July 30, 2014, 06:52:49 PM

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Messages - RustyTheGeek

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16
Photography Technique / Re: Recommendations for portrait cropping
« on: July 24, 2014, 11:17:07 AM »
One of the nice things about art is that there are no rules. Just opinions that people try to sell as rules.
I both agree and disagree on this one - there are no rules, but there are some guidelines like the ones Phil posted that certainly make a portrait look better.  For example, cropping at the wrist, knee, or ankle joints may not break any rules, but it's not going to make for a pretty portrait.
I agree.  I think it's a good guideline to follow "rules" within a range of scale.  The range will encompass 2 or 3 different zones of wildness, risk and craziness, green, yellow and red.  The further out you go on the scale, the more risky (and perhaps more fun) your shots become.  In other words, do "establishment (by the rules)" shots first and then branch out and try more risky and unorthodox things to get unique and inventive results.  That way, you can please everyone, the client, your own art needs and whatever may be in between.  You also learn more this way!  So shoot a few good basic shots, then start getting tighter or wider, tilt the camera, have the subject jump, get wacky, etc.

One example, I tell small groups to get ready, be silly, etc and fire off a few shots before they are ready and this often makes them laugh and I fire off more shots.  Which makes them laugh more.  Then I get serious, they stiffen up, we shoot more (insurance shots) and then I ask them to loosen up and I shoot more.  Funny faces!  Have fun!  When I'm done, my goal is to have about 15+ shots, 3 or 4 of which might be worth keeping and hopefully will be different from one another.

Another thing to remember with portraits, esp one on one shoots is to put your subject at ease.  Don't start shooting until they (and you) are relaxed and comfortable.  This may take 30 seconds or 30 minutes.  But the great photographers out there that make legendary photos of big celebrities, etc do exactly that.  They make it a point to get to know and become comfortable with the subject before they start shooting, even if all they are looking for is one good shot to have at the end.

17
It sounds like the rubber drying out, there are some easy fixes recommended.  I've had at least five 40D's, actually, more like 7 or 8.  I sold my last one this Spring.  I've never seen the issue, so it does sound like a age related issue.
Ditto!  I've owned four, bought 'em, used 'em and sold them to good friends who STILL use them.  I finally bought the 60D years ago after the fourth 40D.  I still want another one.  I never quite warmed up to the 60D nearly as much as I loved the 40D.  Wonderful camera.  It's a beautiful mate to the Classic 5D.  Ahhhh, memories.....   :D

18
Yes, I do have a thing against DEET and sprays. They don't play well with camera gear, not to mention it's hot as hell and muggy to beat the band 'round here - ya sweat like mad. The BugShirt is a great option and will get a good look. Of course, The Executioner tops all for entertainment value alone. Thanks everyone. The damn gnats go straight for the ears, don't they? They won't find anything in my head!  :o

Personally I stopped using DEET based sprays years ago for the single reason that DEET destroys most plastics and waterproof coatings on tents, etc.  I made this decision after a walkie talkie clipped to my belt got overspray on it and it melted it pretty good.  I don't have a problem putting DEET on my skin but when my skin eventually touches other things that will likely get damaged then that's a problem.

I like the idea of putting repellent on the hat brim.  I also use an alternative replellent that seems to work well which contains Picardin as the active ingredient and that doesn't affect plastics, etc.

http://www.amazon.com/Sawyer-Premium-Repellent-Picaridin-4-Ounce/dp/B0015KG5NK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1406054300&sr=8-2&keywords=picaridin

19
I think there are different buyers, some would appreciate the detail in your listing, others would be put off by it.  So do both.  List the main points concisely first, then announce more details further down the page and separate the two sections of text with the pictures which are superb.

20
You might also consider setting up a seller account on Amazon.

21
Software & Accessories / Re: Camera bag for camping
« on: July 22, 2014, 12:36:42 AM »
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. The varied knowledge is amazing on this forum.

So far, I'm leaning towards getting the dedicated hiking backpack and a padded insert as an ICU as many of you have suggested. So in terms of the backpack, I'm liking the reviews on the Osprey Aether 60L pack and plan to try it out in person later this week. Might change my mind later on but there's still plenty of time for that. As for the ICU, I like the Clik Elite Capsule so far. Would have gone for the Mountainsmith Kit Cube as suggested earlier by Eagle Eye, but being in Canada, the price with shipping is fairly ridiculous when there are alternative options... I'll keep on looking around though.

Keep on coming with the interesting tips everyone. I'm still very new to backpacking so it's good to learn.

Try to resist the temptation to buy the ultimate backpack now.  Once you have some real hiking experience, your taste/need/knowledge factor will probably change.  There are a lot of great makes and while Osprey is a great pack, it's pretty expensive.  Keep your mind open.  Buy what works for YOU, not what the marketing sells you.  Depending on your area and what outfitters are near you go to at least two or three well stocked stores and try on at least 6 to 12 packs that you like.  Hopefully each store will have qualified staff to help you get a good fit.  It's important that the pack fit your hip and torso correctly.  If not, it doesn't matter what price or cool factor the pack has, it's simply not for you.  Make sure it's fitted to you with at least 30 lbs or of weight in it.  Once fitted, walk around the store for 15 minutes or so with the weight.  After you have tried a few packs, you should pretty much know your measurements so future fittings will go faster.  Google some info on how the pack should fit and how most packs adjust.  (Main adjustment straps are hip, shoulder and load lifters.)

BTW, you may run across some great forums that are dedicated to ultralite hiking.  As tempting as it is to embrace this type of hiking, it's an advanced thing and an exercise in greater and greater compromises to save weight.  It's not as easy as it sounds and since you are carrying camera equipment, you are already breaking all those rules anyway.  Save weight by getting a great down sleeping bag, upper line ultralite tent and reduce your non-essential gear like that blacksmith anvil you probably want to carry.

Personally, I am using a Big Agnes Copper Spur UL1 tent and a zpacks 20 degree water resistant down sleeping bag.  (zpacks also makes a super ultralite tent but it's expensive and takes some getting used to.)  Also, Thermarest NeoAir is your absolute best friend!  I'll share more info later if you ask but for now, just focus on getting the backpack, decent boots and socks.

22
Software & Accessories / Re: Camera bag for camping
« on: July 21, 2014, 06:45:08 PM »
I personally think any camera "backpacking backpack" is a huge waste of money and the people buying them are not really backpackers, they just like to think they are. Weight is a huge burden when backpacking, and all of those camera packs are ridiculously heavy. For example, the 35L Rover Pro is 5 pounds! I think my main pack is 1.5 pounds for comparison...

Just get a pack that fits you well and use the money you save on a good down sleeping bag. If you go this route, get lens cases for each lens and make sure it has a belt loop. When you get to where you are gonna be shooting, put each lens case on the waist belt of the pack and unstrap the tripod from the back.

Works perfectly for me all the time. I had no complaints when I was doing 18 miles and 10k of elevation gain a day through the snow. Plus my pack has loops for ice axes. I could be wrong, but I have not seen that on any camera pack.

Niterider is being brutally honest.  If you want a photography backpack to carry lots of camera gear more comfortably on a day hike, by all means, go for it.  If you plan to do real hiking and live out of your backpack for 2+ days, do yourself a favor and get real hiking gear just like you already do for real photography.  Learn how to camp, hike and carry weight.  Get in shape.  Camp with others that are more experienced and become a knowledgeable outdoor person.  You'll likely spend over $1000 - $1500 before you're done and you'll still lust after some better hiking gear.  And you will likely devise a special unique method and system for your photography so you can enjoy hiking and photography simultaneously.

23
Software & Accessories / Re: Camera bag for camping
« on: July 21, 2014, 04:41:47 PM »
The fstop satori looks nice but there doesn't appear to be many options for carrying much outside the pack.  There aren't many points to tie on a bed roll, tent, sleeping pad (above or below) or other bulky items that don't fit inside.  There don't appear to be many outside pockets.  I'm pretty old school I guess but when I take enough stuff to support me and a partner for 2 days or 10 days, I use at least 65-85 liters of space inside my pack depending on weather temps and amount of food needed.  And that's before any camera stuff is packed. 

That interior space number doesn't include a couple lightweight Eagle Creek zipper pouches I hang outside for small items like headlights, batteries, etc, my camp chair I strap on the outside and four different water containers that I can attach securely to the sides due to the way my pack is made.  The water containers include a 3L MSR dromedary water bladder, a 48 oz Nalgene collapsible soft canteen and two 24 oz Nalgene bottles that fit the (too slim for normal liter bottles) mesh pockets made for water bottles.  Close to 6L of water capacity (depending on needs) that is not using space inside the pack.

I see this a lot in most back packs I see, photography or not.  It's hard to organize most internal frame packs because there are few pockets or attachment points.  My Kelty Redcloud 90 (from 2011) is more versatile than most internal frame packs and the price doesn't break the bank.

Sometime I'll try to take a few pictures of my set up for others to see.  I'm just too swamped right now to do it.

Good luck!!!   :D

24
Software & Accessories / Re: Camera bag for camping
« on: July 21, 2014, 04:18:29 PM »
Whenever you try out a backpack, you should spend plenty of time trying it on in the store and fitting it to your hip and torso.  The fitting should be done with at least 30+ pounds of weight added to simulate a load.

With regard to boots, everyone has their ideal fit and style.  But if you're carrying more weight, heavier duty boots are highly suggested (as opposed to trail shoes) and should probably include ankle support.  All leather boots are good but might be a bit hot.  Some people's feet sweat more than others.  Full synthetic/wool socks are mandatory.  NEVER wear cotton socks!!

Personally, until you have carried a decent amount of weight farther than 3-5 miles up and down hills, you really don't know how well the boots will work.  Typically you need at least a half size larger boot than your normal daily shoe size due to foot expansion when hiking.  Make sure there is enough room in the toe box when going downhill or you'll have toe pain and you might even lose a toenail if a toe is hitting the boot too much when going downhill with your pack.

25
I think winglet has good advice but I would take it easy on file level encryption.  In most cases, encryption only ends up making it harder or impossible to recover data in the event of a drive failure or accidental deletion.  It will also impact performance a bit.  I encourage folks to encrypt only sensitive data, not ALL their data.  I can't imagine the need to encrypt 1000's of photos, movies or music.  Save encryption for smaller data files that contain information you never want seen and contains sensitive information.

26
Software & Accessories / Re: Camera bag for camping
« on: July 21, 2014, 10:14:21 AM »
Quote

You can always put camera gear in to a serious hiking backpack but it's hard (if not impossible) to take an expensive photography backpack and use it for serious hiking.


I could not agree more. I've been using a F-stop Loka for a few years now, and while it's a great backpack and probably one of the finest camera backpacks available, I feel a lot more comfortable with my Arcteryx Astral 65 even if I put twice as much weight in it. There is a world of difference, at least to my me and my back. I would say that camera backpack manufacturers have a very long way to go, when it comes to ergonomics.  I'm thinking of adding a Lowepro Toploader AW 50 to my kit, now that I have sold the Loka, to be chucked in with the rest of my hiking kit. It should hold a L-plated 6D with a wide angle zoom nice and snugly.

Generally I agree that trekking/mountaineering-specific packs are the best available in terms of wearing comfort. But the comparison of the F-Stop Loka with the Arc'teryx Altra is not really fair. The Loka is a 37 litre pack with not that much padding on the hip belt and the shoulder straps. It is not meant to carry 30 kilos like the Altra (which is a fabulous pack by the way). If you try a Tilopa BC (48 litres) or a Satori EXP (62 litres) you might get a rather different experience: both packs are very well constructed and padded so that you can carry your 20-30 kilos of photo gear, mountaineering stuff, clothes, food etc. quite comfortably. It's still heavy to lug around 20 kilos though…  ;D

Meh... 20 kilos (44 lbs) isn't that bad... but 30 kilos (66 lbs) is getting heavy!   ;)

IMHO - Once you pass about 20 kilos (44 lbs) every kilo (~2 lbs) after that becomes more and more significant.  And don't forget the general rule that you shouldn't carry more than approx 1/3 of your body weight.  I weigh between 172 - 178 lbs so that means I shouldn't carry more than about 55 - 60 lbs for long distances.  I have carried more than that for miles and it does add up after a while regardless of how well your pack fit is dialed in and optimized.  Make sure you have decent hiking boots and socks that are broken in and comfortable!

And I think I read somewhere in this thread that heavy gear goes in the bottom of the pack.  That's actually incorrect.  The heavy gear goes as close to your body as possible towards the middle/top of the pack so that the weight is transferred more directly through the pack frame to your hips and legs.  If it's in the bottom or outside swinging it pulls you off balance and is not carried well.

27
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: HUMIDITY ALERT!
« on: July 19, 2014, 05:40:16 PM »
I bought a couple of these caps from eBay way back.  They are well made and I figured a decent idea at the time but they are longer than the regular caps and so didn't fit the way I pack lenses into my lens cases.  So they live on some lenses in a drawer.

These caps are waaaay over priced for what they are.  I got mine for a fraction of that price on eBay way back.

In general, nothing is going to work in a constantly humid environment except for a storage device that removes the humidity constantly without regular maintenance.

28
Portrait / Re: Gypsy Girl
« on: July 19, 2014, 10:34:47 AM »
I like the first one, esp for the natural color.  The second one appears over saturated/processed but it's still a good image.  I also agree that a wider aperture on the second shot would bring out/isolate the subject more.  As for cutting off hands, I'm no expert but my understanding is that once you're above the elbows, that rule no longer applies.  In the first picture I would have zoomed in slightly more but not much.  It's a great composition regardless.  Be careful about adhering to some portraiture rules too seriously.  Some times those rules really matter and other times no one will notice or care.  Every shot is different.

All in all, both pictures are very nice.  Keep up the good work!!

29
EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: HUMIDITY ALERT!
« on: July 18, 2014, 10:28:19 PM »
I don't know about the cat litter but many of the dessicants can be "recharged" or "reset" to an absorbent state by cooking them in the oven until the moisture they absorbed is expelled.  Something to keep in mind.  Many of the dessicant products that are housed in aluminum tins are designed to do this over and over.  Here is an example...

http://www.amazon.com/Pelican-Indicating-Desiccant-Silica-Canister/dp/B0018O035O

Just saying that maybe you could build up a supply of altoids tins or something when you make your own and be able to recharge them too.  Or use heavy duty perforated foil instead of paper towels.  Just a thought....

30
Late to the party, been off the grid.

To summarize...

1.  RAID configurations are nice but they are NOT backups, they just provide drive fault tolerance.
(Note:  If you don't fully understand RAID and have to recover, you may be in trouble.)
(Note 2:  Cheap RAID might bite you in the ass.  If it's not a battery backed up caching controller, it's cheap RAID.  A good quality controller is a must for all RAID above RAID 1.  Never use RAID 5, it's an old idea and unreliable.)
(Note 3:  If the last two notes scared you, stick with RAID 1, it's the simplest design and requires little effort by the controller to work.)
2.  Local backups are faster and better than online for system recovery.
3.  Online backups are easier, offsite and automatic so better for redundant file backup/recovery.  (Insurance backup.)
4.  Time Machine is better than nothing but Carbon Copy and Super Duper are MUCH BETTER BACKUP PRODUCTS for Mac.
5.  Do whatever makes you sleep well but more than one backup method is a good idea.
6.  I also do the network drive stored in a fire safe thing.  Just make sure the fire safe isn't a cheapo drywall lined thin metal box.
7.  Absolutely practice recovery!  I see backups all the time that were worthless without knowing.
8.  Try to have a email or other notification that tells you results when the backup runs and notifies you of errors.
9.  Don't use enormous volumes.  They are virtually impossible to restore if they fail.  2TB is big enough and even that will take a looong time to restore while you sweat bullets.

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