September 21, 2014, 10:45:16 PM

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Pricewatch Deals / Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art in Stock at B&H Photo
« on: September 04, 2014, 03:24:11 PM »
Sorry, B, couldn't resist. My friends in the community are the best folks I know!!

Glad to see you got that lens, by the way!! I'm still on the fence since I have the 35 -- don't know if it can make that much difference.

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art in Stock at B&H Photo
« on: September 04, 2014, 01:06:40 PM »
Damn, if it was f/1.2 you'd never have known it was the big book!

I picked one up, too, and NOW am having another sent to me   :'( :' :( :'(, as the AF is definitely off on the first one. I have a Sigma dock and software, which greatly improved the situation, but the adjustments were kind of extreme, so I thought that I would try another lens.
My thinking is that $950 for a 50mm should perform better out of the box.  :-X
I had a GREAT copy of the original Sigma 50mm (apparently I am the only one LOL!), which I sold to a friend to buy this new version.. But I may live to regret it!
So far I will say one thing...DAMN is this sucker sharp at f/1.4!!!!!!!
This kind of sharpness wide open is mind-blowing.
I attached a hand-held test shot at f/1.4 using AF after adjusting on the Sigma Dock and focusing on the word Lubitel.
I can clearly see that my camera needs a little dusting!!!! LOL!

Doesn't Sony introduce a new camera every day?

Post Processing / Re: B&W Process
« on: September 03, 2014, 07:16:36 PM »
Better. Seems the more I work with the Silver Efex the better I do. This one took many, many control points to change different areas. Never did manage to cover up the blown out part of his forehead. But the B & W is still superior to the color version.

Pricewatch Deals / Photoshop World Specials @ B&H
« on: September 03, 2014, 05:33:53 PM »
Got an email from B&H today with a bunch of price specials on a wide variety of things. Some good deals. I did some shopping.

I don't see any link on the B&H site. Guess if you're a customer you got the email.

A few thoughts. Advice, for what it's worth...

1. Calm down. This is just taking some pictures the organization may or may not use. No lives depend on this. You, and this thread in general, sound like a teenage girl going on a first date!

2. Spend the first 30 minutes to an hour simply looking. Walk around, look, visualize possible images and THINK how to best make them happen. The day is long. (But don't lose good light if you have it.)

3. Limit the number of shots you take -- I'd say don't take more than 200 all day. If they are well thought out and well executed, you'll save yourself a lot of time in post process. You do not have to shoot pictures of everyone there or of everything that happens. They seemed to have asked for a representational sample that will show what the event looked like. No one will look at more than a couple dozen pictures of the event, no matter how invested or interested. I wouldn't give them more than 50 finished pictures, at most.

4. Review expectations with the person who has asked for these pictures. Tell them exactly what you plan to do and ask for confirmation that it will meet their expectations. Then repeat this process again. (One thing John McPhee taught me about interviewing people was that you keep asking the same question until you keep getting the same answer over and over again.) If there is something specific on the day's agenda they want pictures of, make sure you know when it's happening, where, who's who (and important), etc. The pictures they want don't happen by magic -- they happen by people telling you exactly what pictures they want.

5. Enjoy yourself. Stop shooting for a few minutes every now and again and just be part of what's happening. Watch how the kids are having fun and take pleasure in that.

6. No one has yet mentioned a monopod -- might be very useful for indoor shots, and they're easy to carry.

7. Do the usual event coverage stuff -- look for places where you can get high (balconies, overlooks, stairs, etc.). Make sure you know where the light is coming from outside and maneuver shots accordingly. Find one place where a specific lens will get a unique shot (wide angle, for instance). Look for the unusual shot no one has ever taken at this place. You may want to use the monopod as a pole to get a bit of pole-camera aspect.

8. Don't be afraid to set shots up; this isn't journalism. You can put people where you want them around areas of interest, then coax them to act natural and interact if possible. Find the photogenic people who like being in front of the camera.

Again, enjoy yourself. Relax. They didn't expect to have a photographer to begin with!

Canon General / Re: Another Northrup - Canon vs. Nikon
« on: September 03, 2014, 08:35:40 AM »
I've stopped watching his stuff. He's been on my poopy list a while now.

I think he's going through a mid-life crisis or maybe he's gotten into recreational chemistry.

Reviews / Re: Consumer Reports: Canon G1X MK2 Best Ever
« on: September 02, 2014, 11:32:22 AM »
Speaking of speakers, so to speak...

Consumers Union (publisher of Consumer Reports) lost a major case in the U.S. Supreme Court when sued by Bose. The speaker manufacturer didn't care for the review and showed CR to be full of shirt.

In case no one is interested....,_Inc.

Landscape / Re: Waterscapes
« on: August 29, 2014, 01:55:24 PM »

Photography Technique / Re: Cropping
« on: August 27, 2014, 12:09:07 PM »
Excellent discussion.

I don't think I've ever seen it talked about here, and I think lots of folks will find it very helpful.

EOS Bodies / Re: Are you planning to purchase a 7D2
« on: August 27, 2014, 11:52:48 AM »
I'm pretty certain I'll never buy another DSLR.

After a few months with the Fuji X100S I'm convinced the steamroller of miniaturization will crush the DSLR. Like it or not, a mirrorless camera is in your future.

My prediction is Summer Olympics 2020 -- mirrorless cameras will dominate and the stonemason will be working  on a DSLR tombstone.

Meanwhile, I'll continue blissfully happy with my 5D3 and ride it to the final curtain.

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.  :/

Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I don't kill the cats after taking their pictures.

PowerShot / Re: New Large Sensor PowerShot Rumor [CR2]
« on: August 23, 2014, 02:01:48 PM »
It's only "crow" if you actually believed what he was saying.

These people lie -- all the time and for many different reasons. I'll bet Sony didn't believe what he was saying!

If this is true, I wonder how Canon executives find the taste of crow:

"...he ruled out the idea of a larger sensor camera along the lines of the Sony RX100 to offer more of an image quality distinction between smartphones and compact cameras. 'I think the market does exist but it wouldn't be very large. We think we have a good balancing point in terms of price, image quality and size. Lots of other combinations are possible, but, once you go below APS-C the next logical size is 1/2.3 inch', he says."

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Canon mirrorless: Status?
« on: August 20, 2014, 03:22:52 PM »
Canon is doing a classic rope-a-dope. The champ lets the challenger wear himself out, then he throws a knockout punch.

The steamroller of miniaturization will prevail, and mirrorless will be the near-term future.

My prediction is the current DSLR dies with the 2020 Olympics. Mirrorless will be the dominant camera technology at that event. After that, game over.

Portrait / Re: People at work
« on: August 20, 2014, 12:02:27 PM »
Serious question:  Have you had any bad experiences taking pictures of people working?  I imagine that some workers might object.

A presumption of "bad experience"? That speaks volumes. My easy answer is that if you're afraid of people or don't get along easily, don't take pictures of people. Get a good macro and live among the flowers.

With all the snappers around, this world is growing more photo resistant by the day. I'm going to do a separate post about that with a photo from last weekend. Anyway, working people, at least in this country in my experience are so badly treated and regarded, they generally fear what pictures will probably mean. They presume it can't be good. Is it someone who's going to call their company and complain? Has the boss sent someone out to document what they're doing, or not doing? Is it union related -- for or against? Is it OSHA or some other meddling government agency threatening their job? Is it a reporter putting their picture in the paper or on the Internet? Did a lawyer send them out related to some court case? They've got enough to worry about already and mostly just want to do their work and go home and have a beer. So, naturally, they're going to be curious. It's only going to be trouble if you as a photographer make trouble.

I always start shooting unannounced. Eventually someone in the work group will approach me, and I'm glad to talk. I want to alleviate any fear and put them at ease. That's why I always carry my "Who the hell are you?" card -- what people in the commercial world call a "business card." Like arjay, I offer to send them pictures, and my photo site is listed on the card so they can go look at the pictures if they like. That keeps things calm, and they can work and I can take pictures. In some instances you get to meet really interesting people.

There was a guy working on high-voltage power lines nearby. His home was several states from here, and he was working 12-hour days, six days a week. He was living here in an RV, and he owned a plane he used to take himself home on his day off. A railroad runs past my home, and I always go out to take pictures of the train going by. My main interest is the boxcar graffiti. After a year or so, the guys running the train stopped one day, got out of the train and asked why I was always taking pictures. They were really nice guys, just curious. When I told them it was for the graffiti, they said, "Oh, we'll have to find you some better boxes."

Here's a bus driver. He asked me to take his picture as I was getting on the bus. One of my first with the Sigma 35 Art [f/2.8, 1/125 @ ISO 100 on 5D3] in April 2012.

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