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Messages - V8Beast

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Sports / Re: Your favourite motorsports events
« on: March 17, 2014, 12:32:04 AM »
19 seasons with only 1 championship win with Merc engines isn’t a good statistic for a team like McLaren Graham, they do look strong at the moment but it's only race 1 of the season...........ohh yeah, and McLaren are winning the constructors championship at the moment  ;D

I understand the whole nostalgia element, but I think having drivers like Senna and Prost during the Honda-powered McLaren era may have had something to do with why Honda engines seemed so dominant :) As it stands, Honda will be a year behind the curve when they re-enter F1 in 2015. With such dramatic rule changes since the last time Honda was in F1, I wouldn't want to be their guinea pigs! Nevertheless, I'd very much like to see McLaren and Ferrari start winning races again. I don't know about Ferrari, but McLaren doesn't seem that far off.

Sports / Re: Your favourite motorsports events
« on: March 16, 2014, 03:13:40 PM »
What a race! A Mercedes, a rookie, and a Red Bull (driven by the team's #2 driver no less) on podium, great stuff. I might have a new favorite driver in Ricciardo. I love this guy's enthusiasm. I can't wait to see how the action intensifies once the schedule moves on to tracks with more over-taking opportunities.

We'll have to see if Red Bull's disqualification stands:


Sounds like BS to me, and if the FIA has any decency they'll sustain Red Bull's appeal.

On a side note, the Mercedes power units are looking stout. I wonder if Ron Dennis is reconsidering the team's projected switch to Honda power next season. Honda's last foray as an engine supplier in F1 wasn't exactly a raging success.

Sports / Re: Your favourite motorsports events
« on: March 15, 2014, 01:25:00 PM »
RE The more prominent Mobil sponsor on Mclaren, that's a one off for Australia, it's to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their partnership. Mclaren still don't have a title sponsor so potentially the side pods will be blank at the second race.

Liking some of the photos here. Glad I heard a V8 before they were retired. Wish I had the opportunity to go to an F1 race this year, but the prices for the British GP are just outrageous. Cheaper to go to Belgium, or the 24 hours of Le Mans, Le Mans wins every time in that dilemma I think!

Thanks for the update on Mobil.  I wasn't aware of that until they rolled out for the first practice session on Friday morning here but that livery does look really good.

After all the carry on about the (lack of) sound (and I was one of those missing the screaming v8), it was all forgotten in one epic qualifying session. 

I would love to go to Spa for a GP and especially to tour the original track :D  Le Mans also has its charm and with Porsche back it becomes more compelling.  I still love Steve McQueen's movie - When you’re racing, it... it’s life. Anything that happens before or after... is just waiting.

Great shots, Roo! It was great to see the home crowd supporting Ricciardo during qualifying. What an effort by Red Bull after a disastrous winter. The Williams/Martini livery looks fantastic, too.

I lament the loss of the naturally aspirated era. It's not that I don't like the sound of the new turbo motors. It's just that they're so quiet. I feel as if the much of the emotion has been stripped from F1. I won't pass final judgement until I've had a chance to hear the new cars in person in Austin, but nevertheless the action is qualifying was epic to say the least.

Sports / Re: Your favourite motorsports events
« on: February 02, 2014, 11:31:25 PM »
Great images everyone! Kudos all around.

The Goodwood Revival looks like a real hoot. They televised part of has year's race here in the states, and it happened to be a race that Adrian Newey was racing in. Turns out not only is a brilliant engineer, he's quite a skilled driver as well.

Sports / Re: Your favourite motorsports events
« on: February 01, 2014, 02:04:19 PM »
Hi Folks.
Being an engineer and fond of fixing vehicles it looks to me like the rear end not only has excessive positive camber, it also appears to have a huge amount of toe in!

This is just a wild guess, but perhaps the positive camber is there to increase the contact patch of the tire as the the rear suspension compresses during acceleration? The new turbo motors, after all, do produce quite a bit more torque than the old V-8s.

On a side note, the 2014 Ferrari is unspeakably hideous. It's by far the ugliest car in the pits! I might have to reconsider my stance as a fan of the Scuderia. I am refraining from posting pics of it, as I don't want people vomiting on their keyboards :o

Sports / Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« on: February 01, 2014, 02:01:14 PM »
You should get out here sometime as some of the cars are very different, especially the old US ones.  In the 30s and 40s local body builders made some unique variations such as the sloper .  In the 50s Ford and GM were assembling cars from kits sourced from Canada which also led to some unique styles such as the 58 'Star model' Customline and the 62 'Tank' Fairlane.

I would love to visit Australia sometime, and not just for the cars :) The enthusiasm surrounding the car scene out there reminds me of America in the '60s.

EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: February 01, 2014, 01:52:15 PM »
Out of curiosity, what constitutes IQ?

A sharp, in-focus image would top my list ;D

EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: February 01, 2014, 01:50:05 PM »
Owner of a 6d and a 5d3 here.  In regards to wifi ---when i got the 6d I thought the wifi was kind of neat.  I used it here and there (via the remote app).  It took taking selfies to a new level!  that, and every once in a while, like on vacation or something I'd use the remote transfer app to upload something to facebook.  LOL...other than that, I have barely used the wifi.  It has stayed in the off mode for like 98% of the time I have had the body.

I used to think wifi on an SLR was a dumb gimmick, but I now wish I had it on my 5D3. Some of my editorial clients now want to art direct shoots in real time. Fortunately, this isn't for every shot, but just for the more important ones that may be used as cover images. Without wifi, my ghetto solution is taking a pic of my camera's LCD screen with my smartphone, then texting in to the client. Wifi would sure make this agonizing process less painful.

Being able to trigger the camera remotely and seeing the images on my phone would also save tons of time when I have to rig the tripod up someplace that's difficult to access (like the top of my van :)) I'll probably just have to suck it up and get a Cam Ranger.

EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: January 12, 2014, 02:43:33 AM »

Shhhh. You will soon create enemies here.

I've marveled at your portfolio quite often, and considering the types of subjects that you shoot, if you stated that more DR would be beneficial for the subjects that you shoot, I would certainly wouldn't doubt it. Cars don't care if you flash 2000ws worth of monolights in their faces. I wouldn't dare do the same with zebras and rhinos who would most definitely get scared off, or lions that might get pissed off and decide to eat me :o

EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: January 11, 2014, 10:47:44 PM »
Your PP skills aren't lacking...trust me. I think you not only have the skills, but I've always found your work to be rather artistic. I love how you enhanced the glare of the sun...not every part of a photo needs to be contrasty and highly detailed.

Some portrait and wedding photographers THRIVE on low contrast sun glare...it's what they use to give their work that artsy fartsy flair...and personally, I think it looks great. That's what I mean about DR...sometimes, I wonder if people might discover a whole new world of ART if they would look past the "Damn, I've only got 12 stops DR!" and look at the image they have in their hands...they might be amazed with it just how it is... ;)

I appreciate the kind words. It's definitely not the easiest way the shoot, as you're always fighting lens flare, yet you often have to use a bunch of filters get the contrast under control, which only further increases the potential for flare and additional IQ degradation. This isn't as bad with Canon's long lenses since they have beastly hoods, but my 24-105 is a hopelessly flare-prone piece of glass.

Honestly, I think I'm using only 5-10 percent of what Photoshop has to offer. I can usually accomplish what I want to in PP, but I'm certain that there are more efficient methods of accomplishing the same thing. There are just so many freakin' tools in Photoshop that I have never even used before. My primary motivation for painstakingly trying to get things right in camera is that I don't particularly enjoy editing images. I'd rather be watching internet porn ;D

Sports / Re: Cars cars cars (and some bikes)
« on: January 11, 2014, 10:29:26 PM »
Great eye, Roo. It is indeed a '76. For me it was quite unusual seeing a musclecar like the Falcon with right-hand drive. I'm quite envious of all the great cars the Aussies built in the '70s. Just about every old-school car built after 1972 in America is crap. Aussies kept on building badass cars like the Falcon.

More than any other car I've ever shot, this Falcon attracted lots of confused and intrigued onlookers. During the two hours spent on the exterior photos, at least half a dozen cars pulled up, trying to guess what kind of car it was. No one got it right :)   

EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: January 11, 2014, 10:22:24 PM »
It's a lovely shot and one I really like...but that sky is blown out. An ND grad would render the sky darker and probably lost detail in the darker sky areas. It would have increased contrast where it wasn't wanted. The only way to have fixed this here is to have taken a 2nd photograph but at a 2-3 stop darker exposure and then blended the highlight areas carefully in photoshop using a layer. Shadows can be pulled but clipped highlights are not recoverable. It's also important to render the sky brighter than the foreground, another error I regularly see where ND grads are employed. If an ND grad was used with the above photo, the sky would have been darker than the foreground and wouldn't look right.

It's been a while since I took the shot in question, so my memory is a bit fuzzy, but nevertheless I revisited the original CR2 file and darkened the entire exposure 1 stop in post. I don't think the tradeoff in the slight increase in detail around the sun vs. the substantial loss in detail of the clouds is worth it.

Big, puffy, tropical clouds like this are fickle and have some very fine tonal gradations.  It's very difficult to layer in a darker exposure for the sun into a brighter exposure for the clouds. When I've tried it in the past, it looks like $hit. Of course, it's quite possible that my post processing skills are simply lacking.

Besides, I like the blown out sun :)   

EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: January 11, 2014, 09:35:56 PM »
Surely that picture has been filled, either by flash or some reflector ?

I don't see how it can be an example of DR

I wouldn't call it an example of DR. It's an example of how, with the right tools, you can still pull off an insanely contrasty shot with just 12 stops of DR. I don't find it limiting at all. I understand landscape shooters don't have the same luxuries, so the landscape folks can just disregard my commentary as irrelevant :) BTW, I love your architectural shots!

Anyhow, it's been interesting reading some of the commentary regarding the image I posted, speculation regarding which techniques were used, and suggestions on what techniques should have been used. The real story is that the image is a bit deceiving in that the car is parked on top of a five-story tall parking structure/car park. In other words, the car is 50 feet off the ground, which makes the sun appear much lower in the sky than it really is, which is another way of saying it was a $hit ton of ambient light when the shot was taken.

How bright? I used a 5-stop ND grad filter to darken the sky. There's also a circular polarizer on the lens eating up another 1 stop of light. The ambient light is underexposed an additional two stops for several reasons. First off, when balancing ambient light with flash with cars, it never quite looks right with a neutral exposure. I find that I have to underexpose the ambient by at least 1 stop to achieve a pleasing balance of ambient light vs. flash output. Secondly, I reduced the ambient by 1 stop further to create a more moody, high-contrast feel and to gain additional detail in the clouds. In total, the foreground is underexposed by two stops, which is very noticeable on the door and quarter-panel of the car, where there was no fill flash present. The same goes for the concrete, which as we all know is actually white, not gray.

In total, between the ND grad filters, polarizer, and the intentionally dark exposure, the sky has been darkened a total of 8 stops. Experimenting with darker exposures netted a big loss in could detail with minimal gain in detail around the sun. It's one bright mofo :)

The car itself is a very dark metallic gray that looks black. With black cars, you would not believe how much power it takes to defeat the ambient light of the sun during the middle of the day using monolights. They're like blackholes. Obviously, underexposing the ambient by 2 stops only compounds matters, as does shooting at f/8 to achieve the desired level of sharpness from my 70-300L. With two White Lightning 2400 monolights, which are actually 1000ws, I still had to crank up the ISO to 400 to achieve the desired flash output. The big lights also spill onto the foreground, so I took a few exposures with the lights turned off, and layered one of them into the shadow area.       

I'm sure that in the next 1-2 generation of DLSR bodies, we'll have sensors that can pull out five-stops worth of shadow detail. However, I firmly maintain that in a shot like this, the final image that results from using that approach won't look nearly as good. IMHO, in this particular shot there's a big difference in quality between pulling up the shadows vs. adding fill light and highlights with some monolights. If you pulled the shadows, the light on hood, bumper, and wheels would be way too flat and lack any semblance of definition. A more contrasty light source like a monolight fixes this problem. Likewise, the metal flakes embedded into modern metallic automotive paint must be side-lit or back-lit, otherwise they will not reflect any light and therefore the paint color will look dull, muted, and subdued.   

I will always welcome more DR, but even when the day comes when it's possible to lift the shadows by 5 stops, I will still take the same approach to shots like this and bust out the monolights. If I have to choose between good light and lifting shadows, I'll go with good light every single time.

On a side note, as anyone that lives in a tropical climate will attest, the clouds can roll in and out very quickly. When the clouds quickly rolled in and provided the opportunity to take this shot, I had to scramble to switch lenses, rig up the ND grads, re-position the monolights, and balance out the ambient exposure and flash output. In that sense, I suppose it would have been nice if my camera had so much DR that I didn't need to waste time attaching the ND grads. Nevertheless, I was able to fire off a few frames before the clouds disappeared as quickly as they appeared.

I'll take all the DR I can get, but in the meantime I'll manage to get by with 12 stops that I've got :)

EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: January 10, 2014, 11:57:07 PM »
I've always loved your cars! Great stuff!

Thanks. I've learned a ton from your technical ramblings, and find it very informative. I haven't posted the "EOS Bodies" forum in quite some time, but I see everyone's still whining about the same thing :)

EOS Bodies / Re: Will Canon Answer the D4s? [CR2]
« on: January 10, 2014, 11:44:17 PM »
I'm quite content with the DR of my 5D3 ;D

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