There seems to be this trend to move towards thinner and smaller lenses known as Pancake lenses. Canon put out a 40mm 2.8 Prime lens that I picked up at AllensCamera to play with and review. I have been using this lens on the Canon T4i and have come to a simple conclusion.
This lens is a $200 no questions asked winner. The reason I say its no questions asked is the fact that its very inexpensive for what you get. The build quality is top of the line from the metal mount to the feel in your hands. With that said this is a very very small and light weight lens, thus the pancake design.
Canon tries to market this as a discreet lens for when you don’t want people to know your taking pictures. I think thats a marketing joke and not something I would ever promote a lens for.
This lens is fast focusing, sharp all the way through and very very light. Sometimes you may think its to light and small. For example when you are shooting video its not out of the question that your finger finds its way into your frame while trying to focus the very very thin focusing ring.
Last year I went out and photographed fireworks for the very first time on July 4th 2011. I had a basic idea for how to capture very cool images and now had to put it into practice. I learned a great amount my first time out and thought now is a good time to revisit last years post and share it with the new readers.
If you are going to photograph fireworks this year please check out the updated video and the post from last year.
I got the chance on July 4th to put into practice the settings that I researched for photographing fireworks. I have to say I had a blast just hanging out, setting up and waiting for the show to start.
My goal was to not focus to much on the fireworks themselves but to focus on the whole scene as well as people. I started off with the Nikon D3s on the tripod with a 14-24 shooting horizontally. I set the camera to manual exposure and manual focus. The F stop was set to F10 to start with the Shutter Speed being set to Bulb.
I want to point out how great it was that I brought out a really good small flashlight which helped me set my lens to infinity focus. I would recommend in the future bringing out a blanket to not only sit on but to protect your spot and give you enough room to set up your gear. Next time I go and shoot in a parking lot I will be sure to have knee pads or some kind of padding to sit on and kneel on.
Here is a tip for focusing in pitch black. I found that waiting for the fire works to start worked out very very well. I was able to look threw the camera and quickly manually focus on where the fire works exploded in the sky. Being that you will be shooting at anywhere from F8-16 if your focus is close to begin with your images should be tack sharp.
There will be a little bit of trial and error with your settings and focal length. I discovered that I wanted to shoot at a higher f stop like F13 as I felt the colors and streaks were coming out very well. Shooting in bulb without the cable release worked very well for me. When trying to time your opening and closing of the shutter you have to anticipate the launching and than close the shutter after the explosion starts to dissipate. Like I said there will be a little bit of trail and error to see what will work best for you.
Last month AdroamaPIX announced Aluminyzed Metal Prints and I thought to myself who would want to print their photos on metal? Well, AdoramaPIX asked me to order some prints and to find out for myself.
CHECK OUT BELOW to see how you can WIN one of these Metal Prints from the video.
I chose to order one of each option that they offer in the size of 20×30 with the wall mount already included. The first option allows the metal to come through where white normally would be. The second option prints your image on a white surface allowing your image to really pop off the metal.
What is so cool about these prints is they are water and weather proof because your image is infused right into the metal. These prints are also scratch resistant. I was skeptical about that but after attempting to scratch one of the prints I was pleasantly surprised that I could not scratch it. If you do get dust or finger prints on these prints you can simple use windex to clean them off without any issues.
As some of you may have noticed over the past few weeks I started putting up one photo of the day that a reader submitted. I think this is a great way for me to showcase amazing photos that you guys are uploading to the Fro Flickr Group.
If you are interested in entering your photos into the photo of the day selection process all you have to do is upload your images to the Fro Flickr Group. You can upload three images a day and if I select your image you will see it on the website as the Photo of the DAY.
I would suggest bookmarking the photo of the day page so you can check back each day to see if your image was selected. As another way to keep it fun and to tie a contest into it please LIKE the photos that you would like to see WIN something. I am still working out how the contest will work but I am thinking each month I will see who has the most LIKES and give them a prize. There still is no sponsor but it could be someone like DROBO and we all could use more backups.Read More »
Last week I WON a radio contest to have the band Grouplove play my loft. The contest was pretty simple in my mind and I knew that if I entered I would win. How could I be so confident that I would win you may ask? Well the contest called for you to “take a picture of your stage” and maybe Grouplove will come play it. I think you guys know that I have a stage in the loft thus why I was so confident I would win.
In this video you are going to see the LIVE show that I shot with Grouplove. As it turns out I did not have a photo pass for the show but after the band saw all of the work on my walls one thing led to another and I asked if they would like me to shoot their show. I asked that they let me shoot the entire set to which they responded that they don’t understand the three song rule to begin with. I did ask if I could shoot form the stage but this time around that was a no go which is perfectly fine as hopefully next time I will.
I honestly did not know what to expect before this show started, would these guys come out and just play their music or would they blow the roof off with energy? The straight up truth was that these guys came to play and play they did. They amount of energy they brought to the stage is something that I have not seen in a long time since seeing Walt Lafty was running, climbing and hanging upside down from trusses with Silvertide.Read More »
Don’t make the same mistake I did last week!!!! The mistake I made was not having a high enough Fstop to give me more depth of field when photographing two people who were staggered. As you can see by the image below, Rick is in focus and Dave is not. That is definitly not a good thing when photographing the founders of an event or anyone for that matter.
The way to correct the mistake is to make sure you bump your fstop higher to allow for a larger depth of field. Doing so will mean even though the subjects are staggered they subjects will fall into the focused area thus giving you a better shot.
No matter how much you try to correct the first image you never will be able to. If the person is out of focus at the time of capture they will be out of focus for all of time.
Try not learn from my mistake!!!Read More »
Thats right, you should be able to guess your exposure in three shots or less without using any metering whatsoever. I am not saying you should not learn how to use the in camera meter. I am simply saying by using the cameras LCD screen you should be able to get a solid exposed picture in three shots.
Let me also remind you that the LCD screen on the back of the camera may not be an exact representation of what the image really looks like but its pretty close.
Here is the Quick Tip, the first shot you can pretty much guess based off of the situation you are shooting in. Ask yourself this, is it bright, dark or somewhere in the middle? What lens are you using and what type of subject are you photographing. Based off of all these questions you should be able to guess a starting point for your first image
After you capture the first image take a look at it and ask yourself this. Is it over exposed or underexposed, did you freeze the action and is the DOF what you were looking for.
After you figure out what direction you should go take your second image. This image should be much closer if not really close like I was able to do in the video above. Take a look at the second image and ask yourself all the same questions again. At this point your third image should pretty much be spot on.
Shooting RAW is definitely going to help you in these situations. Again I know the LCD is not the most exact representation of your image but between shooting RAW and the screen you have a great starting point. The rest of the job will be done in Lightroom, if your dam close a simple tweak will get you to where you need to be.
I think this is a great way to start understanding cause and effect and see the results. Once you have this pretty well down, you will start to venture into understanding the meter which is still very important.Read More »
How many times have you been with a client who has some unrealistic expectations for something they want? The truth is sometimes the client may think they know what they want but we need to give them what they NEED.
There have been numerous times where I have been told by a client that they want this or that and I make sure to not only give them that but to give them what they need. Its sometimes a tough thing to listen to when you know what they are asking for just wont work. You have to make the decisions to either do exactly what they are asking for or give them what they need. Sometimes a mix of both may be what the doctor ordered.
I know this may sound weird and it may be hard to do, but sometimes you need to not take certain jobs if it just dosen’t feel like the right fit. This may happen when you are meeting with wedding clients. They may have a different idea for what they are looking for vs what you intend to deliver. I know early on I took jobs that I knew were not the best fit and I can honestly say it was to make money.
I in no way saying don’t ever give the client what they are asking for I am simply saying we have to go beyond what they want and give them what we know they need. A perfect mix is a little bit of this with a little bit of that. You will see that they end up liking what you came up with any way and its a win win situation.Read More »