are we doing in NYC... killing time while the wife works... but it is a short trip... so I'm sure I will receive an incomplete on the test... but hopefully a passing grade.

So here's the list... which undoubtedly will be added to.

I know the 24-105 isn't the strongest lens... but it has made the cut as has my 85mm f/1.2L mkii, 5D mkiii, and a 600 ex-rt (though I'm not sure I'll take the st-e3-rt).

1.  Long exposure of Time Square (maybe a minute if I can swing it...) in the day using 3x neutral density filter and f/16 give or take... see how many people will just disappear.
2.  Long exposure of Time Square (maybe a minute if I can swing it...) at night, using 3x neutral density filter and f/8 give or take... see how many people will just disappear.
3.  Panning shot of cab.
4.  Panning shot of bike rider.
5.  Zoo photos
a.  Monkey
b.  Penguin
c.  Polar Bear
d.  Bird
e.  Snake
f.   Miscellaneous animals
6.  Wide angle photo of tall building
7.  Photo of Rockefeller Christmas Tree
8.  Photo of Family in front of Rockefeller Christmas Tree using 2nd curtain flash.
9.  Photo of my breakfast. 
10. Photos @ B&H testing lenses...
a. 50mm F/1.2L
b. 200mm f/2L
c. 400mm f/2.8L
d. 8-15mm fisheye L
e. Sigma 50 Art
11.  Wide angle photo of sexy lady (preferably) or of a cab moving across the frame and then stitch the images together so there is a presumptive progression of time.
12.  Night-time 2nd curtain panning photo of something... maybe another sexy lady.

Suggestions are welcome... but keep in mind that I will have a wife and two kids in tow most of the time I'm there... so there's that.

13.  If I go into a tall building during the day... a panoramic of the city... preferably 360... but I'm not going to hold my breath on that... not with a 1.5 year old demanding my attention.








7
I'm not video'ing anything important... just my daughter's basketball games.  Here's the techinque I'm using... and I want to know if yall thinking going in the right direction or am I using too much of my still technique and ruining the video.

I'm using a 5D mkiii and a 24-105L with the IS on.  I set in the middle, but closer to one side of the court than the other... so I wind up shooting around 35mm because it is wide enough to capture the action in the close half-court.

I try and manually focus using live view and 10x magnifying to get a player in the middle of the court in focus... then I rely on a relatively expansive depth of field to get the rest of the players in focus.  I shot at f/8... but I'm not married to f/8... and I think f5.6 would probably work for what I'm doing. ISO was automatic.

Shutter speed is 30 fps, and the capture settings are 1080p @ 30 fps. 

I have the camera on a monopod with a fluid pan and I move the camera back and forth.  That was probably the best part of my video... the panning...

In post, I'm cropping the video to create highlights, so the basket is towards the left/right of the screen and then the the action is visible in the rest of the screen. 

So the blah video pixelation could be me cropping too heavily and then exporting in h262 (or whatever it is) @ 1080p... So I'll take the blame on that one... but I don't think I cropped THAT MUCH... And the uncropped video wasn't overly impressive either. 

So suggestions would be appreciated.  It's little girls basketball... so i don't want to buy a new lens for little girls basketball... but maybe a suggestion here or there would be most welcome.

8
Lighting / 72" umbrella... what to look for and what to avoid?
« on: December 03, 2014, 02:40:20 PM »
I know softies can give better catch lites, and umbrellas may not look as professional as studio lighting... but I'm cheap andi havea chance to get a 72 inch all white for $25 or a black back silver front for $35... (newer brand which can be a draw back) but once had newer stuff before and it doesn't prevent me from going back to that well.

So... any caveats,  72 is just unwieldy,  don't buy the all white,  don't buy the black/silver, set the 600ex rt to manual focal length and set it at...

I prefer not to throw away good money on something that seems like a good idea but isn't...

9
Canon General / What were you hoping to buy on Black Friday?
« on: November 29, 2014, 09:19:23 AM »
Last year Adorama had a 6ft... maybe 7ft umbrella for $50... and I was hoping that shooting star would be seen again.  But no.  Also last year, Buydig via ebay was selling a 100L for $700ish after rebate... but again, not this year.  Having said that, I just sold my 2nd 100L, so I really should just stay out of the 100L business.

I was also hoping that Amazon would have a deal like they have had in past years... where you buy an entry level body with a kit lens and then they practically give you the 55-250 and the 75-300 for free.  But no. 

Having said that, I think I got in on the photo deal of the season... Kohls was selling a t5, kit lens, and a 75-300mm for 449 plus 6% tax, but then you could get 9 or 10% back using a cash back site, plus getting $15 kohl's cash for every $50 you spend, plus this yes 2 you points... so I bought the maximum allowed of 5. 

So I paid $2380, but I'm getting $675 in kohl's cash (the wife is going on a shopping spree), $112.50 in the yes to you points, and $202 in cash back... so my total for 5 bodies and 10 lenses my cost is $1390.50.

So I'm pretty psyched about that. 

10
This is pre-mature as we haven't seen photos from the new 100-400L, but the presumption is that the image quality will be outstanding as many of the new offerings from Canon have been recently.  With the presumption that the image quality for the new 100-400mm mkii will be superior to both the mki version and the 70-300mm L, so much so that present owners of the aforementioned lenses opt to sell their zooms to defray the cost of the purchase of the mkii.

I foresee an initial flooding of the market which will drive down prices, and after a few months, the price should rise and plateau into its "new" used price.

For historical used pricing, I'm considering the used data from camel camel camel which holds an rudimentary archive of lowest used prices.  This doesn't provide data regarding the condition of the lens in question nor does it consider the reputation and reliability of the seller. 

70-300mm L

First... new pricing without consideration of discounts, negotiations, or rebates.  September we saw a price drop in the minimum advertised pricing for the 70-300L.  The price went from $1600 to $1450 (USD).  With consideration of a regression line/curve, the used price was around $1290 to $1180 prior to the price drop.  After the price drop there was a small market correction and the price $1150 to $1040.  Considering the time from September 1st through the present, the price for the lens is around $1080.  (The frequent drop in price down to $890 is ignored because that is a scammer posting on Amazon). 

So with the 100-400 mkii's release, we should see the 70-300L's price further depressed... I'm estimating down to $950 with a standard deviation of $50... so as low as $900 for a very good condition lens.  The price should rebound shortly thereafter to around $1000.

100-400mm L (mki or classic or whatever yall want to call the original)

Secondly... new pricing without consideration of discounts, negotiations, or rebates.  The price has been $1550 to $1700... but that's not really a fair picture considering there has been a rebate avialable for the lens more than there hasn't been.  So the new price after rebate is roughly $1300.  There is a good deal of recent fraudulent postings with the 100-400mm... so I'm going to just cut to the chase and estimate that the used selling price has been roughly $1250 to $1030 with a recent recent price drop in the last two weeks as the rumors of the mkii version became to pick up steam. 

So with the 100-400 mkii's release, we should see the 100-300L's price further depressed, though it seems to have already begun... This may sound like a broken record, but I'm estimating down to $900, but I see a greater deviation... I can see $800 consistently being the asking price and being quickly snatched up.  Used prices will plateau around $950...

This is all conjecture... and I'm not really in the market for either lens.  i wouldn't mind finding out that I'm wrong about the 70-300 and the price goes even lower (at which point maybe I'm in the market for the lens).  It's also possible I'm entirely wrong... the release of the 24-70mm f/2.8L mkii went up in price for a used lens... so future telling is still a mystery.   

11
Pricewatch Deals / Deal: X-Rite i1Display Pro $149 at B&H Photo
« on: November 01, 2014, 10:13:06 PM »
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/X-RITE/ci/26226/N/3854023404/ap/Y/pd/BHPPE14/bi/2466/kbid/3296

Add it to your cart... discount with appear at checkout... or before... but somewhere before you pay.

I don't have much more to say than that...

12
Post Processing / Why isn't there a magic wand in Lightroom?
« on: October 30, 2014, 11:30:11 PM »
I've been using the magic wand in photoshop since 1998... so it isn't exactly cutting edge technology.  I want to select a background... darken it... and leave my subject untouched...

I suppose I can guess the answer... it is because I should be using photoshop since they work best in tandem... but seriously... a magic wand... it seems silly to not have that stand alone functionality in LR.

Having said that... if it is there... and I'm merely ignorant... I will withdraw my outrage.

13
I got a new copy of Light room 5... in a retail box and somehow it found its way into the recycling bin.  Yeah... maybe I shouldn't have left it on the floor until I was ready to install it, but it didn't look like trash.

The person who I'm related to by marriage and lives in my home  is the only one who cleans, so I'm ok with the occasional why is this now missing for the rest of my life... because it is a fair trade off to having to clean.

Maybe I need labels that say, NOT TRASH.

14
Software & Accessories / Optimizing your monitor for print production...
« on: September 01, 2014, 01:44:29 AM »
So I just retired my old Dell 20 inch monitor and it did a more than adequate job of recreating the print color and and exposure I received from my printer of choice, Costco. 

I replaced the Dell with a vanity 39" Panasonic tvhttp://www.bestbuy.com/site/panasonic-39-class-38-1-2-diag--led-1080p-120hz-smart-hdtv/3730052.p;jsessionid=4F0EC0247B9821FA3FC38EE9E23ED333.bbolsp-app03-139?id=1219093275246&skuId=3730052&st=39%22%20panasonic%20led&cp=1&lp=2... which I don't expect to use for photo editing.  It is mostly there because I wanted a tv for my bedroom and I like playing really old school video games (Milon's Secret Castle) on a big screen. 

I also picked up a 23" Viewsonic ips screen which I did expect to use for photo editing... I turned down the backlighting a good deal on both, but the color on the panasonic seems better and more accurate than the color on the viewsonic (maybe too little red, and too much green)

So I need to fix it.  I was thinking about having a color wheel or vertical bars of color (no freaking clue what they are called) printed out from costco and then do my damn-dest to match the colors by messing with the settings.

So, since I basically rely on everything I do on ya'lls opinion, does this sound right?  Or is there a better cheap way to set up the monitor.  Ideally, I would like to have both perfect, but I know using a tv is a pipe dream. 

15
I have had two... the same one actually, but I think I lost the first one... the reason I think I lost the first one is because my house is a Mess with a capital M.  It very well could just be hiding under that pile of dead cats.  :/

It was a Dolica Monpodhttp://www.amazon.com/Dolica-WT-1003-67-Inch-Lightweight-Monopod/dp/B000VZS2EU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408930250&sr=8-1&keywords=dolica+monopod and it served a dual purpose... monopod for me and a walking stick for my daughter.  I'll admit... it was light enough in weight... I could convert it to put a ball head on it (though i didn't like the stability), it was strong enough that it could hold my camera gear and my daughter's weight... and it was less than $20... so perfect for me.

I primarily used it to pan side to side for my daughter's basketball games... so it worked just fine.  The only complaint I had about it is that the rubber grip would slide down and I would have to move it back up.  Small complaint... meh.

I came into a bit of free money for buying and selling some gear in less than week.  So I thought I would go ahead and replace the Dolica that I sold for $10.

So here's my wishlist for the new monopod.  I want something sturdy, well built (preferably with the flip latches), compatible with both heads and bodies (so both types of screws), and this is the sticking point... I want the three feet @ the bottom so it will stand without me holding onto it... and they should be retractable.   

I saw someone else's post... I'm 69" tall, and the heaviest load I would put on is the 5d mkiii and the 70-200mm f/2.8 (at present).

I kinda like this... http://www.adorama.com/SIBSRP204S.htmlbecause of the panning grip and the claw feet... but it doesn't have a head... and I would like a bonus head if I'm spending that much money... it also doesn't have the flip lock...

and I like this http://www.adorama.com/BEA48FBS4.html... flip lock, claw feet, and it does have a head... but that big panning grip is annoying... so I would probably not use the head that often. 

and I guess this is my 3rd option, http://www.adorama.com/BG682B234RC.html but the stick feet look like they wouldn't be ideal to use and the head isn't a ball head... so maybe it will take some getting used to, but it does have the flip locks...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/434422-REG/Manfrotto_560B_1_560B_1_Fluid_Video_Monopod.html And then there is this one... which has a fluid base for easy panning that is adjustable... and the flip locks... and while it isn't a ball head... it does have a head that's a bonus... and it has the feet I like... but that sansui... it appeals...

So I'm thinking my best best is to get the monopod I like and just buy a separate ball head that I'm fond of... but that's more money and suddenly my bonus free cash is spent and now I'm spending money that I don't want to spend... So I would greatly appreciate if yall can point me in a direction on a monopod yall like and head... ideally in one purchase which would reduce the cost... huff.

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