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Messages - distant.star

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EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: DPReview: Canon EOS 6D Reviewed
« on: February 13, 2013, 09:49:53 AM »
Left handed compliment:

A criticism or insult disguised as a compliment.

Canon General / Re: Lone protester takes on the camera companies at CES
« on: February 12, 2013, 10:04:39 PM »
Welcome to Capitalism.

It's a hard and ugly thing.

Lenses / Re: suggestions????
« on: February 12, 2013, 07:57:28 PM »
I'm not really sure what to suggest, given what you've said. That said, I have some thoughts.

I have no experience with the Sigma version, but I do use the 70-200 f/4L non-IS. It's a great lens, dense color, excellent clarity, etc. throughout the range. However, I've had little success using it for street photography. It's generally too slow and too long for me. I'm planning to upgrade to the IS version this year.

You have the 40mm, I'm presuming it's the Canon f/2.8 pancake. I use this a lot, and it's very satisfying. It's brilliant sharp at f/2.8, it provides an almost ideal coverage for most street photography. However, I'm also wrestling with the notion of getting the Sigma 35mm f/1.4. I've seen a lot of great images from it, and it has superb reviews. I have a hard time justifying it though because how well the 40mm performs. But those extra two stops and the enhanced isolation capability are a strong sell.

Good luck. Let us know what you do.

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Chikadees in flight
« on: February 12, 2013, 01:24:28 PM »
I totally agree with your comments on the chickadees. They never sit on the feeder for more than a second and my wife says they look like a piece of music when they fly.

What a wonderful, lyrical thing to say. Give her a big hug for me!!

Lenses / Re: Is this inconsistency acceptable? Sigma 85 1.4 question.
« on: February 12, 2013, 11:28:40 AM »
Nothing personal, but I see so many of these first posts about some non-Canon product. There's just something fishy about them to me. I no longer take them seriously.

If you have a lens that is not working correctly, send it in for repairs. As Roger at LensRentals just pointed out, lenses sometimes get out of whack (and they can come that way from a factory):


Worth a read, I think.

Landscape / Re: Transmission tower
« on: February 11, 2013, 03:10:01 PM »
That's an arrest record I'd be proud to have.

At my age I'm fed up with a life of people telling me I should be afraid of everything.

People see me carrying a camera and sometimes ask what I'm photographing. I usually tell them, "Anybody or anything that gets in my way."

When I was young I always said if I got to be old, I'd be a cantankerous old geezer.

Have camera. Will use it.

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.

Canon General / Re: Post-Processing Woes
« on: February 10, 2013, 03:35:34 PM »
Great tip. Thanks!

It helps to have a reference image up on the screen and to compare the image you're working on to the reference image.  If you work on pictures of people, the reference image should be a correctly exposed and processed portrait.  The white balance should be right on.  There should be a good skin tone and a neutral white or gray.  Because the reference image is a known constant, it keeps your eyes from getting fooled.  Otherwise, it is easy for your eyes to get fooled if you've been staring at the screen for a while.  Just pop the reference image up on the screen next to your current image and you can instantly see if anything about your current image is technically off (including brightness, color and contrast). 

Helpful advice and reference image here:  http://www.atkins.com.au/2012/07/colour-correcting-using-a-reference-image/

Oh yes, and it is essential to calibrate the monitor using a calibration device.  But even with a calibrated monitor, it is easy for your eyes to get fooled.  A reference image is a constant, so it is helpful even if your monitor gets mis-calibrated after a while, or if your brightness setting is way off one day.

Video & Movie / Re: The Blizzard of 2013 Time Lapse
« on: February 10, 2013, 01:48:01 PM »
I remember seeing this one a few years ago. Still my favorite:

December 2010 Blizzard Timelapse: Mike Black on Vimeo

Software & Accessories / Re: Where are you posting your photo's?
« on: February 10, 2013, 01:38:52 PM »
I use Smugmug for bulk storage. Since I don't have a lot of interest in display, I just dump them in galleries -- no showy opening page or glittery display of five great pictures. It's sort of like a warehouse. Make sure you don't get hit by something falling off a top shelf up there!

Once in a while, I'll put something on Flickr, but mostly to keep active in some groups I find useful.

Canon General / Re: Post-Processing Woes
« on: February 10, 2013, 01:34:15 PM »
Happened when I first started using Lightroom.

I'd process a lot of pictures in my dimly lit room at night. Next day they all were too dark.

So, I've learned to keep the light as good as I can get it -- and always be aware of it.

Once in a while I have to go back and straighten a crop, but that's about it.

Landscape / Re: 2013 Vistek Emerging Photographer
« on: February 08, 2013, 01:55:05 PM »
And here are the 5 photos I submitted for judging.
I nearly said "Great photographer, but lousy at maths", glad I didn't now! :-\

Cheers Brian
haha.. I am pretty lousy at math though.

Lot of good pictures in that competition. Yours are a bit tricked out for my taste.

As for math, it's interesting that you can be lousy at history or sociology or music, but with math, you're either good or you're wrong.

Good luck, and congratulations on being in the competition.

Lenses / Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
« on: February 08, 2013, 12:54:43 PM »
If you get the lens, may I borrow it next time in Austria??

Lenses / Re: I can't stop thinking about A MONSTER!
« on: February 07, 2013, 09:28:52 AM »
I don't want to wet blanket your enthusiasm, but three powerful things keep going through my mind:

1. Lot of money. That kind of money is usually a business investment. You'd have to derive some ENORMOUS satisfaction from the images you create to make it worthwhile.

2. Lot of inconvenience. There's a price to be paid here too. Sometimes the inconvenience makes a simple photography outing more of a chore than it's worth. Eventually, the lens ends up sitting in a closet. Human nature, unfortunately.

3. Lot of risk. Putting that thing on a bicycle exposes it to great risk. I know since I get around on bicycle a lot too. I'm always wary of what photo equipment I'm putting in a backpack because a simple fall can be very expensive. You could lose it as a crime victim. There could be a fire. And that suggests more expense as you'd want insurance specifically to cover that lens.

On the other hand, maybe you'll buy it, endure the difficulties, get lucky and end up being one of the world's foremost wildlife photographers.

As Henry Ford said: "Everything is possible."

EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: Emergency wedding, of sorts.
« on: February 06, 2013, 07:48:57 PM »
Great perspective -- and elegantly said!! It's a pleasure to read a coherent and well written post.


I think there are a lot of poor and somewhat fair photographers out there working as "professional photographers" because they have a website and price list.  The number of skilled, experienced and talented photographers out there is a much smaller percentage.  Notice I didn't include the word professional the secont time.  IMHO, the word professional only indicates the fact that the photographer charges for their services and hopefully can pull off the job to the clients' satisfaction.  The word professional in no way vouches for the quality of the work.  Today's great (or not so great) professional is merely yesterday's up and coming amateur.  Everyone has to start somewhere.

It's all about the individual.  For example, there are many "photo moms" out there that are "professionals" because they do photography as a part time side business and it helps pay for their gear.  This is how a lot of professionals start out.  It's only after a lot of time and work has been performed that the photographer gets better in all aspects, be it working with subjects, scheduling, billing, delivery of images, whatever.  Like anything else, the more you do it, the better you get.  And you only improve at what you do.  If one never ventures outside their comfort zone, they don't grow much, they just improve in that niche they are in.

Like most things, you get what you pay for and mediocre photographers won't get away with charging what highly respected and reputable photographers with a following can charge.  (For good reason.)  It's up to the buyer to be diligent and look at the past work and references of any provider of services.  I look at the wedding pictures we have from our wedding in '95 and I'm blown away.  And of course they shot with film then.  Mostly medium format.  At this point in my photography experience and with the great gear I currently own, I think I *might* be able to duplicate maybe half the shots if I was really lucky.

There is no replacing skill, talent and experience but it can be earned and the photographer doesn't have to be paid to earn/learn it.  So with that said, IMO the only thing that matters is the work.  Some non-pros will easily shoot circles around some pros and vice versa.  And I think Wedding Photography is perhaps the hardest and most demanding photography out there.  It's essentially journalistic photography in all the hardest situations but with a demand of top studio level excellence and quality.  My hat is off to all good and great wedding photographers.  All others have my sympathy.

Lenses / Re: Finally!
« on: February 05, 2013, 11:24:55 PM »
Congratulations. That lens has given me some great pictures.

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