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Messages - MrFotoFool

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Animal Kingdom / Re: Zoo Pics 3
« on: December 09, 2014, 11:02:42 AM »
Leucistic rhea up close with a wide angle lens (24-105L at 24mm) on a 5D3.
Reid Park Zoo (Tucson, Arizona), December 6, 2014.

Street & City / Re: Famous icons in your city
« on: December 03, 2014, 10:54:49 PM »
I live in a small, unincorporated community in rural Texas, whose only claim to "fame" is The Salt Lick Barbecue. I don't have a photo of that (it's pretty hard to get a shot that isn't infested with diners / tourists), but here's a shot of the only other "landmark" in town ...

(Oh, by the way, the owner has restored the gas pump since I took this shot in 2008.)

This is a very nice shot.

Five years ago I had the privilege to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit at the London Natural History Museum. (Amazing if you ever get the chance - all of the prints are backlit transparency displays in a black room). Almost every photo was an oversaturated, super sharp, technically perfect masterpiece. But my favorite shot of the show? A grainy, blurry, black and white low light shot of a lion moving. It was taken with cheap Polaroid 35mm black and white film. I didn't even know Polaroid made black and white 35mm (and I work at a photo lab that sells professional film). The photo stood out from the rest of the show because it had a drama and raw emotion that the others lacked.

I do a lot of zoo photography, but one of my main interests is slow shutter pan blur. This is my way of standing out. Finding unusual animals to try it with is even more fun. Recently this fossa was brought out on a leash for a demo. When the trainer had it chase a toy, I slowed down the shutter. How many people come away from a trip to the zoo with a photo like this? There are still a million ways to get something new!

As for selling work, I have a hard time believing anyone can make a living as a nature photographer these days. That is unless they do it by teaching classes and workshops.

This is no different that the local coffee shop with a box for change to "send a kid to camp", or the grocery store with a big bin to accept donations to the food bank.

It is different, because food banks are registered charities and a group that sends a kid to camp will also be for a registered charity, such as a church camp or scout group or similar.

Interesting responses. It still seems kind of fishy to me, I guess because no physical store would ever do such a thing as far as I know. Anyway, if you would like to make a non-deductible donation to the MrFotoFool Vacation Fund (a worthwhile effort I can assure you), send me a private message and I will give you the link.  ;)

EOS Bodies / Re: Patent: Contact Cleaning Body Cap
« on: December 02, 2014, 12:55:56 PM »
Who is getting all these "pesky contact errors?" I have been using EOS cameras (first film then digital) for almost two decades and have not once seen that message on my camera or anyone I know.

Business of Photography/Videography / Photo websites asking for donations
« on: December 02, 2014, 12:50:04 PM »
As most of us know (and is referenced on threads on many photo forums), the infamous KR has a button on his site asking for donations to help support his growing family. I just came across another site - Clarkvision - that had a donation button at the bottom "if you like what you see" (or something similar). I would be willing to bet there are at least a couple other photo information sites with a donation feature as well (and likely sites for other topics unrelated to photography).

My first thought is does anyone actually donate to them? But my more pressing thought is, isn't this illegal for a commercial site? Don't you have to be a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization to solicit donations in the United States? Do they get away with it just because no one bothers to report them to the IRS or FTC?

Lenses / Re: 70-200 2.8II or F4 for Zoo Shoot
« on: November 25, 2014, 04:52:17 PM »
I do a lot of zoo shooting (in fact I recently self-published a book called Zoos Of The Southwest). As others have alluded to, the main issue is shooting through fences. For this you need a long focal length and a large aperture. I have found a longer focal length to be the more critical of the two. 300mm seems to be the magic number for getting through a fence. Even a 300 5_6 works well much of the time. 200mm is almost too short and will only work with an aperture of at least 2_8. The 200 f4 may blur out fences in ideal circumstances, but often not. It sounds like you already decided on the 2_8, so that is a good choice.

I also briefly had the Sigma 100-300 f4 someone else mentioned. I bought it used for a good price, used it for a year and loved it, then the autofocus died and repair parts were unavailable. So now I use a Canon 70-200 2_8 (non IS) sometimes coupled with 1.4xii extender. This is a good combination, but the upcoming 100-400ii will really be the ideal zoo lens.

Software & Accessories / slide scanning alternative
« on: November 23, 2014, 09:46:06 PM »
Like many of us who have been at photography for a while, I have lots of slides. I do not own a slide scanner because I work at a pro-level photo lab and can have them scanned at work. However, when I need something quick and dirty I have found this method works well. I just put the slide on my light table and photograph it with a macro lens. My tripod has a center column that swivels out to a horizontal position so that the camera can be pointed down. Here is one I just shot, as someone asked for it on a zoo forum I frequent. Taken with 5d3 and Canon 100 2_8 macro (pre-L version).

Animal Kingdom / Re: Zoo Pics 3
« on: November 23, 2014, 04:29:37 PM »
That's a nice one. Haven't been to the SDZ for a while. I remember November as being perfect weather in SD.

Yes the weather was perfect. If you have not been there for a while you may not have seen this exhibit. It opened a couple years ago next to the kopje where the klipspringers are. Originally it held a North China leopard, for which the exhibit was too small IMO, but then it held caracal and now serval, for which it is ideally suited.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Zoo Pics 3
« on: November 23, 2014, 01:38:38 AM »
Serval kitten at San Diego Zoo. November 19, 2014.
5D3 with 70-200 2_8 (non IS).

Animal Kingdom / Re: Zoo Pics 3
« on: November 23, 2014, 01:37:02 AM »
Cute Baby Animals (CAB) are Money In The Bank (MITB) :)

C'mon, who doesn't love lion cubs. Four of these "little" fellows at the Philadelphia Zoo.

GREAT! Very cute.

Lenses / Re: Preorder: Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
« on: November 11, 2014, 12:57:41 PM »
Frankly, I never understood the attraction of ordering a product before it is reviewed. Is being the "first kid on the block" one of the motivations?

As a general rule, this is a good policy. However, with this lens I think ordering is a safe bet. Does anyone doubt this lens will be anything less than stellar?

No question this is a great lens and Canon will sell tons. I think I will need one next year when I get the money.

I also like the lens hood. The door for adjusting polarizer is great, but so is the "normal" shape of the hood. I am not a fan of the tulip shaped hoods, especially the elongated ones for my 70-200 (and yes I know what the purpose of that design is).

Street & City / Re: overgrown train tracks
« on: November 06, 2014, 12:38:54 AM »
Well here is one from a low angle. There is a freeway right behind this location, so the background is busy. Since this shot is wide angle the freeway is less noticeable, but it is there.

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