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Messages - Niterider

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Australia / Re: New setup- New to the Forum
« on: February 12, 2013, 02:59:03 AM »
For landscape, I like to use ultra wide angle lenses. I have the samyang 14mm F/2.8. Some (including me) love this lens and others have had bad copies or just didnt like it. Also, if I remember correctly, the sigma 8-16 is not designed for full frame sensors, so using it on the 5d mark iii will vignette or possibly damage the mirror.

Almost all of my lenses are primes, most of which fall into the 24-70 range, so unless you are looking into primes, I wont be of much help.

In terms of astrophotography, I am not sure what you are trying to achieve, but those pictures you see on the internet are not easy to take. Most are taken with cameras with an infrared modified sensor mounted on a star tracker to eliminate star trails. If you get really into astrophotography, I have read about people using refractor telescopes with built in star trackers to achieve good photos at 2000-3000mm focal length.

If you do use something like an astrotrac, I have heard that results vary with lenses over 400mm. Something to keep in mind when looking for lenses in the future.

Sports / Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« on: February 11, 2013, 08:51:34 PM »
Not the type of car I usually shoot, but when it's got 700 horsepower, who cares that it's a wagon (or an estate as they're know in the rest of the British Empire)?

Great shots! I must admit though, the saying "only in texas" might apply to this car ;D

Landscape / Re: Transmission tower
« on: February 11, 2013, 04:08:29 PM »
It's also a federal crime to photograph aircraft unless the flight is specifically being conducted for photographic opportunities.  Airshows would be considered photo ops.  A passenger airliner on approach for landing is not and can land you in a federal penitentiary.

Are you sure about this? Every once in a while, I take photos at an international airport near my house. I have never been bothered by the police nor homeland security. I do not trespass at the airport though, I go only where it is legal to stand.

Is this a United States law? If so, do you have a link or something. I sure don't want to be detained by the feds (even though it would probably be pretty cool).

HDR - High Dynamic Range / Re: Post your HDR images:
« on: February 11, 2013, 03:39:03 PM »
This first image is taken with the Samyang 14mm lens. I love this lens!

Untitled by Live By The Night, on Flickr

This was taken with a Sigma 50mm F/1.4

Untitled by Live By The Night, on Flickr

Landscape / Re: Transmission tower
« on: February 11, 2013, 03:03:34 PM »
A person locally tried photographing Electrical Towers and was promptly arrested and tossed in prison, the Police told him it was illegal, and when he disagreed, they arrested him.
Later, the city paid out $$$ to settle a lawsuit, but he still has a arrest record, and even worse, the Mayor of the small town is defending the arrest and it sounds like he would support doing it again.

Photographing anything that's "critical infrastructure" will probably get you hassled, despite the fact it's completely legal.  With the obvious caveat that where you are standing at the time is somewhere you are legally allowed to be; either public property, or private property you own or are otherwise authorized to be on.

I was photographing a dam late at night with a couple friends. When we were leaving and got back in the car, five undercover cops boxed in the car. When they saw the camera equipment, they became very on edge to the point that they ran our license plate, our drivers licences and asked about the photographs we were taking. Ever since 9/11, the cops don't mess around.

Now when I photograph "critical infrastructure" and a cop stops me, I do not argue with them (unless they ask me to delete my photos, which I refuse to do). My advice would be to read up on felony vs misdemeanor trespassing and the laws regarding photographing such things.

I have been stopped over 30 times by the police for photographing somewhere I shouldn't be or something they regard as "critical Infrastructure". I have evaded any trespassing ticket and I have been only "warned" by the police a couple of times. If the police determine you to not be a threat, they will 95% of the time ask you to just leave.

I would be happy to explain which route I would go and why, but I would like to know a little more about your gear before I throw out my opinion. What are the lenses you currently own or are planning on obtaining in the near future. Also, you mentioned video so what audio/tripod/lighting/post processing do you have?

Software & Accessories / Re: Which cloud storage solution?
« on: February 07, 2013, 01:37:17 PM »
I don't use cloud storage, there are too many players now that are trying to establish themselves in the market. Many will disappear within a couple of years and any data will likely go lost. For the big players, I would never in my life use for example Apple's offering for obvious reasons.

When it comes to choosing something I also depends on what your needs are. Is it primary strategic storage for your business or also important for your hobby pictures, or is it a sharing solution you are looking for?

With many of us hobbyists needing +1TB and pros needing plenty more than that I have yet to see an offering matching those needs for a reasonable amount of money.

Make sure you have two back ups of your data, geographically dispersed. Manual back up is ok, you can do it on weekly or monthly basis. I agree with Mt Spokane also. It might not be a bad idea to keep it from being online.


I can definitely understand why you would not want to trust the cloud storage companies, but amazon or google are two that I cannot see going under. Amazon owns so much server space that when people were upset over amazon kicking wikileaks off of their servers, hackers attempted a DDoS attack which did not even slow down their website. This same attack crashed paypal, mastercard, etc.

Software & Accessories / Re: Which cloud storage solution?
« on: February 07, 2013, 02:52:01 AM »
I utilize a home server which I can create temporary accounts for others to log into and access files. I have also used clients like dropbox and google drive. I would recommend google drive over dropbox because dropbox takes forever to upload files.

Anyhow I saw that box.com is giving away 25gb of free cloud space. I do not have any personal experience with the company though


Amazon has a Canon s100 for $279.  Would be perfect -I use my S90 for all those forays where I don't want the bulky dslr stuff bumping and thumping.

Tony M

I would recommend the Canon Powershot s100 as well. It can shoot raw and is small enough to put in your pocket when not in use. When I first read the forum, the Sony RX100 was the first camera to come to mind. The photos are similar to a dslr, but so is the price.

Software & Accessories / Re: new 13" MacBook Pro
« on: February 04, 2013, 09:48:26 PM »
Aloha!  I'd welcome some advice....   I'm advising a friend, an amateur photographer with talent and potential, on what kind of computer setup that would be sufficient for photo editing.  Budget is a factor.  They are considering a new 13" MacBook Pro for about $1425 with these specs:  2.9GHz dual-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz, 8GB 1600MHz memory, 750GB 5400-rpm hard drive, Intel HD Graphics 4000...

The 5400 rpm hard drive will bottleneck the whole computer. If you do go with a macbook pro, a minimum would be a 7200 rpm drive. Ideally, you would want a 256gb (or larger) solid state drive. They work wonders in laptops. If I remember correctly, the new macbook pros are sealed systems (correct me if I am wrong) which means you have to pay apple to change out the drive. And that sucks because they charge A LOT for those drives

Software & Accessories / Re: Which iMac
« on: February 04, 2013, 06:04:42 PM »
Thanks for all the advice!

UPS just stopped in and dropped off my GF's new tower and monitors. After about two hours of having the case open, setup and calibration I am quite impressed. Thanks Rusty and Night she is VERY happy. I was apprehensive about apple but this is one robust machine.

Took this:
One 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor
6GB (3 x 2GB) of 1066MHz DDR3 ECC memory
1TB Serial ATA 7200 rpm
18x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

 ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5 memory

Added 1 512 Crucial SSD, 6TB in RAID 1, 16GB RAM. We took the 1TB drive out of the Apple and tossed it into an extra NAS housing. It has two 27 in apple displays (which I want now). Any other recommendations for upgrades?

I'm glad I could help! As far as other upgrades go, it really can't think of any. If the computer is too loud or you notice the computer running hotter than you would like, you could always replace the stock fans with some fluid ball bearing fans. Just replace the fans with those of identical size. A great brand too look into is Noctua because they move a ton of air and are unbelievably quiet. 

Third Party Manufacturers / Re: future of sigma art line
« on: February 03, 2013, 08:00:26 PM »
I too am awaiting a 24mm from sigma! I would expect them to update the 24-70 before releasing a 24mm, but would Sigma classify a zoom as part of their Art series? My guess is that it would earn the designation "Contemporary"

Software & Accessories / Re: Which iMac
« on: February 01, 2013, 04:26:39 AM »
Your comments are not insensible or uncalled for but it does show an uninformed opinion about how most people do their computing.

It is possible to build yourself a car. All the parts to make one whole car are available for sale over the counter or over the Internet.


It is just that very few people are inclined to build their own car. Too bothersome for a lot of people to do. Most consumers prefer to buy a Dell, HP, Lenovo etc etc and even an Apple. What sets Apple apart and not just another commodity item is the software and hardware design that is exclusive to the company. Thus they can charge more.

As for cobbled together desktops these are in decline and eventually be niche for DIYers and gamers. As for their out of the box counterparts these are also in decline yielding market share to mobile devices like notebooks, tablets and smartphones. I am not saying that you shouldn't be doing it but for most folks they just want to open the box, plug it to the wall, turn it on and start using it. Then completely replace within 2-5 years.

To make ever smaller and lighter computers manufacturers must solder parts together. This is the direction Intel is planning to take eventually by 2015.

In terms of supply chain cost desktops are much more expensive to move around and store because they take up more space and weigh a lot more.

I know everyone wants to save money on a deal so why aren't most people using m43rds and not SLRs? :)

I do apologize, my comment that you referenced was insensible and uncalled for. I definitely agree that those luxury car brands overcharge for what you get, but I see it slightly differently just because it is not possible to build yourself a car. If you want that sort of performance or luxury in a car, there is no (street legal) way around it. Unless I am forgetting something, then do let me know if that is the case!

I did exactly what the OP was trying to avoid, incite an apple vs pc debate. For that, I am sorry and will not make any future comments regarding the electronic rivalry. My intention was to ultimately convey some information about the iMac architecture and that alternatives do exist if money is a concern. BTW, If anyone is looking to build a computer and would like some help, I would be happy to do what I can!

I am well aware of the attempts to replicate expensive exotic cars or even build tuner cars from kits (such as the ultima gtr720) that purely built for handeling and speed. Most of which are not street legal in the united states and have little practicality in the real world. Given that these are so different than luxury cars such as BMW, mercs, audi, etc., I still do not think the car example relates. On a side note, I build go karts for fun. They are definitely not street legal, the interior doesn't look anything like a 750LI, but damn it can drift around a turn. Not so sure I would be willing to do that in a $100k bmw haha. But hey if my go kart was street legal, I would drive it everywhere!

Anyhow, I build computers for fellow engineers along with people doing 3D rendering, audio engineering, video editing, etc. I guarantee you that computers are not just for the gamers and those who feel like giving building a try. In the custom computer world, home built computers utilizing raid controllers to control the flow of data to SSD's and overclocked processors have overpowered the 5k+ custom ordered computers from dell (or hp i cant remember). When professionals request a custom build, they are set up in such a way that factories cannot meet their expectations or would charge insane amounts to do so. That is the driving force behind why I build computers for others (i dont charge for my work either because I enjoy it too much  ;D)

I actually know quite a few engineers who work at intel (a major intel facility is just 20 minutes from my house) and are very knowledgeable about the 14nm integrated processor architecture. This is the way of the future, but is not going to cause custom build computers to cease to exist. Intel makes far too much money from the custom pc world to risk that. But it also will have a profound effect on advancing major computer companies (dell,hp,etc) 

I realize 95% of the computer market is just looking for a computer to turn on an preform basic tasks. I just find it astounding when they spend twice as much for an iMac than a custom build that I recently did for a client that has 2 to 3 times the processing capabilities. (not just the processor alone - this takes into account overclocking on the processor, ram, having an ssd raid array, motherboard to handle the sensitive current and high data flow, etc.) In the end, all that matters is how many floating-point operations per second is achieved.

But hey, if owning that beautiful aluminum computer is what makes you happy, more power to you  :)

Software & Accessories / Re: Which iMac
« on: February 01, 2013, 02:14:26 AM »
I guess ignorance is bliss...

The marketing strategy of apple: Take a product that is in every way insensible for what they charge and make the consumer think it is a sensible purchase.

BMW, Mercedes Benz, Audi and other lux car brands do the same thing. Yet no one whines about it as loudly.

Nothing bad about paying more for a better user experience and better design.

I do apologize, my comment that you referenced was insensible and uncalled for. I definitely agree that those luxury car brands overcharge for what you get, but I see it slightly differently just because it is not possible to build yourself a car. If you want that sort of performance or luxury in a car, there is no (street legal) way around it. Unless I am forgetting something, then do let me know if that is the case!

I did exactly what the OP was trying to avoid, incite an apple vs pc debate. For that, I am sorry and will not make any future comments regarding the electronic rivalry. My intention was to ultimately convey some information about the iMac architecture and that alternatives do exist if money is a concern. BTW, If anyone is looking to build a computer and would like some help, I would be happy to do what I can!

Software & Accessories / Re: Which iMac
« on: February 01, 2013, 01:43:53 AM »
Sure videos a full different ball game though. You look at intel with their quicksync dedicated on the CPU itself. It's much simpler and more standardized than RAW formats that are company specific. GPU only helps if the software can be coded to use it which as I said most RAW programs don't seem to be doing due to the complexity. I think another part is the quality also can suffer using these things so they're good for previewing but don't help with the final rendering or if they do, it's of lower quality than when rendered with the CPU.

Yes, this is correct.  GPU doesn't matter for images unless there is code written that talks to it, takes advantage of it, etc.  Otherwise it just passes the graphics information through at a fixed rate as it receives if from the OS.  Video isn't much different, it's just redrawing images faster but video isn't 3D rendering.  Games are written to exploit the graphics card, engine, etc.  That's why some graphics cards work better for some games.  Even Windows now exploits the GPU a bit to help render the Aero interface.  Adobe has begun to try to write some of their code to exploit the GPU on some cards but that's also pretty minimal at this point.  I have a nice middle of the road nVidia GeForce 8400 GS Graphics card.  Not top of the line but no piece of junk either.  Around $200 back when I bought it a couple years ago.  Win7 Pro Enterprise x64, i7 CPU, 32GB RAM.  SSD for the OS.  The preview pictures in Lightroom 4 still drag a bit.  Nothing I can do, Adobe did something with LR4 to cause some latency.  (It was faster in LR3.)  Exporting, photo tools, etc all do pretty well considering there is a lot of CPU being used then.

Bottom Line, if money isn't an issue, get the best video you can but if money is tight, don't bother.  Either way, it won't change the performance much if at all for photos.

BTW, I met an IT associate of mine today and eventually, the subject of his MacBook Pro came up.  We discussed briefly how much it helped him with some photo and web development things he works on all day but it did cost him $3200 + over another grand for the large display he uses with it.  And then there's the software, Parallels and Windows 8 he runs on it.  I mentioned this thread and we quickly agreed that the iMacs are essentially a waste of money for doing any serious work like photography, video, graphics design, web dev, etc.  Lower end CPUs, graphics, lower memory limits and slow 5400 RPM drives which he reminded me about.  Even the display isn't as good as what you could get other ways.  In essence, not worth the money compared to other (more expensive but capable) Apple mac alternatives.  Sorry folks but you're just not going to get a standout mac photo workstation for under $2000.  Adequate maybe but not exceptional.  Not new anyway.

Mind answering a question? My GF is looking for a new computer: She does web design, content creation and a little video editing. I cover all her photography and photo editing. She is dead set on an iMac and currently has an older MBP. I feel this would be a poor investment for her business (I use a retina / PC for my photo and CAD work) and as stated earlier in this thread there is no expandability. What could you recommend?

Depending on how old the mac book pro is, you can install a solid state drive and continue using that same computer. SSD are the best bang for the buck upgrade on the market for computers running mechanical hard drives.

Sorry RustyTheGeek, I saw that this question was intended for you, I just could not resist responding! What do you think about an ssd in an older MBP?

I have already done that. The laptop will last a while still but she is in dire need of a desktop. I have 6TB (really 3TB as it is RAID 1) on my network that we use for storage + both have 2tb Lacie drives that live with them (her MBP and my MBP retina).

Right on! Im glad you gave the solid state a try!

If money is not a concern, a Mac Pro tower would be optimal due to the xeon processor and serviceability. But if money is a factor, how opposed would your gf be towards the windows or linux operating systems. I get the impression that you are good with computers, so why not a custom built desktop tailored to her needs? It would cost considerably less and you can choose the individual components.

Plus, if you are wanting a challenge, you could always throw mac os on a custom build!

SSD or bust these days. I can go from post to CAD loaded with the files I was working on the day before in about 15 seconds on my PC. Money is not much of a concern. How much can one person mod the Mac Pro towers? I have ran the idea of a home built machine and the cost (she set on Apple displays which is fine I have two 23" Cinema HD and love them) but like I said she has never used windows. When she does use my CAD machine for PS or Illustrator work she gets very confused and frustrated due to not knowing the OS and how to access our NAS drive or some of the basic functions. It looks like we are stuck with a Mac Pro for now as I don't feel comfortable making a Hackintosh and she having never used windows would be at a huge business disadvantage.

To my knowledge, Mac Pros are workstations and workstations cater to businesses. Because of this, the tower was built with an IT support staff in mind. In other words, the computer is very modifiable. Your main limiting factor is going to be the power supply and the connections on the motherboard. As long as you don't put a graphics card in that will exceed the psu, you should be fine. Without seeing a unit personally, I would imagine that you can upgrade RAM, hdd/ssd, optical drives, graphics cards (to an extent) adding soundcards and other pci cards and possibly the heatsink on the processor.

Where I work, we are given HP workstations that feature xeon processors, cuda graphics, etc. There are no compromises made when it comes to business and spending a couple extra grand can mean thousands saved in time over the life of the computer. If this computer is for business, I would go the route your gf feels most comfortable with regardless the cost (within reason of course). But when choosing an Apple machine, I would wait to see what apple will be unveiling with the new Mac Pro tower (coming out later this year). I cannot speak to how serviceable the new model will be though.

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