February 28, 2015, 08:57:05 AM

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Topics - RustyTheGeek

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Portrait / WTF Images - Funny Head Scratchers for Sure!
« on: January 15, 2015, 09:27:37 AM »
Wasn't sure where to post this, portraits was as close as I could guess.  Perhaps we need a "Misc", "Just for Laughs" or "Everything Else" section?

Anyway, these won't take long to look at and they're interesting to say the least!  Yes, Office Friendly.


EDIT:  I discovered that my AdBlocker was the reason.  With it enabled, I see the Discussion List on top like I prefer.  I disabled it temporarily and forgot so the AdBlock appeared on the top instead.  Yuck.  But I guess it's been that way for a while.  Too bad.   :(

Yesterday, a large "AdChoice" Ad Block on CR Home Page was apparently added to take the place of / push down the trending Forum Discussion List on the right side.  WTH??   ???  There was already an Ad Block below the Forum Thread List.  Why do we need one on the top as well?

CR AdminsPlease move the Forum Discussion List back up top right where it was!  It sucks having to scroll down to see it every time I check the home page for new topics.  I'm not trying to whine here, this is a real issue.  I don't mind tolerating the Ad Blocks as long as they don't affect functionality.  This one does!

IMHO, if this change is permanent, it will significantly reduce your traffic because checking for new forum topics will not be as quick or easy and folks will be less inclined to go to the extra scrolling effort.  When the Forum Discussion List is where it was before at the top, you simply needed to refresh the pageNow it's hidden completely without scrolling down.  Yuck!!

Animal Kingdom / NatGeo 2014 Photo Contest Winners...
« on: January 07, 2015, 10:47:05 PM »
Some of these are stunning.  The winner is great but I think my favorite is the Shinagawa Station.  Enjoy...


Video & Movie / Watch Airbus Risk $1.5 Billion in a Wild Airplane Stunt
« on: January 07, 2015, 06:35:22 PM »
This is pretty cool, esp for you aviation buffs out there.  AFAIK, we have several pilots on this forum.  Enjoy!


OK, a while back I was unfortunate enough to find a new 600EX-RT for about $330.  As everyone knows, if you find a killer deal on something like the 600EX-RT, all it is going to do is make you start looking for a few more.   :(  And lo and behold, I was again plagued with another good deal last week for $419 each.  So I bought two more.  Then I got the Yonghuo YN-E3-RT wireless transmitter on Amazon for $89 and some StoFen Diffusers.

Now this isn't the first Speedlite I've ever owned.  In fact, the various Speedlites I already have work great.  (430EX, 580EX and 580EX-II, along with a 270EX-II and some SunPak RD-2000 flashes which are what I use most.)

So I don't really know what to do with the 600EX-RT Speedlites.  I guess I can use them to prop up an uneven table or (once I get the Sto-Fen diffusers I ordered) I could use them as back scratchers.  Paper weights?  Door stops?  They're not quite big enough to make good wheel chocks.  I mean, what are they really good for anyway?  And what does the RT mean?  Real Tough?  Radioactive Terminator?  Real Time?  Romeo Tango?

Regardless, since I'm stuck with these cotton-pickin' things, I guess I should see what everyone else here would do if they were in the same situation and had to deal with this problem.  Assuming you owned a good body like the 5D3, etc what would you buy to utilize these babies fully?  Most of my shooting is for journalistic/event stuff.  Then I shoot ceremonies in a church sanctuary.  But I'd like to also work at improving skills on smaller portrait settings that could be portable.

So seriously, I don't want to spend a ton of money at this point, just get a few essentials that would give best bang for buck to add versatility and usefulness.  Like for instance, if I want to shoot a small family group portrait shot, etc in a portable way.  I've got a good friend out of town that will have an informal wedding soon and I could shoot a few shots with him and his bride.  Or shoot someone in daylight shade from a distance with the 70-200 and have some fill light out of frame.  Stuff like that.  I'm thinking perhaps a simple background setup, a couple stands/modifiers, portable little stands/clamps for outdoors or other goodies.

I thought subject this might make a good thread for everyone to share things that have paid off for them using speedlites in various situations.  Thanks in advance!  (OK, David Hobby and Joe McNally, time to stop just lurking out there and start actually posting something!  Come on, you know you want to!!)


After getting rolling a month or so ago trying to get some stuff sold, things seemed to be going well.  I listed stuff, people bought it.  Everyone was happy.

Now I'm starting to have Craigslist problems.  So I gotta vent...  >:(  Seems once you have more than a small handful of listings, like more than 5 or 6, they start "Ghosting" your listings.  Ghosting is where everything appears to be fine except that the listing is never seen by anyone, ever.  It doesn't show up in searches.  It doesn't exist except on your account list of activity.  You can't even find it by searching for the exact listing number.

Another issue is that there is a long list of rules about what can be in the listing and what can't.  How it should read and how it shouldn't.  Many points of what I am discovering are not in the Terms of Service.  They are simply what the CL community apparently thinks.  And if enough CL readers FLAG your listing, it will be removed.  That is, if it isn't ghosted or deleted by the system first.

The frustrating part is that we are talking about listings that may have been good to go for a month or even a year but suddenly, it's not good.  It's ghosted, flagged or deleted without any notice and you have no way to know what caused it.  And if you try to relist it to fix the problem(s), it simply gets ghosted or deleted again.

So you go to the help forums.  Oh, what a joy that is.  Let's just say I felt like a kid with a nice camera and lens on the school yard and a group of forum volunteers proceeded to surround and gang up on me in about 2 min to criticize not only my poor attempt to be funny in the initial post title but belittle and criticize everything about the listing.  Some of the input/feedback was helpful but in general, when I asked a question about why something was a potential problem, it was met with defensive retorts accusing me of feeling entitled, being stubborn or refusing to take the advice.  In other words, hostile.

And there was a lot of "advice" on how I should write the listing, how I should not quote specs, prices, etc.  If you have two listings that have similar text or titles, they could be flagged.  And I should always state the AGE of say, a Lens.  Unless it's NEW, then I shouldn't be listing it at all unless I list it as a dealer.  And if I say for instance that a lens is SHARP, I am talking down to the reader.  And if SHARP is in all caps, it will probably get flagged because that is shouting.  No matter that there is no way to highlight or otherwise make text stand out at all since it is plain text with no formatting except caps.  Oh, and no html, no links, no prices, no mention of eBay, etc.  I think even having text in the image is a no-no.  The list goes on and on.   ::)

I even had one forum "helper" say that I was nuts if I thought someone was going to actually meet me with thousands of dollars in cash for photography equipment so I was most likely a scammer.  Really??

So I'm just warning you that if you list something on CL, don't be surprised if you have trouble.  Either the first day or day 43 something will go wrong and you'll likely never know what caused it.   It's not the fun carefree CraigsList that it was a few years ago.  Aaaargh!!   :-[

Speedlites, Printers, Accessories / MagMod - MagSphere looks interesting!
« on: December 03, 2014, 12:31:21 PM »
This looks interesting.  I took the plunge with a $79 pledge for one of each.  (I already own the basic MagMod kit.)


I'm particularly interested in the sphere where they say it costs less than a stop of light power.  I already own/use the GF Sphere but it definitely cuts the light power more.

Software & Accessories / Lightroom 5.7 - Is it working for you?
« on: December 03, 2014, 10:48:54 AM »
Hi everyone,

As an IT guy, I look at software differently than end users.  While I am an end user, I am also sensitive to the way the software interacts with the system.  Like a car nut, I don't just care about how nice the paint job and interior are, I care about what's under the hood.

With that in mind, I never upgrade Adobe Lightroom (or any Adobe software) until it has been out at least a couple weeks or a month.  So I'm asking if anyone has had problems running version 5.7 on Windows 7 x64.

I created a poll above so others on the fence about updating might get an idea of what the outcome will be before they commit.

I also did a quick Google search about this and a new post has just appeared that echoes my thoughts and opinions about Adobe software in general.  I have thought that Adobe software, from an IT standpoint, sucks for many years.  A decade or more ago, Adobe was primarily a Apple software company.  Whatever they did to branch into Windows programming, they did wrong and they never changed.  Say what you want about Apple and Steve Jobs but I never faulted him for insisting that Adobe Flash would not be used in iOS.  That was a good call and a triumph for the closed system computer model of Apple.  Unfortunately, after all these years, the industry hasn't followed suit and we still have to deal with Adobe Flash, Shockwave, etc on every system.  What a nightmare.

Anyway, if you want to know more about this line of thinking on Adobe, read the article below.


I just did a full image backup of my System Drive and Lightroom catalogs in preparation for the 5.7 update.  I would like to start processing my 7D-II RAW files.  I hope I don't regret the update!  I'll let you know soon.   ;)

Lenses / 24-105L Lens and 5D3: New vs. Old - Think there is any difference?
« on: December 02, 2014, 10:21:51 AM »
So I purchased the 5D3 + 24-105L Kit for $2699 to sell for a little extra cash.  But since I already own both, I also thought it might be a good chance to refresh what I have with new and sell my used ones instead.  You know, sort of 'reset the clock' so to speak and have all new again for practically no cost.  But we all know what it's like to have something that is familiar/works fine and then replace it with a shiny new one only to find out we wish we had the first one back because the replacement has lower quality or issues that we didn't expect.

Question:  I have owned a 24-105L for about 4 years.  Anyone think that the newest ones coming off the line now might be any better or worse?  Subtle changes good or bad that have crept into the manufacturing process either by accident or on purpose?  Anyone ever notice a difference that has used an older one and a newer one?  (Roger Cicala, are you listening?)  I realize the lens is built to a specific design but I'm just curious if the manufacturing process has perhaps influenced the quality over the years with perhaps a newer/different factory, assembly line, better or worse QA tolerances, etc.

While we're at it, ditto I guess for the 5D3.  Hopefully you guys don't think this is stupid question.  Thanks.

Basically, this is a question of whether or not to switch from f/2.8 to f/4 on these lenses.  And gain IS and fancy Macro with the 24-70 f/4 IS in the process.

I own the 24-70 f/2.8 vII and the older 16-35 f/2.8 vI (One of my favorite lenses.)
(BTW, I also own (as a side note) the 24-105 f/4 IS if it matters.)

I also now own a 24-70 f/4 IS and I'm about to own a 16-35 f/4 IS.  (Both purchased a great discounts to sell at a profit.)

I was considering selling my 24-70 f/2.8 vII since it's worth so much in comparison.  And I have read a lot of good reviews on the 16-35 f/4 lens.  (And honestly, I'm getting tired of waiting for a new version of the 16-35 f/2.8 lens.)

So what do you guys think I'll regret in losing the f/2.8 versions other than a stop of light and some loss of bokeh?  I know the 24-70 f/2.8 vII is a dynamite lens but even in low light the f/4 should work pretty well on my 5D3, 6D or 7D-II.  Esp with IS.  Right??  I'm just wondering going forward in 2015 and beyond if I will care about 2.8 or not as the sensor tech continues to improve.

Yes, I do indoor shooting.  No, I don't do much portrait work.  Mostly event photography and low to normal ambient event stuff.  Think wedding reception as a reference even though I don't do wedding receptions per se.  I also have a EF 28/1.8 for dark campfire shots, etc.

Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Regrets?

Last Tuesday morning, I'm drinking coffee and taking care of misc stuff in the front room.  I hear my car alarm chirp a couple times but I don't see any large trucks or anything that usually causes that to happen.  We live in a Cul-De-Sac so it's easy to see who comes and goes.  I take a peek out the window and 'sum bitch!  Someone is stealing the extension ladder off the top of my SUV.

I keep at least one but usually more than one DSLR on the entry foyer table since it's by my office and it's handy to get a family shot or whatever.  I walk right out the front door with my trusty 5D3 and 24-70 f/2.8 v2 and fire away at the thieves as they drive away.  I figure I'm pretty fortunate.  I have high resolution images of the car, the license plate and the guys inside.  Wow!  How often do you get that chance, to catch thieves in action, in good light with a good camera?  Wow!

I go back inside, call 911 and pop my memory card into my Photo PC.  Imagine my disappointment when I realize that all the pictures are white!  Totally blown out over exposed crap that is virtually worthless!  Turns out, the camera was still set on manual from the night before when we ended a Boy Scout Court of Honor with a short induction ceremony at the end.  This is where we induct new scouts into the troop by candlelight.  I could have grabbed any other camera off the table and been fine but I had to grab the one camera that was set about as wrong as could be set for this particular 'shoot'!!  Dang!!   :o 

I was so put out with myself because I usually set my camera back to P as soon as I am finished shooting with extreme settings for just this reason.  (I have no idea why I didn't do it this time.)  Anyway, I was so preoccupied with trying to recover the images enough to get the license plate info that I forgot I had security camera video until later.  Still kicking myself.....  :-[

If you want to see the theft video footage, here it is along with the worthless pictures that really only show the vehicle color and type.  The video only lasts a couple minutes where the thieves drive up and back once to case the place, then come back, park at frame right, walk up, remove the ladder and run away.  Then you see me in the left of the frame shooting pictures.  If you don't want to watch the whole video, time index 1:55 is where they steal the ladder and 2:40 is where you see me taking my worthless pictures.

I find it ironic that after investing thousands of dollars in camera equipment and years improving my photography skills to take thousands of images for so many other folks, I totally blow an opportunity for all the gear and skill to serve myself!   I literally would have been better off just using my smartphone camera!  :-[


Lenses / Advice needed on possible 100-400 L Lens Trade
« on: November 14, 2014, 09:27:17 PM »
I received a CL offer to trade the New in Box 24-70L f/4 IS Lens I have listed to sell for a used 100-400 L Lens.  No box on the 100-400, just the Caps, Hood and Tripod Mount.  It sounds like another photographer that is making the offer.

My question to the forum is, would you do it?  (From a value and selling perspective, not a lens comparison perspective.)  And are there any known issues with the 100-400 L that I should be aware of and check for specifically when I inspect it?

I'm thinking it's possible the used 100-400 L might actually sell faster and for maybe more money than the 24-70 f/4 IS (even New).

Thanks in Advance.


Video & Movie / Great Video on Polaris Off Road Course!
« on: November 05, 2014, 09:23:43 PM »
Whatever you do, don't watch this video!  Be warned... if you do watch it, you'll likely be tempted to spend some serious cash on a new Polaris!  Or on new video equipment and drones!  Or both!  (What I want to see is the 'making of' video on both how they built the course and how many runs they had to make repeatedly in order to practice/learn the course and then to get all the amazing shots on camera!  There are some incredible pans and camera angles presented here!  This video shows what being really good with a camera drone(s) can do!


From time to time, I notice that a fellow CR member is located in my city.  So I figured, why not see how many more there are?

If you wish, reply to this thread with the city that you reside in.  (And perhaps country if not in the U.S.)

For the record, I'm from the Dallas/Fort Worth area in (Arlington) in Texas.  U S A

Heck, who knows, maybe a small meetup would be in the works for some of us.   :D

Photography Technique / Swim Pictures - Share your tips/ideas!
« on: August 28, 2014, 01:44:51 PM »
Hi all,

I'm starting my forth year of swim team shooting for my sons' high school.  Up to now I've felt like I was on a learning curve as my gear/technique improved, esp the first year.  Now I'm looking for ideas to be more creative and keep it interesting.  The venues are the same and basically repeat every year.  The rare events that are held outdoors are well lit and colorful.  Unfortunately, the majority of the pics happen inside poorly lit natatoriums.  So there is always plenty of post processing happening to fix WB, lighting, clarity, shadows, etc.  Any ideas on post processing improvements is also welcome.

I have shot the last 3 years with a 60D and then a 5D3.  The lenses improved as I acquired better gear.  Now I have a 70-200/2.8L-II and a 70-300L and I have used a Kenko 1.4 TC with both on the 5D3.  I now also have a 70D to try out.  So I'm trying to also decide what lens combos I'll do now.  I'm considering putting the 5D3 on backup status (hanging left side) with a 24-105 for up close and using the 70D (faster fps, more reach) as the primary with the 70-300L or the 70-200/2.8-II with/without TC.

To summarize, I'm looking for composition and shot ideas, post enhancement tips and I'm looking for thoughts on lens+body combos.

Here is a link to all the swim pics I've posted from the last 3 years.  That should keep you busy for a while!   :P  (And THANK YOU!)   :D


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