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Messages - thepancakeman

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Nikon D800 Outed?
« on: December 12, 2011, 08:32:10 PM »
Maybe we will now have a low megapixel war. 

I am all for that!  At least now (assuming the rumors are true) it is not the MP per say that will make the difference (16 vs 18) but more the overall product design and all the tech stuff required to squeeze low light performance from these sensor.  I think we can only benefit.  I think in the current line up (Canon vs Nikon) the approaches were so different that it became a he said she said type of argumentation with two distinct camp.

Now that both company seem to converge toward a low MP high speed camera and a high MP camera, the story will be different...

I think that was a joke.  If not, I have a fabulously low .5 megapixel digital camera I'll sell you.   ;D

EOS Bodies / Re: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?
« on: December 12, 2011, 08:29:14 PM »
What is wrong with embracing the grain as an artistic expression?
Nothing at all.

But when you're hired by "Glam Magazine" to do a nighttime outdoors photoshoot and they want clean image for their feature article, you might want to deliver what they're paying for.  Just saying that I too think artistic grain can be quite nice.  But when looking at photography from a profession's standpoint, the public has their own idea of what a "good photo" is, too.  And often times, grain isn't a part of it.

It does amaze me that for an photographic forum, there are more pictures to go with all the words.  ;-)

Although in general I am a big fan of no grain, no noise, there is a time and a place (I think).  I added grain to this photo that I was editing for my wife this weekend.  Thoughts?

EOS Bodies / Re: The rift between the vocal "ISOers" and the "MPers"...
« on: December 12, 2011, 04:43:45 PM »
Wait a second.  Have you seen a 36MP 1DX sensor?  It doesn't exist.  The 1DX has an 18MP sensor.  You can't argue the quality of a sensor that is a figment of your imagination.

First of all, theoretical is not the same as imaginary.  At this point the entire existence of a 1DX is theoretical, because no one owns a production copy of it.  So to have a theoretical 36MP (which is the rumored sensor in the Nikon D800) is a perfectly valid concept for discussions of an idea.

And secondly, as this is a rumors site, a lot of what we discuss here aboslutely is the figment of someone's imagination.   ;)

Landscape / Re: Boat Ride at Sunset
« on: December 12, 2011, 02:48:59 PM »
I like the way the tree frames it, but the horizon down the middle is a little distracting (not to mention close to horizontal but not quite).  Horizon line aside, it feels pretty well balanced. 

It seems unintentionally green (at least on my monitor here at work.)

Opinions, I'm qualified to give.  Expert feedback/advice, I am not.   ;)

EOS Bodies / Re: From NR: D800 commercial was filmed in Chicago
« on: December 12, 2011, 02:29:03 PM »
However, NikonRumors spoke very confidently that the commercial is finished coupled with the fact that there is something big coming in January makes it above the 50% line.
Above the 50% line?  Wow, we should all go out and bet our life savings, with those excellent odds.
Neuro, you obviously don't know what "good odds" are because something that is just above the 50% is not considered  good odds - i'm glad that there is still one thing in the world for you to learn  ;D

I bet there's better than 50% odds that neuro was being sarcastic.   ;)

EOS Bodies / Re: The rift between the vocal "ISOers" and the "MPers"...
« on: December 12, 2011, 12:46:18 PM »
what do u think of this statement:


He says "Today, even the cheapest cameras have at least 5 or 6 MP, which enough for any size print. How? Simple: when you print three-feet (1m) wide, you stand further back. Print a billboard, and you stand 100 feet back."

And how, exactly does he know where I stand?   8)

Lenses / Re: 4 lens conundrum - could use some help
« on: December 12, 2011, 12:30:55 PM »
These options are great for the first 6 months or so, but once the kid starts moving trying to catch (and frame) them with sneaker zoom can be a real challenge. 

EOS Bodies / Re: The rift between the vocal "ISOers" and the "MPers"...
« on: December 12, 2011, 12:21:47 PM »
Who would you believe??

Rarely the naysayers.  History is replete with philosophers and scientiest and inventors saying "it can't be done" only to have someone else do it.

Street & City / Re: Goodnight.
« on: December 12, 2011, 12:06:28 PM »
Wow--I love it!  There was a huge moon out here this weekend and I kept thinking I should try to capture it, but shots like these just remind to me how woefully inadequate my skills are.  Nice job!

What was the light source on the leaves?

EOS Bodies / Re: Why I need MPs
« on: December 12, 2011, 11:55:06 AM »
Wow, this thread did not exactly go how/where I'd planned.

There is now another thread on the topic here: http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php/topic,2424.0.html.

I was trying to add a different slant to the MP crowd, as it seems most of them are landscape photographers and their cries for higher MPs is answered with "hey there are a lot of great landscape photos out there that don't have high mps, so what you really need is better ISO or DR performance".  There are (or were) a few billboard photographers out there as well, and the response to them was "people shouldn't be looking at your billboard that close anyway."  I am attempting to add a 3rd category to the high MP crowd as those of us who "NEED" (?) to be able to do fairly extensive cropping after the fact.  I have heard a few fashion photogs jump in in this category as well, and I was just trying to provide some concrete examples (plus maybe solicit some feedback on my images.)

I did get the expected response of:
learn composition in camera.

While I'm happy to oblige, I think the challenge is summed up pretty well here:
So the OP is supposed to compose 8 different pictures, of different objects, who are moving 10-30/mph(runner vs. biker), in a matter of a few seconds

I think this is an interesting suggestion:
And one more idea: maybe buy a 1DX and use it in video mode.  The video resolution might be high enough to let you "sweep" a group and get multiple useable still shots.

Has anyone done or tried that?  My one concern would be the time and effort of wading thru the video to ferret out the few that I missed in the stills.

The sample posted by wellfedCanuck is not atypical of race photos.  IMHO, the entire photo is fairly weak, and the only 1 of the 7 runners in the photo would likely be interested in purchasing a copy (my principle clients are the athletes themselves.)  So if that's the shot I walk away with, I just lost 86% of my potential customers.  I think it can be done better.

As a side note relating to neuro's comment--yes distribution does depend on capturing bib numbers, as well as the fact that most runners seem to prefer photos that are framed to include their feet.  So between the athletes themselves and the race directors, the full body shots are my "expected" output, the headshots/crops are "bonus" items.

Let me explain my methodology, and perhaps there are other good ideas on how to better accomplish the task (aside from getting a Nikon D800  :o ).  I am nearly always shooting with the 70-200 f2.8 IS.  When I have a large group coming, I start at 200 and pan back as the group approaches trying to anticipate where gaps might open up so that I can isolate individual runners.  When there's clearly no way to pick them off one by one, I will stop down and try to frame 2 or 3 in focus at the same time (hence the cropping, hence the needing more MPs).  Where I am really open to ideas, is how to balance everything:  I usually shoot at 2.8 because I need a high shutter speed to freeze the motion.  In my (albiet limited) experience, cyclists require a bare minimum of 1/250, with more reliable results starting at 1/800; runners I can get away with 1/125 if there are no other options, but prefer about 1/400.  When I stop down it's because I'm going to end up cropping, so then a higher ISO becomes an issue because the noise is more evident in the cropped result.

Of course, maybe a "dude, your crops suck even worse than you originals, so don't bother" would solve the problem too.   ???

Firstly remember what is expected of you. Practice composition in camera so you don't have to crop in post because this takes forever for a few thousand pictures. If the client wants to publish any pictures he will crop them anyway, and usually not very artistically.

For your own portfolio, pick a few of the best and edit these more thorougly, including crop, angle, spot removal, vignette, etcetera. 10 MP should still be enough for a web portfolio and smaller prints (up to A4). If not then your upcoming 7D might be the right solution for you; I would have suggested renting it otherwise.

Yup, post processing a few thousand pictures every event does take forever.  Yes, I race directors like a few "poster" shots for their websites and advertising, but most of my revenue comes from the individual participants, so the balance is between quality of shots and missing shots.  I'm of the mind that a decent shot of nearly every athlete is going to generate more revenue that fabulous shots of a few athletes.  But if I can crop some to get those better shots, it's a big plus.  However, I'm still very new to this, so if there's a better way to sell/market my photos I am all ears!  I've gotten really positive feedback from the few races that I've done, so I think I'm on the right track, but there's always room to do it better, more efficiently, and hopefully more profitably.

EOS Bodies / Re: Why I need MPs
« on: December 10, 2011, 01:02:52 AM »
Don't you actually want higher resolution and more detail?  And, you believe that you get that from more MP's?

Okay, maybe I'm confused, but aren't higher resolution and more megapixels the same thing?   ???

Due to the effects of lens diffraction, you reach a point where smaller pixel size does not yield more resolution or detail. 

There seems to be some debate as to whether we have reached the diffraction limits of current lenses at 18ish MPs, but I'm not really looking to debate the technical feasbility of it.  I'm asking whether or not an increase in MPs would increase my ability to get printable results in my circumstances or if there are simply usage/technique changes that I need to make.  Some of these crops are all the way down around 1200x800 which is questionable for even a 5x7 print.

If you are making money from landscape photography, perhaps your work will pay for a move.  If its for personal use, your finances are going to determine that.

I think I'm hopeless as a landscape photographer even if I wanted to be one.   :'(  As it is, I'm just earning enough to "support the habit" doing sports event photography.

EOS Bodies / Re: Why I need MPs
« on: December 10, 2011, 12:02:33 AM »
And for the originals...

EOS Bodies / Why I need MPs
« on: December 10, 2011, 12:01:45 AM »
Just because I like to throw fuel on the flame...

There are so many discussions about needing more megapixels with strong proponents on each side, I thought I'd join the fray with some specific examples (especially because it seems like most of the "I need MPs" side is landscape photographers of which I am most definitely not.)

Below I am posting the crop image and then the original.  Again, my context is that capturing a decent shot of every athlete in the race is my number one priority.  There is little to no time to worry about doing anything artistic, and often even a basic reframing of the shot is more work that I seem to have time for.  So some of these are cropped because I think there is artistic value in the a portion of the original image (and 500 shots of "runner...runner...runner...runner" gets old without some creativity ::) ), or as one example shows, simply to isolate the given athlete.

I'm open to contructive criticism if there are things I could do differently to reduce or eliminate my "need" for more MPs (or any other photographic/artistic feedback).

Software & Accessories / Re: Your Personal 7-Point System
« on: December 09, 2011, 05:54:30 PM »
Since this was my idea, I guess I'd better play too.

One of my favorite tricks (stolen from Kelby) is "smart objects."

With almost all of my images, I process them first in RAW aiming for the best overall exposure possible. Then, I open the file as a smart object and make a duplicate smart object in Photoshop. I then open that second file in RAW and work on areas that need a bit more of something (for example, I may adjust the exposure, blacks, brightness, contrast etc. to get a little more detail in the shadow areas or in the highlights)

I send the second layer back to Photoshop, put a mask on it and paint in or out the areas that I want to fix.

I sometimes do this with three or even four layers. It's amazingly simple once you get used to it (although it makes for some big file sizes) and I find the results much nicer and easier to control than using the burn and dodge tools in Photoshop. (With dodge and burn you are basically just lightening or darkening a section with little control. By reprocessing the file in RAW you have access to the full range of adjustments)

I'll usually save a file with all the layers intact, just in case I need to go back and rework something later.

Nice!  I'm gonna have to try that one.

Software & Accessories / Re: Your Personal 7-Point System
« on: December 09, 2011, 05:01:35 PM »
I'll bite... while this is a post raw filter, I love the topaz filters... from topaz denoise to adjust... adjust is good at giving a little pop and expanding DR and can even do faux HDR if you want to push it that far, Detail is very good at sharpening, denoise goes without saying... I use them when finishing an image to give a good photo a "wow" affect...

Excuse the ignorance, but...huh??   :o  I honestly have on idea what you're saying; can you expand/explain a little more?

And maybe for the thread as a whole, provide before and after examples so we can see the results?

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