July 25, 2014, 12:49:50 PM

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Messages - anthonyd

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Lenses / Re: Review: Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG II HSM
« on: July 22, 2014, 11:16:40 AM »
The link to Amazon is broken. Instead of "http" it starts with "ttp".

Reviews / Re: Review - Canon EF 135mm f/2L
« on: July 20, 2014, 01:54:42 PM »
You took a shot with a 135 at 1/10 of a sec and it turned out sharp!!!! Either you used a monstrous tripod, or you are my new hero. :-)

Thanks for the review, some of us like this type of review much better than charts of numbers.

EOS Bodies / Re: Eos7D mk2, How disappointed will you be if . . .?
« on: July 07, 2014, 11:23:47 AM »
it has the same sensor as the Eos70D but with just more bells & whistles?

I have a sneaky feeling that maybe its going to be the same image quality as the 70D just more robust, full frame viewfinder, gazillion frames per second, wifi, gps and class leading video...So just how disappointed will you be if that is the case?

Neither surprised nor disappointed.  It seems pretty likely, to me.  If there's a significant IQ boost, I might be tempted to get one as a backup body...but the kind of IQ boost I'm talking about likely defies the laws of physics, so I'm not holding my breath. 

Really? You think this is the end of the line for IQ? Sure, some sizes inside the sensors might be reaching the limits set by physics, but most problems are a question of engineering.  I don't have a way to prove my claim, but I bet you if you look back in 10 years, you will agree with me that the IQ now and the IQ then will not be comparable.

Software & Accessories / Re: Tripod centre column - yes or no
« on: July 01, 2014, 06:53:56 PM »
Raising the center column *up* adversely affects stability.  I think that is pretty self-evident.

But what about lowering the center column *down*?  Down as extending below and in-between the legs of the tripod?  Is that equally as unstable as raising it.  Is there any stability concerns with hanging the camera below the lowered center column?

I will often flip the center column when I am taking pictures of low flowers.  Is that a wise thing for me to do?

Wouldn't that lower the center of gravity of the entire apparatus... and much like hanging a sand bag on a hook on the column... it should have the same effect of adding stability.  I say go for it.

The overall stability will certainly be improved, especially with a heavy camera+lens. However the resistance to vibration will depend on how tight the tolerances are between the column and whatever it is that holds the column in place.

Photography Technique / Re: Taking HDR shots
« on: June 30, 2014, 11:24:27 AM »
You should also look into LuminanceHDR.  It's an open source software that produces anywhere from subtle to cartoonish results depending on the settings you choose.  The interface might be a little confusing at first (too many options), but it's a powerful tool.


I had it for 2+ years... and I really liked the 60D.  I do like shooting at shallow depths of field though... and the 60D doesn't have AFMA... But if you are shooting at reasonable depth of fields, you should be golden. 

Like this you mean?

I've had it for a few years now and I love it.  I rented a 6D to do a wedding, next to which it felt clearly inferior, but it feels much better than the T2i I had before.
Most pictures in my flickr page are done with it.
I'm not a pro, but I would argue that light, composition and lenses matter more than the body.

Photography Technique / Re: White Optical Satin
« on: May 23, 2014, 01:01:27 AM »
Go to one of those fabric shops that sell end of rolls etc.
You'll find heaps of different materials and fabrics that you can use.
Most softboxes etc use a nylon fabric, and these can also be found at these fabric stores.
The best thing, the stuff they have is cheap as they buy fabrics from clothing manufacturers etc.
Might even be worth your while to buy some see-through coloured fabrics too as these can give some good effects.


I don't know if you needed specifically the satin stuff, but if all you need is to build your own light modifier, go to Jo-Ann Fabrics and buy some ripstop nylon.  Look around though, because they usually have multiple similar fabrics and you want one that seems pretty white and pretty translucent.  Don't go for too translucent though, cause it won't diffuse the light. You want to see your fingers through, in store light, but not the texture of your skin.

I built a 5'x3' diffuser with this stuff and I added a layer of "soil separator" from Home Depot between the nylon and the flash for extra diffusion.
This is a very thin, mesh like fabric that blocks very little light, but it's a pain in the butt to work with because it's very fragile.  I only used it because I had it laying around from a yard drainage project.

Big deal. I could have taken this picture too if I had the foresight to go there at sunrise instead of sunset, and the determination to make it there in the dark, and the patience to stay there for long enough, and the insight to not scare away the squirrel, and the good eye needed to frame it right and balance the foreground and background elements, and the technical knowledge needed to get the exposure right and the marketing skills to promote it to a top magazine and the modesty to not brag about it ... in other words, if I were you I could have easily done it!
This is a great shot man, and congrats on the publication.

Hello Scott, I'm your worst nightmare!  No, not really, I hope anyway that I'm not classified as an idiot with a rebel that calls himself a pro (because I neither have a rebel, nor do I call myself a pro).
However, inadvertently, I do take away some of your business because I price low since I have a day job and I do photography for fun.  I could go completely free as a matter of fact, but I charge for three reasons: a) so that I don't create the "free photographer" reputation, b) so that I offset some equipment, and c) out of respect to you. Yeah, I'm not into the business of destroying your business.

Anyway, I have some advice for you as to how you can explain to the customer that you are better than me.

First, I don't have a real studio.  I have lights, backdrops, props and stuff, but I convert my house into a studio when I have a gig.  Show your high paying clients your studio and make a point about it.  Somebody who's willing to pay top dollar would probably find my living-room studio a little stupid and your real studio more appealing.

Second, I don't have time to postprocess, since I have a day job. I do postprocess of course, and I do a lot of it, but that means that my clients have to wait for weeks before they get their pictures back.  Show your client a before and after picture where you did magic in photoshop and tell them that they'll get this type of service from you and they'll get it fast.

Third, I don't have the volume of pictures to make any local printing store pay attention to me. Go to a local store and persuade them to give you a discount in return for doing all your prints there.  Then offer the client complete solutions (albums, mugs for grandma, canvas, whatnot).

Fourth, I don't have time for photography all the time, so I have to squeeze my clients in my busy schedule.  Offer them flexible scheduling and offer them to do things at their place, if they prefer (pregnant ladies like that, and so do parents of infants).

Finally, advertise yourself locally.  Facebook might bring you customers, or it might bring you the wrong customers, but going to a maternity clinic and leaving a few cards with your contact info and a few nice maternity shots on them, could do miracles.

PowerShot / Re: New PowerShot & EOS Cameras to Offer DOF Control?
« on: May 05, 2014, 09:20:55 PM »
Canon will be coming out with the new 'Canon (dont) Think' camera soon I heard. You just imagine a photo and it appears on your camera, it's pretty rad.


I get the sarcasm in your post, don't get me wrong, but I couldn't resist pointing out that imagining an awesome picture is quite often more than 50% of the hard work.

PowerShot / Re: New PowerShot & EOS Cameras to Offer DOF Control?
« on: May 05, 2014, 08:53:02 AM »
"...but it seems like a logical next step feature."  really? for whom?  People that tend to take nice pictures (to avoid the term photographers) usually know where they want the focus to be before they press the shutter.  People that don't, usually think that "everything in focus" is the way to go.  I've had numerous people look at a picture with great subject separation and tell me "but why is the background out of focus?".

I can see the feature being somewhat useful to pros for micro-adjustments in post, but I don't see people that didn't know how to focus properly in camera spending hours in post to add bokeh to their pictures.

EOS-M / Re: EOS M Lens survey - your favorites, and your most wanted?
« on: March 26, 2014, 12:00:41 AM »
I use the 22/2 but that's the only one I have for the M.  I (and by "I" I mean my wife) primarily use the M for short videos of my son and snapshots inside the house, so I would appreciate a 11-500mm/1.8 pancake :-)  No for real, something slightly more tele than 22 is what I would like, but without compromising the small package.  A native M version of the 40/2.8 pancake would be excellent.

Pricewatch Deals / B&H is awesome
« on: March 19, 2014, 01:32:17 PM »
I bought the Canon 24-70 f/2.8II last Monday from B&H for $2199.  After seeing in CR that they dropped the price by $200 this Monday I called them asking if I can get the discount as well, postmortem (my reasoning was that I could always return the lens and order it again at the new price).  The guy offered me the discount immediately without me even have to mention that I would return it otherwise!
They sure made me want to go back for my next big purchase.

Photography Technique / Re: What could I do better?
« on: March 17, 2014, 02:49:26 PM »
This site is primarily about gear, so I'm going to commit heresy: it's not the gear.  It's not your technique either.  It's everything else (which depending on the point of view could be charged on your technique).

Go to 500px.com and type "deer".  All the pictures you'll get in the first page are nice because of one or more of the following reasons:
a) They have great subject separation.  That's because they are shot with a narrow enough aperture and have a great distance to the background.  In your case the bushes are right behind them.  There is very little you could do about this, even if you had a much better lens.
b) They are shot at a time of the day that the light conditions are great.  Again, you don't get to choose when deer show up in your back yard.
c) They are shot in a "magical" place.  Sorry, your backyard is not magical. Maybe you front yard? :-)
d) The deer are doing something interesting, which means that they are not afraid of the photographer because they are probably not aware of the photographer's presence.

So here is my advice for better deer pictures: Burn down the bushes in your back yard, preferably while the deer are in front of them!  :-)  Ok, for real, a picture like yours is a snapshot that captures a nice memory, but it won't get much better by throwing more expensive equipment at it.  More accurate focus wouldn't have changed things much either.  If you don't believe me, download one of your favorite deer pictures from 500px and blur the deer a little bit.  It will still be a very nice picture.  The way to take better wildlife pictures (and the reason I said it can be charged on your technique) is to go to a national park, spend enough time to identify nice locations and stalk the animals for long enough until you get them to be in a nice location under nice light conditions.  Planning and perseverance will get you much farther than better equipment.

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