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Messages - strikerwy

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I'll agree with most of what's been said.  I'll also add that the Blacktail Ponds overlook in GTNP is also quite nice, especially if you walk down over the edge to the actual ponds (see pink sunrise).  Also, if you visit Mormon Row for the barns, drive out towards the Teton Science school to capture the vista of the peaks across Antelope Flats.  The wildflowers there can be otherworldly in mid June.

The best time to visit both parks is June for sheer variety of imagery and the wildlife experiences.  As the temps warm and snow melts, many of the animals move into the higher backcountry of YNP, and while the Lamar and Hayden valleys always provide some viewing opportunity, the numbers and frequency dwindle as the summer progresses.  Wildflowers tend to be close to peak in mid June and by July, many of the wildlife babies have left dens and are no longer the cute, cuddly critters many photographers crave.

Third Party Lenses (Sigma, Tamron, etc.) / Re: Sigma 300-800mm f5.6
« on: September 06, 2014, 03:16:49 PM »
No tape needed. It works just like a directly connected lens using live view.  It's just a bit slower locking down the focus.

Third Party Lenses (Sigma, Tamron, etc.) / Re: Sigma 300-800mm f5.6
« on: September 06, 2014, 02:54:42 PM »
I've had one for 7 years now and love it.  For all of the downfalls you mentioned and with which I concur, the ability to compose through the lens is huge for me.  Also, with the 5DIII, I'm able to use a Kenko 2x converter with Live view and autofocus works quite well.  It is slow, which is certainly not conducive to working with quick subjects, but for shots like these owl images, the results are superb both with and without the converter.  The last 3 shots are with the converter attached using live view autofocus.

I have noticed a huge difference between the quality when attached to my 7D vs my 5DIII.  The noisier sensor on the 7D renders the images soft when compared to those shot with the 5DIII.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / 5d III AF in LV on 800mm f5.6+2xTC works!
« on: May 26, 2014, 05:18:18 PM »
I may just be announcing my ignorance here, but I was quite surprised to find that in live view only, my 5d III autofocuses perfectly when mounted to my Sigma 300-800 f5.6 paired with a 2x teleconverter.  As soon as I switch back to regular shooting without LV, it hunts continuously without locking AF, which is what I expected in the first place.  I was working with a stationary subject and mounted the 2x and switched to LV to zoom in and manually focus as best I could only to find the AF working perfectly, albeit a tad slowly.  I would certainly not use such for action subjects. 

I don't know if this is a known plus and I've just been living in a box, but if there is anyone else out there using big glass on a Mark III who also didn't know this, this combination is working for me.

Software & Accessories / Re: Portrait touch up software
« on: August 02, 2013, 02:00:11 PM »
I do use this software quite extensively.  It makes a fantastic difference, especially for individuals with extreme skin/complexion issues.  That said, I ALWAYS turn off the face reconstruction feature and apply just enough airbrushing to effectively deal with any skin issues.  The software is amazingly customizable and offers a myriad of adjustment levels.  For me, one who is expected by clients to touch up 1000's of images each year, the 15-30 seconds per image required by this software is a light-year leap ahead compared to doing the same level of touch-up in Photoshop.

Software & Accessories / Most durable ND filters????
« on: August 02, 2013, 01:48:43 PM »
I've used Singh Ray resin filters for years but am really quite unhappy with how easily they scratch.  Obviously, along the edges, they scratch the very first time I ever insert them into the Cokin P holder system, but I've also scratched them using a lens cloth and even at times it seems when putting them into and out of the provided holder.  Once they're scratched, obviously image quality begins to suffer.  What are your thoughts on the many graduated "P" sized (4"x6") filters available from Lee, Tiffen, etc?  Which do you find the most durable?  Am I the only one who's experienced the Singh Ray filters scratching this easily?

Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: May 15, 2013, 10:49:47 PM »
A few more with crop body and 300-800 lens.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Your best animal shots!
« on: May 15, 2013, 10:01:07 PM »
A variety of crop bodies all connected to Sigma 300-800 5.6.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: May 14, 2013, 11:35:08 PM »
Sharptail Grouse strutting.

Canon General / Re: your scariest photography moment?
« on: March 12, 2013, 11:23:53 PM »
This image was captured through the car window after the following encounter:

It all began before dawn as I left my car and hiked out into the fields of Arrowleaf Balsam Root, Larkspur and Lupine blanketing Antelope Flats outside of Jackson Hole. I intended to photograph the soaring peaks at first sunlight with the wildflowers stretching out in an endless sea to fill the foreground. I carried my full photo backpack, my tripod and my big and unwieldy panoramic tripod head.

After moving through the flowers until I found an interesting arrangement to compliment the foreground, I opened my backpack and spread my equipment out for easier access. I mounted the camera on the tripod, and using my 10-22mm I began to photograph a number of images. There were no wildlife to be seen anywhere from where I stood.

As the sun began to make an appearance and brought life and color to the sky, I immersed myself in capturing the best image possible, becoming totally engrossed in the task at hand, using my manfrotto sph303 panoramic head and live view to ensure ample image overlap and no camera shake.

Lost in this very nearsighted focus, I shot for about 15 minutes when I became suddenly very aware of a quickly approaching group of buffalo. While I would not describe their actions as a stampede, they were trotting quickly as a collective group directly towards me. When I reviewed my images later I could actually see the progression as they appeared on the horizon from below a depression I couldn’t see about 500 yards away, but due to my focus on the camera, rather than looking through the viewfinder, I had been oblivious to their approach.

I quickly realized I was in trouble. I was over 200 yards from my car. My tripod was the tallest thing other than buffalo for over ½ mile, I did not have bear spray with me as there were no animals in sight when I left me car, my stuff was still strewn around on the ground, and the buffalo were now within 100 yards with their rapt attention fully trained upon me. I knew that to break into a run would be foolish, only goading the unsettled herd into a stampede instinct. I knew they could cover the ground much faster than I ever could. Then, to make maters worse, the herd of 20-30 animals split into two groups. One group continued towards me while the other group totally surrounded my car, a 1997 Honda Civic. At this point, I was totally at a loss. I had a group of 15 or so bison bearing down upon me quickly and my only retreat was now surrounded by more bison.

Somewhere in there, I managed to scoop my stuff into my backpack and zipped it partially shut. I held my tripod out in front of me in a ridiculous attempt to perhaps fend off any of the approaching bison, willing to sacrifice my camera if it meant my own health was spared, and I began slowly backpedaling towards my car, of which I could only see the very top through the mass of buffalo. In my mind, I purposed to get as close to the car as possible and then make a maddened charge through the mass of beasts and jump onto the top. I had no other options and my pulse was beating a crazy tempo.

As I backpedaled, the approaching buffalo closed the distance to 30 or so yards and then they lined up shoulder to shoulder in a wall. I’ve seen them do the same thing facing down a grizzly bear. As they formed the line, they made a bluff charge towards me. As I continued backpedaling towards the car, I shouted loudly as they closed to 15 or so yards. They veered off and circled around, once again forming up the line and coming directly at me. We played this game 3 more times as I continued to get closer to my car. By this point I was praying fervently that God would part the Bison so to speak that surrounded my car and I truly feared the worst, as with each bluff charge and yell, the buffalo before me drew closer and closer before veering off.

I was within 50 yards of the car and still backpedaling fast when He did just that. The Bison moved around my car to the side opposite of me, so I had a clear shot to the vehicle. All in the same motion, as the animals before me veered off and I was within 40 yards of the car, I turned my back to them and took off. I managed to get to the car as I threw my backpack on the ground and slammed my tripod next to it and dove through the passenger door. The group pursuing me stopped approximately 10 yards away and milled about as I contemplated what had just happened, fully cognizant of the Lord’s blessing and my close call.

After 2 or 3 minutes of pulse-racing regrouping, I opened the door and reached out to grab my camera. I shot several images through the open window.

From the safety of my car, I watched the same group of buffalo charge a guy on a motorcycle as he stopped to look. I don’t know what riled them up, but I’m grateful to be alive and well.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Shutter count on a new 6D
« on: January 28, 2013, 09:40:50 AM »
The default setting is to continue the numbering from the last camera that the card was used in. If you had another canon camera before your 6D, it's just continuing that numbering scheme.

I don't believe this to be true at all.  I use several cards between several bodies, sometimes even in two different bodies during the same shooting session.  The image #'s are body specific and are clearly seperated on the card (one body shooting in the 4000's while the other is in the 9000's), sometimes even with a (2) besides them because each body is at that exact same frame #.  They are not dictated by the card or previous use within a different body.

PowerShot / Re: A camera for backpacking into the wilderness...
« on: January 26, 2013, 06:02:49 PM »
Nice pics Tim.  Is the second picture of Iceberg Lk, and what 500mm lens do you use?

It is indeed Iceberg Lake.

I use the sigma 50-500 OS.

I've always loved the lens as I've had 3 iterations of it.  The extra reach over my 70-200 2.8 II is significant.  I do miss 2.8, though, although the OS helps significantly in lower light.

PowerShot / Re: A camera for backpacking into the wilderness...
« on: January 25, 2013, 10:57:15 PM »
For a variety of reasons including 10mm, the images attached here would not have been possible using anything less than a DSLR and good optics.  I cannot imagine coming home having seen these views and having nothing to show for them, or only having cropped views of the same.  It all makes it worth it to see these in print and on my walls!

The first image was shot at 500mm of a very distant peak just as a shaft of sun hit below a thunderstorm
The second image is wide open at 10mm
The 3rd image also touches 10mm

PowerShot / Re: A camera for backpacking into the wilderness...
« on: January 25, 2013, 02:30:43 PM »
I tend to be a fanatic when it comes to backpacking and camera gear.  There's NO WAY I'm going into a pristine, alpine location on what may be a once in a lifetime visit, without carrying the necessary equipment to thoroughly capture the vistas with the highest quality.  I want NO REGRETS once I return home.  That mentality does come at a physical price as my personal pack is always right at #60 for a week long trip.  That usually translates into #40 for pack and hiking equipment/supplies and #20 of photo gear which includes my 7D, 24-105, 10-22, Sigma 50-500, Gitzo mountaineer carbon fiber tripod and a variety of filters, cards, remotes and filters.

I have found the Lowepro zoom AW chest packs to be the best for such an approach.  I can keep my camera with 50-500 on my chest for quick access, I can keep quite a quantity of the other gear in the same pack, I can wear it around my neck, or using the previously mentioned straps, I can attach it to the packframe for less weight on my neck.  This also provides a completely waterproof option as the AW series packs have a built in rain hood.

Many won't carry such a load, but the images I have brought home with me as a result of carrying top quality gear more then make up for the physical discomfort, and I'll continue doing such until I am physically unable.

I'd still carry the 5D III and as much lens as physically possible, especially if you are planning to use the images for anything more then viewing.

As  Cotton Carier owner, I'd recommend the Toploader AW packs above the CC for the protection and also the extra room for other equipment.

Software & Accessories / Re: Best panorama photo stitching software.
« on: December 19, 2012, 08:47:56 AM »
I shoot quite a number of panoramic images.  After much research and dabbling with several, I settled on PtGui as well.  The interface is stupid easy, it processes images crazy fast, and the results are flawless.  I shoot using a Manfrotto 303sph head at times, but I also shoot quite a number freehand.  It deals with each type with equal aplomb. Some of my work has been printed from these files on metal prints at 4'x8'.  One commercial application printed one panorama at 22' in length.  They look beautiful.  Here are some samples to show how well the software deals with overlap/edges.  There was NO manipulation done to the software results.

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