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Messages - distant.star

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Third Party Manufacturers / Re: Sigma Announces New 30mm f/1.4 for APS-C
« on: January 29, 2013, 10:20:19 AM »
One more brick to strengthen that APS-C wall.

Lenses / Re: Sigma 35 1.4 or Canon 50 1.4 or Canon 24-70 2.8 II
« on: January 29, 2013, 10:14:14 AM »

I guess it's easy to toss out a question like this and see what kind of fish flop into your boat. But your question raises more questions than can possibly be answered.

You say you want a lens for "street photography" AND portraits. Then you throw in "larger compositions." Larger than what?

The term "street photography" is now so nebulous that it means virtually nothing. If you're planning to do "old masters" style street photography (candid people in public places interacting with one another and the physical world) then you'll have no choice. The 35mm is what you'll get. If by "street photography" you mean typical tourist pictures -- buildings, crowds of people, monuments, etc. then the 24-70 is the clear choice.

The classic portrait lens on a 35mm camera has been typically 85mm to 135mm. If you plan to do classic portraiture, then none of those lens choices are appropriate. If you mean something else by "portrait," then you'll have to better define what you mean.

You mention "image quality," but again you don't say what that means to you. Pinpoint focusing? Bokeh characteristics you want? Color renditions? Distortions? Vignetting? Only you know what that means to you.

Finally, there is such a wide price differential in those lenses, I'm puzzled by the cavalier nature of it. The Canon 50 is in the $350 to $400 range. The Sigma is at $900 and then you jump to $2200 for the 24-70. You can get five of the 50mm lenses for the price of one 24-70.

Seems to me you need to answer some questions before you start asking questions.

Lenses / Re: Lens Help - 17-40 & 70-200 f/4 or 24-70 f/4
« on: January 28, 2013, 03:22:18 PM »
I'm hardly the lens master....

But, you'd regret not having that 70-200 if you got the 24-70. That's what your comments sound like to me.

Without carrying a lot, you can put the 70-200 on the body and carry it with you hiking and with just the tiniest of shoulder bags also have the light 17-40 along just in case. So, when that deer pops up 50 feet away, you're ready. And when you wander into that perfect landscape perspective, just change the lens. The only downside I see is you'll need f/8 to get excellent IQ with the 17-40 so you may find yourself bracing with a tree or setting the camera on a fencepost.

Those two lenses open up the whole scope of your camera. The 24-70 doesn't give you a lot more than you already have (plus the price is still too high).

Oh, and congratulations on your daughter -- take lots and lots of pictures. And store those little treasures so you'll have them 50 years from now. (If we don't destroy the planet before then!)

Third Party Manufacturers / Argus 1.8 Billion Pixels
« on: January 27, 2013, 02:45:05 PM »
From the "I'm glad I'm too old to look forward to this kind of world" department:


The fear mongers of our world are developing a surveillance camera for drones they are calling the "Wide Area Persistent Stare" that can watch and record everything that happens in a small city.

"This is done by stitching together streams captured by a curved mosaic of 368 lens chips into one fluid video. Standing at a monitor, an operator can zoom in on specific areas anywhere within the image, opening up to 65 windows that contain magnified views while maintaining the larger context.

"From an altitude of 17,500 feet, Argus can see an object 6 inches off the ground, and automatically identifies everything that moves. Its recordings can be stored at a capacity equivalent to 5,000 hours of high-definition footage and are instantly retrievable at every level of magnification."

I'll bet when this comes about someone makes a small fortune selling hats with big mirrors on top.

Recently, I found out how much we are already being watched. A man killed a woman inside her house in Philadelphia. Cops gathered all the records from all video "security" cameras in the neighborhood. They zeroed in on one man they saw on the street, did some enhancement on his face and compared that image to the state driver license records to identify him. He confessed after 10 or so hours of persistent interrogation. Glad they caught him, but that kind of power scares me just as much as any criminal does.

EOS Bodies / Re: Canon's Roadmap for 2013 [CR2]
« on: January 27, 2013, 11:15:40 AM »
So glad to hear about this great new source!

I'm off to find some Japanese tourists with cameras! I'm guessing the ones carrying high end equipment have the best intel?

Will report back on my findings!

Some more humility would be appreciated by everyone :)

That humility stuff is rarely appreciated, Beast. Especially men -- we think we're expected to be able to talk camshafts and valve timing and torque converters -- even if we don't know anything about it! Safer, of course, to BS about "sports" nonsense. How about those Dodgers!!!

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« on: January 26, 2013, 02:35:15 PM »

If you can sidestep the obligation, do. If you really can't, don't panic. It's a grand challenge, and you can have fun if you allow yourself to.

Beav talked about expectations -- very important. Make sure they know they have no reason to have great expectations. That said, I expect they've seen some pictures you've taken, and you should be flattered they asked you. But again, make sure they know event photography is a specialized occupation and getting a nice landscape shot is not the same as a wedding.

A few thoughts:

1. Keep it simple. Go with the equipment you have. It's what you know. Trying to learn a flash, even just for fill, will get in the way. Forget a second body. The chances that your body will malfunction is about the same as them changing the date back to six months from now. A second body, with a different lens, can be helpful, but you're disadvantaged. First, you're shooting a wedding, and you know nothing about how to do that properly so all your attention needs to be on getting that right. Second, it's too confusing in this situation to remember a second body and what settings are on which body (it's more than just another lens). Keep it simple. Go with the equipment you've got.

2. Work on getting one memorable shot. You can give them 50 mediocre pictures, and one great one -- all they'll see is the great one. That's the one they will come back to in future years, and they'll remember you gave it to them. Try to plan something in advance if possible. If not, keep looking for that one moment when everything comes together perfectly -- and don't hesitate! Shoot the damn thing NOW. And tell them you're best hope is that you can give them one, single memorable picture.

3. Don't be afraid of the high ISO capability your camera has. Use what you need to get the right aperture/shutter speed to make the shot.

4. If you're going to be the "official" photographer, be it. Don't let people get in front of you or block you. Direct people into shots you need. You're in charge of this production. Don't be a passive photojournalist just shooting what happens. MAKE it happen. And as I've said here before, the best piece of advice I ever got when I started doing weddings so many, many years ago -- Do NOT be afraid to do it over. If you screw up a shot, stop everything and have them do it again. Now that may not be possible on the altar (but it may be if you've got the chutzpah) but have them restage it a few minutes later if need be. Always better to be embarrassed (which everyone will forget) than hand them a bad picture (which they will NEVER forget).

People have mentioned visiting the venues where you'll be working, good advice. And finally, I'd suggest looking at some wedding photographer sites -- look at the standard shots they all get, and plan to get those at least.

And have fun. The worst that can happen is you take some lousy pictures. At least I haven't heard any mention of a shotgun!

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Question about 5DIII's NR settings
« on: January 26, 2013, 11:47:40 AM »
I don't use in camera NR but I do keep long expo NR on standard.

My "solution" also.

"Distant Star" comes from the Jimmy Webb song "Where Words End" sung by Johnny Rivers on his "Shadows on the Moon" album a few years ago.


Where Words End (Jimmy Webb)

I sat me down on the highest rock
on the hill at Big Sur
It was dark and all the stars were spread out wide
As wide as my love for her
I was sure that I was falling
I felt time and space extend
and I thought I heard her calling from a place
a place where words end
Where words end...that's where my love begins
And reaches just as far as any distant star
Where words end there will be no might have beens
She'll be waiting..my best friend just across the river
Where all the words end
So I gave some thanks in silence and for all the good it's done
As a brand new constellation bloomed in space in the shape of my mother's face
In that starry dome of silence I could have heard a falling pin
She was smiling in the starry crown of grace and I watched her stars ascend
Where words end that's where my love begins
And reaches just as far as any distant star
Where words end there will be no might have beens
She'll be waiting for me there just across the river
Just across the river, Just across the river
Where all the words....
Where all the words end

And you can hear it here:

Johnny Rivers Where Words End

In addition to it just being beautiful, that's my criteria for good photography -- where words end.

As for the avatar, I just popped it up there a day or two ago. Reminds me of the old railroad crossings that always had a sign saying:




So, it's sort of all aspirational, I guess. One day I'll take a picture as beautiful as that song and as ephemeral as a distant star. And one day, I'll post things where people will stop, look and listen!

Thanks for asking.

They already lost many pros ... Many pro Canon gear users are starting to use beside Canon, Nikon gear as well.... many of them as the primary camera.

How many?? What percentages?

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 7D to 5D Mk III - Pull the trigger?
« on: January 24, 2013, 08:22:14 PM »
This is not a question you should even have to think about.

If you can have a 5D3, go get one today. For sports stuff, you can crop if necessary and still have better image quality. And if you are doing more events like weddings, as you say, with a 5D3, you'll find yourself getting more business.

I used a T2i for three years, used a 7D for a while. Now with a 5D3 I feel like a magician.

Every month when you send a check to Best Buy, you'll seal it with a kiss!

Street & City / Re: Your best street shots of any kind.
« on: January 22, 2013, 10:07:10 AM »
This was taken at an impromptu demonstration against the British National Party.

Good visual on our fear, Paul. Collectively, we humans live in dread of "the other" and change and anything that seems to threaten our own security. Yet the irony is that our interdependence and change are our strengths and the fuel of our progress. You've endeared yourself to me with this little story, Paul.

I haven't been to Glasgow in 30 years, but I liked it when I was there. And Scotland has some of the best land and sea scapes I've seen anywhere. (Oh, and the best milk I've EVER had too!)

Street & City / Re: Your best street shots of any kind.
« on: January 21, 2013, 06:45:16 PM »
Gettin' real in Philadelphia!

1D X Sample Images / Re: Rocket Launch shoot with Canon 1dx
« on: January 20, 2013, 04:21:30 PM »
Looks pretty amazing to me. Thanks!

I suppose you get used to it, but the pressure of photographing the president every day in every situation....

Wow, just the idea overwhelms me.

Hell, I still get nervous when someone just asks me to take their picture!

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