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Messages - jhpeterson

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Software & Accessories / Re: Camera or lightmeter?
« on: January 18, 2013, 01:26:03 PM »
Interestingly, I've come back to using a hand-held meter a good bit more in the past couple years.
Since the in-camera ones have vastly improved in the last three decades or so, about when I started my career, I'd almost given up on using them for all but studio situations.
However, I've found them very helpful outdoors in checking ambient light on overcast days. Even the best cameras and metering techniques can be fooled by the relatively bright sky. My histograms have become much more consistent, which yields me quicker work flow.
I highly recommend that anytime you question the reading your camera gives you, pull out that hand-held meter. It may not work all the time, like when you and the subject are in different light, but in most cases it will give you more confidence in your settings.

EOS Bodies / Re: 5D3 vs 1DsIII
« on: January 17, 2013, 03:16:20 PM »
I must be in the minority, but I would have to say the 1DS Mk III. Perhaps that's because the conditions I usually shoot in require the solid build of the 1D series.
I have a 5D2 which gets seldom used, because it's just a bit fragile, especially in regards to its weathersealing. On the other hand, my original 1DS has been through been through most everything the past 4-1/2 years.

Lenses / Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« on: January 13, 2013, 11:54:24 PM »
Wanted to say I made it back last week from three great weeks traveling through the Middle East. Thanks, everyone, for all your suggestions.
I wound up taking nearly 9000 photos, and, yes, I really carried my full pack with me almost all the time. About the only time I didn't was in the tight confines of tunnels under some of the pyramids, though even there I carried two bodies with zooms, one wide and one long.
I'll admit, a few times I ached at the end of the day, but I'm not sure I would have done it any differently. I wound up using just about every piece of gear I'd brought along, the only exception being the 7D I'd carried as backup in case one my bodies failed.
By the way, that 1DX totally rocks; it's just amazing the quality of images I was able to get in almost no light.

I'm still recovering from jet lag, but I'll post pictures in the coming days.

Lenses / Re: Going to get the 24-70 2.8 II. Want a 70-200 as well
« on: January 12, 2013, 06:21:56 PM »
I agree with iso79. If you really can't afford the MkII, then get the f:2.8 non-IS version, as you won't be happy with MkI. I've had all three and there's a noticeable difference in IQ between the IS models. The non-IS, though an older design by several years, falls somewhere in between.

EOS Bodies / Re: 1DMkIII vs 5DMkII vs 7D vs 1DSMkIII
« on: January 11, 2013, 11:45:11 AM »
Thanks, privatebydesign, for your pictures and post about using the 1DSMkIII at higher ISOs. It's been my experience that the camera gets rather noisy at anything above 800 or so, but your suggest of shooting at 1600, then underexposing two stops and pulling the details out in post-processing is certainly worth another look.
Despite having the same sensor, I agree that the 5DMkII is better for these things, but I find the build quality far too fragile for the way I nearly always shoot. The 7D seems a bit better, but only just. That's why I was looking for another 1D series body for about what I'd pay for either one of these.
True, I can achieve better IQ by cropping a 1DSMkIII file, but, since many of my clients only need work for the web, sometimes I don't come even close to requiring all the resolution I have.

EOS Bodies / 1DMkIII vs 5DMkII vs 7D vs 1DSMkIII
« on: January 10, 2013, 06:29:52 PM »
I have a chance to get a 1DMkIII, at what probably is a very decent price. I'm somewhat surprised how much they've depreciated compared to the 1DMkIV.
Admittedly, they had their issues when they first came out and they are only 10MP, but in terms of durability and when I don't need extremely large image sizes (that's why I have a 1DSMkIII), they more than hold their own.
I'm also told this is one of the later models that came out after the focusing problems were addressed.
I'm rather partial to the 1D series of cameras, as the nature of my work puts bodies to a pretty rigorous test. What I'm wondering is whether I should go for this rather than a 5DMkII or 7D I'm currently using as backup, or spend roughly twice as much for another 1DSMkIII?

I know, based on my experiences of the last few weeks, I really should upgrade and buy at least a couple 1DXs, a most awesome piece of equipment!

Lenses / Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« on: December 27, 2012, 02:47:54 PM »
No problem. Hope I helped a bit.
Have a nice trip...and share photos of course!
Shalom. :)
Roman, I'm staying right on the Mediterranean this evening, off to Caesarea and Megiddo in the morning. Here for another week, though probably won't get to Haifa. But, if you insist on that photo lesson....
And, yes, I'm actually still walking around with just about all the gear I had planned to take. In fact, the other morning before dawn I hiked up Mt. Sinai with the full pack (two bodies and the four lenses, about 35 pounds) to catch the sunrise. Got a little more than what I bargained for when I ran into light snow about halfway up. Fortunately, no real accumulation and it made for some awesome photos when the clouds cleared out at first light.

Lenses / Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« on: December 16, 2012, 10:16:36 AM »

A Sealed 24-70 2.8.
A Sealed 70-200 2.8.
A Sealed 50mm Prime.
Two Sealed Flashes.
Fortunately, all my lenses (16-35, 24-105, 70-200 and 300) have the weather seals, as well as the fact I'll be shooting on 1DS and 1DX bodies.
I took
1Dmk2, 17-40, 24-70, 28-135(cheapo), 70-200, 50ml 1.4, 100-400(hardly used), 1.4extender(didn't use), 580exii flash(used in, tripod (must have for those awesome night shots of old buildings..Gitzo 2451 carbon, spare battery, lots of cards, laptop, external drive.

If you go to the markets, take filters and/or lens cleaning kit.

I went to "shuk hacarmel" in Tel-Aviv with a friend to shoot a video, and there were 2-3 people in the market who didn't want to be shoot and just pushed (assertively, not brutally) the lens away with their hands, leaving finger prints on the front element.
I'm also bring along a few extra filters along for just such situations.
But, pushed "assertively"?  While I try being very conscious about not shooting where I'm unwanted, I've also done a few stints as a news photojournalist, so I've learned to make my way through crowds and don't get pushed around easily.

Thanks, guys, for all your help!
Actually, I downloaded the trial version late yesterday, only to discover when I installed it that it won't work with Windows XP. Actually my laptop is Windows 7 (it's my backup and   why I'm using this is another story!), but it has issues with connecting to the internet at home (fortunately the Wi-Fi is fine), so I needed first to get Windows 4 onto my desktop, then copy.
No time to buy another laptop, besides, between the holidays, several repairs and this trip, I'm too way over-extended anyway.
Since I need to make this work while I'm traveling, I've got DPP installed. It's what we in college called a "not very elegant solution",  another way of saying it's better than nothing.
I've decided that it's best I shoot in RAW + JPEG. That way I get a chance to work immediately on what I've shot each day and still have highest quality files that I'll be able to use one I get back and sort things out.

My 1DX just arrived yesterday. I took a few photos with it (look on the screen to be absolutely amazing!) and finally downloaded them last night. Unfortunately, I can open't them because I have Lightroom 2.7.
I thought I'd try Lightroom 4, only to discover it only works with Windows 7 and Vista machines. What to do now, I I'm flying out of the country in little more than 12 hours?

Video & Movie / Re: Holy Land Documentary Teaser
« on: December 11, 2012, 11:23:26 PM »
Nice work, Woodruff! Didn't I see this tease the other day? I don't suppose you have more you care to show us....

I'm off to the Middle East, as well, in less than a week, touring Egypt, Jordan and Israel for a total of 20 days. While I'm there on a specific project, I'd be most interested in hearing what were the high points of your trip.

Lenses / Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« on: December 11, 2012, 07:01:25 PM »

OK. I'll be short as it get late here and I'm a bit tired. If you need more info on particular places please feel free to ask.

First of all: Please ignore people suggesting you Glocks, Bazookas or pocket Shermans with you. It is quiet and safe here (right now at least :) ). 

Tel Aviv: THE busiest, 24/7 city of Israel. Night life, nice beach and promenade. You should visit Jaffa if you'll have time. It has some ancient architecture and good restaurants. It is 5 min by cab from the hotels on the beach.

Caesaria: Beautiful ancient Roman city there. Quite conserved if I remeber correctly. Hadn't been there in long time unfortunatelly, so can't help you to much. I guess wide angle is must there. It can also get quite dusty (or sandy) there if it is windy, so keep your equipment safe. Ofcourse there is always salty sea spray in he air near the water. I guess you could take some great sunset shots there.

Megido is an ancient barrow 5 minutes from the city I lived most of my life (Afula). Nothing to spectacular to see, but very interesting history. It is the Armageddon though :) (Mountain of Megido in hebrew), as unspectacullar as it may seem at first.

Nazareth: A bit simillar to Old Jerusalem, just less crazy. Nice marketplace (don't let them rip you off, argue to the lowest price you believe is fair. It is accustomed there). 

Sea of Galilee: Not sure what you have to do there for two days  (maybe just relaxing). You could get to Golan Heights and do some very nice day trekk in Yehudia reserve or go and shoot Vultures in Gamla reserve (been there last week, realy nice place).

Dead Sea and Massada are faulous places for some desert fotography. Most people come to Massada before sunrise and then take picture at the dawn towards the Dead sea. Caution: The water of the Dead sea is extremely saturated with salt. I would be very careful even with your 1DX. Though you could make nice closeups of the salt crystals.

Qumran: I am ashamed to tell that I've never been there (yet) :). So you will tell me how it was.

Jerusalem: Well, The Holy city. The temples and markets tend to be dark inside (lit mostly by candle light, temples that is) so fast and wide lens could be really great. Take care of your equipment there. It could get really crowded on those narrow streets.

Not sure about boat racing. Never heard about it in Israel. Maybe in Tel Aviv or Caesaria marinas.

Hmm...Can't think of anything else right now. Maybe if you'll end eventually in Haifa (we have sea, prehistoric man cave, extreamely beautiful Bahai Temple and gardens and bunch of other things :) ), you could talk to me and I'll show you around (for a free photography lesson that is :)).

That's it. Feel free to ask more, and I hope you'll enjoy your trip.


Roman, thanks so much for your helpful insights. If I ever get to Haifa, I'll see you get that photo lesson.

Lenses / Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« on: December 11, 2012, 01:28:39 AM »
Roman (sootzzs), I promised you my itinerary.
It appears I'll be in Israel for a total of seven, almost eight, days. I know I'll only get a small taste of your country, but hopefully I'll see enough to leave with many fond memories.
Arriving from Jordan, I cross the river and head to Tel Aviv, where I spend the first night. The next morning, I follow the Mediterranean coast north to Caesarea, where I'll see the Amphitheatre and Aqueduct. From there, I travel to Megiddo, on to Nazareth, then staying two evenings along the Sea of Galilee. I visit Dan and Capernaum, as well as a kibbutz (also in the north), then a day cruise on Galilee. I spend a day following the Jordan River down to the Dead Sea. A night there, before visiting Masada, then take in Qumran Caves. The next four days will be based in Jerusalem.
I don't know much time, if at all, I'll be in Haifa. One of the things I would most like to see would be sailing, especially small boat racing, on the Mediterranean. 

Lenses / Re: Recommendations for three weeks in the Middle East
« on: December 11, 2012, 12:44:10 AM »
Paul and Expat, I thank you for your concerns about the weight. But, I've been working out the past few weeks  ;)  and the effort is starting to pay off.
I guess most would think I'm overdoing it with all I'm taking, but this is a very typical set-up for me. As I said, it probably weighs no more than 35 pounds, and it 's not unusual for me to take this much on a hike for several hours, or cycling thirty, forty, fifty or more miles.
I'd love to pare this down some more, but I certainly can't see doing without both a 1DX and a 1DS. I've come not to trust anything else. And, I still feel the need of a third as back-up, though I MIGHT concede a 7D over a second 1DS. I'm very happy with my lens choices, and it will take a stronger man than I to pry that 300 from me. If I could squeeze in one more piece of glass, the suggestion of something fast sounds most appealing.
Surprisingly, all this concern about weight and many of you recommend a tripod. I take one, too, except I just don't know where I'd carry it. I can live without a flash, and, if I take the 7D, I'd have one built in, which would work in a pinch. It seems not many care for my taking a monopod, but I've captured many a shot with my 300 at shutter speeds of 1/60 and even 1/30. The table tripod appears to be a no-brainer, as it takes up little space and weighs even less.
I often flown with this pack and it's seldom been a big deal. All-up my kit AND me check in at 220 pounds, an even 100 kg. Far more a problem on these flights for me (at 6'3) is insufficient legroom.

EOS Bodies / Re: 6D vs 5Dii - The End of an Era?
« on: December 10, 2012, 02:35:22 PM »
Yeah, my big question is more about build quality than anything else. The 5DmkII is a tank and has held up pretty reliably in the field. The 6D seems to be Rebelized a bit in that regard. IQ for both are likely a wash. If you can't take good images with one, you won't be able to get good images with the other. They will likely be sunsetting the 5DmkII, but it's too bad they can't keep it around with a 'legacy' or 'classic' moniker of some kind.
I wouldn't call the 5DII exactly a tank. I work on the water over 100 days a years and I need something that's quite well weather-sealed. I use 1DS and 1D bodies for almost everything, and, although I have a 5DII, after my first experience with it, I've learned that some pieces of gear need to be left ashore. Even my 7D, which supposedly is the best-sealed other than the 1D series, has broken down on two occasions in little more than six months of use.
I would suspect with the 6D certain economies have been made, and that the build quality at best would be no more than that of the 5DII. 

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