Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Photographer Joe McNally Comes To Phoenix For Kelby Traning

Professional photography Joe McNally is coming to Phoenix for the Kelby Training seminar Location Lighting Techniques on Tuesday December 7th.  This full day workshop includes Off Camera Flash Essentials, Multiple Flash Steps, Great Portraits with Multiple Flash, Unleashing Power of Flash, and Bringing out the Big Guns. 

I’ve been to several Kelby Training workshops as they visit the desert (mostly in the Winter – hey they’re clever!) and have enjoyed every one.  As a NAPP member these are so worth the 79 bucks.  Not only do you get great training, the speakers are available for questions inbetween sessions, NAPP and on-site vendors provide discounts to their great products, and there are thousands of dollars in giveaways. 

I have Joe McNally’s book “The Moment It Clicks” and watched his many training videos on the Kelby Training website.  I am really looking forward to this seminar and expect to learn a lot.

OnOne DSLR Camera Remote For The iPad Coming in December

OnOne is also planning on expanding their popular DSLR Camera Remote application for the iPad.  Currently available for the iPod Touch and iPhone, this application allows the remote triggering of select Nikon and Canon DSLRs from these mobile devices.  Adjust settings, capture images and view them on the iPad.  The size of the iPad display will make this one helluva cool thing to utilize.

A new, separate version of DSLR Camera Remote specifically designed just for the iPad takes full advantage of the larger screen on the iPad. With DSLR Camera Remote HD for iPad, the ability to start, stop and monitor video from your DSLR camera is included at no additional charge.

DSLR Camera Remote HD is expected to be available in the iTunes App Store in December 2010.

OnOne Release New Perfect Photo Suite

If you own a copy of Plug-In Suite 5 from OnOne you are entitled to a free upgrade to their new product Perfect Photo Suite 5.5.  OnOne has updated the popular plug-in package with a reworking of the Genuine Fractals application called Perfect Resize 7.  This new application allows for better enlargements with little or no loss of image quality.  One new feature I like is the ability to crop to specific sizes during the enlargement process such as 16x20 or larger.  You can also adjust a variety of effects within Perfect Resize 7PhotoTools has been updated to 2.6 and create album layouts with PhotoFrame 4.6.  This is a feature I can’t wait to start using.  Many of these updates can be utilized as stand-alone products and not just plug-ins.

OnOne also announced that in early 2011 they will release Perfect Layers which will add layers capabilities to Lightroom and Aperture.  I’ve been using these products for a while now and not even to their fullest potential.  There is a lot of power in this suite and it's worth every penny. 
OnOne also offers hundreds of free add-ins and presets.  Get more information using the link below.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Unifed Color Releases 32Float HDR Plug-in for Adobe Photoshop

HDR is all the rage, and Unified Color has thrown their hat in the software ring.  32 Float is the company’s affordable answer as an Adobe Photoshop Plug-in.  It is available now for $99.99 but I would recommend taking advantage of their 30-day free trial download to “kick the tires”.  Below is the official hype from the vendor.

32 Float™ is the first fully featured 32-bit color editing plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop® based on Beyond RGB™ color space. With 32 Float you can adjust color, brightness and contrast while maintaining a full 32-bit workflow. It accepts 32-bit HDR or 8/16 LDR images from any application and can produce crisp, photo-realistic images without ha­los or color shifts. This software package includes the Photoshop filter plug-in and the BEF file format plug-in for CS3, CS4 and CS5.

Key Features
•Provides unprecedented 32-bit image editing tools for Photoshop via filter plug-in.
•Compatible with Photoshop CS3, CS4 & CS5.
•Full support for 64-bit computing architecture (x64) on Mac and Windows.
•Enables local HDR editing on 32-bit images via layer masks prior to tone mapping or return tone mapped images to 16 or 8-bit to Photoshop.
•Accepts 8, 16 & 32-bit RGB images as input from any source in Photoshop.
•HDR image brightness histogram with visible range indicator and digital readout for RGB and Bch values.
•Based on Unified Color's patented Beyond RGB™ color model, allowing for tonal adjustments without color shifts or halos.
•Adjust HDR tonal range with Brightness/Contrast, Local Contrast, Shadow/Highlight and Veiling Glare correction tools.
•Adjust HDR color with White Balance, Saturation and Selective Color Tuning Controls.
•Best of class halo reduction algorithms.
•Perform Sharpening and Noise Reduction on 32-bit Images.
•Single click Dynamic Range Mapping tool.
•Save favorite settings as presets.

OS: Intel-based Mac OS 10.5 (Leopard) or 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 32-bit or 64-bit Windows (XP, Vista, Windows 7). 
Adobe Photoshop: Requires CS3, CS4 or CS5 (Note: 32 Float will not work with Photoshop Elements). 
CPU: Dual-core 2.0GHz minimum; quad-core, 2.8GHz is recommended for best performance. 
RAM: 2GB minimum, recommend 4GB.
Video: Recommend 128M video memory minimum.

Kubota Releases Vintage Delish Presets for Adobe Lightroom

Kubota Image Tools has released “Vintage Delish” a package of new presents for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.  I've found Lightroom presets to be invaluable to my workflow whether as user-created or pre-configured downloads.  The images above show the effects of their "66 Beetle" preset.  Top image is "Before" with the bottom image displaying the "After" effects of the preset.  Available for $39, below is the company’s description of their product. 

Introducing 42 brand new Kubota Lightroom Presets that scream "modern retro". Evoking nostalgia from decades spanning as far back as 100 years, these Presets will transport your images with fashionable, highly sought-after looks. From handcrafted flavors channeling the days of the Holga to groovy old film styles reminiscent of sultry polyester, every creative Develop Preset is fully compatible with Adobe® Lightroom 3 and will be the perfect compliment to your existing collection of Kubota V3 Presets.

Kubota Lightroom Presets – Vintage Delish includes: 
•  Color-toned black & whites 
•  Faded antique effects 
•  Burnt & rusty colors 
•  Touches of grain 
•  Softening and glowing 
•  Deep, bold vignettes
•  Warming tones 
•  Funky cross process styling 
•  And many other creative surprises!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Fujifilm Announces Finepix X100 APS-C Compact Digital Camera

I came across this article on Popphoto.com and had to share.  Fujifilm is joining Leica and Sigma in the APS-C compact camera category, but what I love about the Leica and now the Finepix X100 is the nostalgia factor.  As an avid camera collector I can’t resist the 70’s rangefinder look of this new compact.  It’s gorgeous and as we all know beauty does not come cheap.  Expect a price tag of around $1000 when it becomes available in 2011.
Here is full article from Popular Photography & Imaging:
Fujifilm entered the all but non-existent large sensor compact camera category this morning, with the launch of the Finepix X100—a 12.3MP APS-C sensor camera with a 35mm equivalent f/2 lens, a newly developed EXR processor and a 1970’s feel.  
Attempting to capitalize on the mass number of professional photographers looking for a compact with the image quality of a high-end DSLR to be used as a backup, as well as advanced amateur shooters looking for a high-end compact, FujiFilm built the Finepix X100 from the ground up. It is meant to compete directly with the Leica X1 and the Sigma DP2.
The X100 features a hybrid viewfinder that allows users to switch between a rangefinder-style optical viewfinder and an electronic viewfinder.  Other key features include 720p HD video capture, a magnesium alloy body and old-school analogue controls.  
The camera is well equipped for low-light situations, offering a maximum ISO of 6400. Other notable specs include 5 fps continuous shooting, support for the SDXC card format and a 2.8’’ LCD.
Expect this beautifully crafted high-end compact to hit stores sometime in 2011. We will keep you updated as our editors over at Photokina in Germany have a chance to get their hands on this bad boy.

Overheating Problems With Sony A55 and A33 DSLR

Apparently the new Sony A55 and A33 DSLR's experience overheating problems if video capture is utilized too long. Below is a recent article from Popular Photography and Imaging.

Plenty of DSLRs put a limit on how long video clips can be. Canon's 7D and Rebel T2i cap out at 12-minutes and even the current king of video DSLRs, the 5D Mark II, maxes out at 29:59 or when the file size reaches 4 GB. But, Sony has recently stated that their new A55 and A33 cameras will overheat after a couple minutes of video capture when the in-body SteadyShot is turned on.

Fall 2010 Youth Soccer Samples Using Canon EOS 7D

Youth soccer season has started and I’m a couple of games into it so far.  One reason I upgraded to the amazing Canon EOS 7D is the frames per second speed it can achieve.  At 8fps I can capture the perfect moments within an action sequence.  The best soccer pics, in my opinion, are when the ball is off the ground or sailing into the net.  I’ve compiled a few shots from some U6 Girls games we’ve had so far.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Adobe Announces Photoshop Elements 9

Official Company Press Release.
Adobe Systems Incorporated has announced Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 9 software for Windows® and Mac, offering a complete photo solution to anyone who wants to organize, edit, create and share extraordinary photos. With the newest version of the No. 1 selling consumer photo-editing software,* Adobe delivers powerful new technology to equip every consumer with the ability to achieve professional results easily and quickly.
“The Photoshop brand has been creating groundbreaking imaging magic for 20 years, and Photoshop Elements has been making that magic accessible to mere mortals for nearly a decade,” said Kevin Connor, vice president of product management for Digital Imaging, Adobe. “The Content Aware Fill technology introduced with Photoshop CS5 is one of our most exciting innovations ever, so we’re thrilled to be able to make it accessible to photo and video enthusiasts in this latest Elements release.”
Image Intelligence for Easy Editing
- Photoshop Elements 9 uses powerful technology to make even the most complex results achievable for anyone. Adapted from Photoshop CS5’s celebrated Content Aware Fill feature, the content intelligence in the Spot Healing Brush analyzes what’s in the image and quickly de-clutters or repairs photos (like removing tourists from a crowded scene or an obstruction, such as a telephone pole) with a swipe of a brush, magically filling in the background. The same content intelligence synthesizes missing pixel information to create a stunning panorama from multiple photos, without leaving any gaps or blank spaces.
In addition, the new Photomerge Style Match turns drab photos dramatic by analyzing characteristics of any photo, such as contrast or color tone, and automatically applies those qualities to another photo, allowing users to easily replicate any photo style. Several new Guided Edit options walk users step-by-step through the process of achieving cool editing effects such as Out of Bounds, making an element of a photo appear to leap off the page in 3D, creating pop art masterpieces, or retouching made easy via the perfect portraits feature. In addition, users now have access to Layer Masks for compositing richly layered photos.
Organization Made Easy -
For the first time, the popular Photoshop Elements Organizer is available on both the Windows and Mac platform, to help users quickly organize, find and display photo and video clips from one convenient location. The Auto-Analyzer takes the work out of finding the best shots by automatically searching a user’s collection of photos and assigning a tag based on quality, such as lighting, focus or contrast. People Recognition also automatically creates People tags, so you can find your favorite people fast and it becomes more intelligent over time as it learns to associate specific faces with names.
Sharing Photos Virtually Anywhere
- After users make their photos look better than ever, they have various sharing options, including posting photos directly to Facebook or creating one-of-a-kind interactive Online Albums with animated templates. In addition, users can share their memories with personalized photo creations like scrapbook pages, photo books, calendars and cards that can easily be printed from home or via online print service providers. The flexible photo creation workspace allows users complete control over how they design their photo books, by automatically placing photos within a template or providing access to any Photoshop Elements editing feature from directly within the layout mode.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 Plus 
- For added convenience, now Photoshop Elements 9 Windows and Mac users have the option to purchase Plus, which offers 20GB of storage for automatic online backup and sharing (up to 15,000 photos or four hours of DVD-quality video), as well as ongoing deliveries of new tutorials, artwork and interactive online templates sent directly to the desktop software. A benefit to all Photoshop Elements users is virtually anywhere access to photos and videos online or via select mobile devices at Photoshop.com.
Pricing and Availability
- Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 for Windows and Mac is available now at www.adobe.com, and will also be available soon at retail outlets such as Amazon.com, Apple (Mac only), Best Buy, Costco, Fry’s, New Egg, Office Depot, Office Max and Walmart. Photoshop Elements 9 Windows and Mac is available for a suggested retail price of US$99.99, and users can purchase Plus from within the product for US$49.99/year. Plus is available in the U.S. only. 

Save 15% Off All T-Shirts At OliverImages.com Until Sept. 23

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Nikon Announces New 16.2MP D7000 DSLR

On the heels of Canon’s release of the new EOS 60D, Nikon has announced their latest 16.2MP APS-C digital SLR.  The new D7000 features an ISO range of 100-6400 with expanded range up to 25,600.  In addition to the 16.2MP CMOS sensor there is a retooled 39-point AF system, approx. 100% viewfinder, 1/8000 shutter maximum, 6fps continuous shooting, and captures full HD (1080p) video.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

OliverImages.com - Custom T-Shirts and Gifts - $10 Off Orders of $50 or More

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First Fall 2010 Flag Football Pics Using Canon EOS 7D DSLR

The 2010 Fall youth sports season is finally here.  I captured the first two flag football games of the season this past Saturday (103 degrees in September!) and the kids played extremely well.  I'm looking forward to more games this weekend, including some Pop Warner football.  Baseball and Soccer games are also lined up for the near future.  Below is a link to a small sample gallery of the GYFL Colts and Cardinals flag football.  All images captured with a Canon EOS 7D camera and Canon EF-S 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 IS lens.

Unfortunately the games were at Noon and 1pm so in a few cases that overhead sunlight made for some annoying lighting conditions.  Sometimes you just have to do your best with what you've got.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX DG OS HSM Lens

Digital Photography Review is a great resource for digital camera and lens reviews.  I was stoked to see their recently posted review of the new Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX DG OS HSM lens as I’ve been in the market to upgrade to the Canon EF 70-200mm f4 USM.  While this is a very good, very sharp lens, the non-IS version is $700, and the IS (Image Stabilization) version is $1200.  I haven’t even realistically considered the f2.8 version of this Canon lens as the older version is around $1,899 and the new IS II version is $2,299.  The previous version of the Sigma f2.8 70-200mm lens, while economical, didn’t get a lot of respect in regard to AF speed and image quality, and was never really on my wish list to begin with.

However that has apparently changed with the new OS (Optical Stabilization) version.  Sigma has engineered this new lens from the ground up including an all-new optical design and the company’s silent ultrasonic-type HSM focusing.  My choices have suddenly increased now that this new f2.8 lens is available at around $1699, a full 600 bucks less than the Canon EF f2.8L 70-200mm IS II.  That is quite a bargain for this type of fast glass and focal length.  The lens is available in Canon, Nikon, Sony and Pentax mounts and according to dpreview it is quite a good, fast focusing lens that's a great improvement over the older non-Optical Stabilizer model.  I think I have a new lens on my ‘wish list’.

Read the lens review at dpreview.

New Olympus E-5 DSLR Announced

The Olympus E-5 camera will be available in October 2010 at an expected retail price of $1699.99.  Here is an exerpt from the official company press release.

Olympus announces the E-5, a new digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera that builds on the company’s tradition of innovation to meet the rigorous demands of professional photographers and experienced amateurs. In recent years, Olympus has changed the DSLR marketplace by pioneering groundbreaking features, including the first 100 percent digital-specific lenses, the award-winning Supersonic Wave Filter Dust Reduction System, the first Full -Time Live View system and a completely splashproof and dustproof magnesium alloy DSLR body. Olympus continues this legacy by pairing these technologies with several new breakthrough features developed for the E-5 camera, providing further proof that Olympus lets you capture it all.
                Superior Image Quality: The E-5 camera achieves the highest image quality of any Olympus camera by pairing a 12.3 megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor with a TruePic V+ image processing engine that boasts new “Fine Detail Processing” technology for greater detail in the photograph. Optimized to maximize the performance of the Zuiko® Digital Lenses, Fine Detail Processing takes digital photography to the next level.
                270 Degree Swivel LCD: A 3.0-inch dual axis swivel HyperCrystal® LCD with 920,000 dots makes it easy to frame High Definition (HD) videos and still images at any angle from low to high and side to side to ensure accurate composition.
                Limitless Creativity: Ten in-camera Art Filters including new Dramatic Tone round out this DSLR’s impressive feature set. For the first time, photographers can use Art Filters in all shooting modes, program auto, shutter priority, aperture priority and manual modes and movies with expanded control. Both still and movie capable, the E-5 camera offers HD video in an E-System DSLR for the first time.

Superior Image Quality
- The E-5 camera utilizes a unique combination of cutting-edge technologies to deliver the highest image quality in the Olympus family. Together with its 12.3 megapixel High-Speed Live MOS image sensor, the Olympus TruePic V+ Image Processor produces clear and colorful photos using all the pixel information at an individual pixel level to provide the best digital images possible. The image processor is noted for accurate natural color, true-to-life flesh tones, brilliant blue skies and precise tonal expression; it also lowers image noise in photos shot at higher ISO settings (ISO 100 to ISO 6400), enabling great results in low-light situations.

Head-Turning High Definition Video -
Shooting video is as easy as ever with the new Olympus E-5 camera. The camera captures all the action in crisp 720p HD video at 30 frames per second. With more than 20 Four Thirds® lenses, people can shoot video with a selection of lenses ranging from an extreme wide-angle fisheye lens to a super telephoto lens for a variety of expressive options. Photographers can capture great stereo sound quality by plugging any microphone with a standard 3.5mm jack into the camera’s stereo microphone terminal. A built-in microphone also records clear monaural audio.

- Accepting both CompactFlash Type I UDMA and SD cards (SDHC/SDXC compatible), the camera provides a choice of data storage options for enhanced flexibility, and it is possible to transfer image files from one card to the other right inside the camera. Class 6 or higher SD cards are recommended for optimal movie shooting.

View the hands-on preview at dpreview.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sports Portraiture Using The Canon EOS 7D and Canon EF 85mm f1.8 USM

Another sports portrait I'm very happy with.  I setup two cold lights, each one at about 45 degrees and three feet behind the subject.  Front lighting was just the ambient room light.  In front and left of camera was a large white reflector.  At each side of the subject I set up a single black 2x3 piece of black foam board about head height just off camera to reduce light spill from the back lighting.

Image was taken, hand-held using a Canon EOS 7D with Canon EF 85mm f1.8 USM AF Lens (my favorite for portraits).  Exposure was 1/60 @ f2.8 set at ISO 400.  Image was adjusted using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.2 and Adobe Photoshop CS5.  Hard to believe this is a nine year old boy.  He looks like a high school kid.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Another Image From Old Downtown Scottsdale

Here is another image from a recent walk around the old downtown Scottsdale shops on 5th avenue.  Taken with a Canon EOS 7D using Canon EF-S 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 IS AF Lens at 35mm.  Exposure was 1/60 @ f5.6, ISO 400.  Image adjusted using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.2 and the new HDR Toning feature of Adobe Photoshop CS5.

I had originally taken three exposures of this bench to import into Photomatix Pro for HDR, but really didn't like the way the software rendered the final image.  However, I discovered that importing just a single exposure into the HDR Toning feature of Adobe Photoshop CS5 provided the look I wanted.  Sometimes you just have to try different tools to accomplish your goal.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Save 10% Off All T-Shirts Until September 10th at oliverimages.com

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Friday, September 03, 2010

Canon EOS 7D Takes a Walk Around Downtown Scottsdale

These shots are of  the 5th Avenue fountain in downtown Scottsdale taken one June morning.   Both shots were hand-held using the fantastic Canon EOS 7D DSLR with the Canon EF-S 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 IS Lens.  Exposure of the left image is f3.5 @ 1/4000, 18mm, ISO 400.  The right image was captured at f16 @ 1/250, 32mm, ISO 400.  Both images were processed for HDR using Photomatix Pro, then adjusted with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.0 and Photoshop CS5.  I decided to go ‘over-the-top’ with the HDR on these two images.  I just liked the comic book look to them.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

More Images Captured Using Sony Alpha 300 DSLR

Here are a couple of other images taken with the Sony Alpha 300 DSLR and Sony 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DT lens.  The lighting was simple, a single tungsten hot light on either side of the camera about 45 degrees to the subject.  The left image was taken with a setting of F6.3 at 1/50 using ISO 800 and a focal length at the lens maximum of 250mm.

The right image was taken with a setting of F4 at 1/60 using ISO 400 and a focal length of 210mm.  Both images were hand held.  Gotta love Image Stabilization.  Both images were also adjusted using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 and Adobe Photoshop CS5.

New Apple iPhone OS Offers Built-In HDR Feature

I only steal from the best.  Here is an excerpt from Popular Photography and Imaging regarding the new Apple iPhone 4.

Apple’s updated mobile operating system, iOS 4.1 gives iPhone users a whole slew of new features, including an HDR feature, which is integrated directly into the camera app.  Like most automatic HDR modes, it takes three bracketed images and combines them into a single picture.

iPhone video shooters will also be able to upload their HD videos directly to the web from their device, as long as they have access to a WiFi connection.

 The hugely popular iPod touch also got some optical updates, taking its total camera count from a zero up to two. Like on the iPhone, the rear-facing camera captures 720p HD video, which can be edited in the device using a mobile version of iMovie. The front-facing camera is meant for utilizing Apple’s WiFi-only video chat feature, FaceTime. Not only can you talk to other iPod touch users, but you can also get face-to-face with iPhone 4 users as well.

Ipad users will have to wait until November for iOS 4.2 to hit, at which point they’ll have access to the brand new Print Center app, which makes it even more valuable to the corporate set.

Panasonic Announces New 8GB and 16GB SDHC Memory Cards

Panasonic has announced 8GB and 16GB SDHC cards with UHS-I specification. Both memory cards have The maximum read speeds of both cards can reach up to 60MB/s and work well for 3D and full HD video recording features of recently released cameras. The new cards feature protection against power failures and a Super Intelligent Controller that cleans up errors preventing data damage, similar to the company’s ‘Gold’ line of memory cards. The memory cards will be available in November 2010.

Carl Zeiss Distagon 35mm f1.4 Lens Announced For Canon

Got 18 Hundie burning a hole in your pocket?  Carl Zeiss will release a new Distagon 35mm f1.4 lens for Canon and Nikon.  Here is the official company press release.
Company Press Release:
A woman is sitting at the bar of a dimly-lit cafe. Lost in thoughts, she doesn’t notice the glass of wine the bartender places before her. From a distance, a photographer tries to capture her mood. He brings her face, which is leaning toward her phone, into focus. Everything around her becomes a blur, and the lights in the background coalesce into a wild “dance” of diffuse shapes.
This shot will only work with a fast lens with short focal length and harmonious bokeh. Carl Zeiss introduces a new lens for just such images: the Distagon T* 1,4/35.
By introducing the Distagon T* 1,4/35, Carl Zeiss is complementing the Planar T*1,4/50 and T*1,4/85 lenses with a wide-angle lens that shares the same high speed. Crisp, sharp images work every time, whether at dusk or in the weak lighting conditions of a café, and without the need for a tripod. With its 35-mm, the Distagon T* 1,4/35 matches the classic and versatile standard focal lengths when used on cameras with APS-C sensor formats.
Due to the special bokeh effects in both the foreground and background areas, the Distagon T*1,4/35 opens up new creative possibilities, giving photographers more options to ‘play’ with focus. Thanks to its large focus ring, photographers can also create highly accurate, sharp pictures, even at maximum aperture opening. In addition, the optical construction of the lens guarantees high image quality across the entire image range. Furthermore, with one step less than the full aperture opening, the light fall-off toward the edges is just one f-stop.
With the ZEISS T*‘s anti-reflective coating, its sophisticated stray light reduction and the excellent flare control the new Distagon also takes pictures of bright light sources without artifacts. The Distagon T*1,4/35’s extremely long-lasting and robust all-metal precision mechanics, for which Carl Zeiss is known, make this lens perfect for use on-the-go and for photo reports.
The Distagon T* 1,4/35 will be available in first quarter of 2011 at a recommended retail price of $1775.

Focal Length                      35mm
Max Aperture                     F1.4
Min Aperture                      F16
Lens Construction              11 elements/9 groups
Min Focus                          0.3m
Filter Thread                      72mm

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

David Ziser's Captured By The Light Tour 2010 Coming To Phoenix

Accomplished Wedding and Portrait photographer David Ziser is coming to Phoenix on Tuesday September 7th for his "Captured by the Light Tour 2010".  Gain insight on camera settings, lens selection, lighting, promotion, post-production, and workflow.  The event takes place from 6pm-10:30pm at the Sheraton Crescent Hotel.  Registration is only $79.  Upcoming locations include Dallas, Houston, Detroit, Chicago, Boston and many more until the tour raps up in November.

Portrait Using Sony Alpha 300 DSLR

I’ve been going through some previous Lightroom collections and finding some RAW images I never got around to working on. This image was from a photo shoot back in February 2010 when I borrowed a Sony Alpha 300 with Sony 18-250mm f3.5-6.3 DT lens.  I can’t say there was much difference between my old Sony Alpha 100 and the 300, other than the body of the A300 is smaller and more annoying to handle.  The sensor is improved as these images were taken at ISO 800 and still usable; something that my older A100 couldn’t accomplish.  I have since jumped ship and become a Canonite with my wonderful EOS 7D.  No regrets.

The lighting setup was simple, just a single tungsten hot light on each side of the camera at around 45 degrees to the model.  This image was taken at f5.6 @ 1/100 with a focal length of 150mm.  Adjustments were made within Adobe Lightroom 3 and Adobe Photoshop CS5.  

Adobe Release Photoshop Lightroom 3.2 Update

Adobe has released an update for Photoshop Lightroom 3. The 3.2 update now available for download provides additional camera support for several new camera models including the Panasonic DMC-LX5, Sony NEX-5 and Pentax 645D. There are also numerous corrections for issues introduced within Lightroom 3.0, over 120 new lens profiles, and it includes the ability to directly publish to Facebook.

If you currently own Lightroom 3 and have it configured to autoupdate, you will be prompted to download and install the update at next launch of the application. To manually update, open the Help menu and select ‘Check for Updates’.

In addition to the Lightroom update Adobe has also released Adobe Camera Raw 6.2 update.  This will also be required if your digital workflow includes editing files in Photoshop directly from Lightroom.  This can be updated from within Photoshop or downloaded directly from the Adobe website.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Camera: A History of Photography, Coffee Table Book A Must Have

I’ve always been a fan of big coffee table books, but I can’t recall ever reading one from cover to cover…until now.  “Camera” from Todd Gustavson made the effort easy to accomplish.  Gustavson is the Curator of Technology at the Eastman House in Rochester, N.T., and he has put together a history of machines that have captured moments in time.  With over 350 color images and illustrations the book starts with a camera obscura from 1820 and completes with the digital Leica M8. 

I knew I was in for a treat when the first full page photo was of a Kodak No. 1 Brownie box camera owned by Ansel Adams.  The camera collector in me was thrilled.   I’ve got a No. 2 Brownie that still works.  It blows my mind that I can still take decent shots on 120 roll film with this little box camera that is over 100 years old.  Amazing.  While I love my Canon EOS 7D, I doubt it will be capturing 18MP images after a century. 

Some of the first images in the book are from Niepce, Daguerre and Talbot; names synonymous with the birth of modern photography.  The quality and clarity of the Daguerreotype images displayed in the book are a testament to this capture process.   Some of the most interesting sections cover the oddities in camera development such as the Photo-Revolver de Poche.  In 1882 the interesting idea was conceived to create a camera that looked like a handgun.  It operated like a pistol too with ten 20x20mm dry plates loaded into the cartridge and a 70mm f10 lens in the nickel-plated brass barrel.  There was no viewfinder, but as expected it did have a front sight on top of the barrel to assist with drawing a bead on your target.

This book is a must have for any camera collector or enthusiast with hundreds of cameras spanning almost two hundred years, plus historic photos, drawings, ads and plenty of informative captions and text.  Best of all it won’t damage the wallet.  

Camera: A History of Photography from Daguerreotype to Digital

Thursday, August 26, 2010

'Best of' Photo Chosen From Flagstaff Kelby Photowalk 2010

I was fortunate to participate in the Third Annual Scott Kelby Worldwide Photowalk this year.  The specific walk I attended was in Flagstaff, Arizona and in July Northern Arizona is the only place you want to be in this state.  The high elevation, cool temperatures, pine trees, mountains, fresh air and small town make it ideal for photography.  There were some very good photographers on the walk and great personalities and photo opportunities discovered as we strolled around downtown Flagstaff. 

I consider myself lucky to have one of my photographs chosen as the ‘Best of’ the Flagstaff walk by coordinator Chris Pondy, and entered into the 2010 Photo Contest and People’s Choice Contest.  Those I didn’t win, but just getting recognized for the walk itself is great.  The chosen photo is displayed above.

I came across this bike while walking back alleys and liked the composition between the bike and the vent which someone has obviously 'vented' on.  The color of the bike against the painted wall also caught my eye.  I ran this through the HDR Toning feature in the new Photoshop CS5 with some initial adjustments in Photoshop Lightroom 3.  I am very happy with this image, which can be purchased (by the way) at the CTZ Photography Store in several sizes including a big 24x36.  

Canon Announces Several New EF Lenses and Extenders

Canon has announced several new EF lenses and extenders.   Dpreview has posted first looks for all of the products below.

Canon Announces New EOS 60D DSLR

Canon is releasing the new EOS 60D soon with an expected retail price of around $1399 with Canon EF-S 18-135mm Lens.
·      18 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
·      Advanced creative features with Basic +
·      Vari-angle 7.7cm (3.0”) 3:2 ratio LCD
·      Full HD movies with manual control
·      DIGIC 4
·      ISO 100-6400, H:12800
·      5.3fps shooting for up to 58 JPEGs
·      9-point cross type AF System
·      iFCL metering with 63-zone Dual-layer Sensor
·      Integrated Speedlite transmitter
·      In-camera RAW processing
Official Company Press Release (Partial)
Canon today announces the latest addition to its world-famous EOS series of Digital SLR (DSLR) cameras – the new EOS 60D. Replacing the EOS 50D, the EOS 60D is designed for photographers who want to take their skills to the next level, offering high performance, a series of creative features, a Vari-angle LCD screen and enhanced ergonomics – empowering photography enthusiasts to capture outstanding stills and Full High Definition (HD) video for unique, creative results. 

High speed, high resolution - 
With an 18 Megapixel APS-C sensor, the EOS 60D offers high levels of detail and a magnification of 1.6x the focal length of the lens to capture poster-size images in a variety of aspect ratios*1. Canon’s powerful DIGIC 4 technology rapidly processes image information captured from the CMOS sensor’s four-channel output, providing outstanding colour reproduction, as well as high-speed shooting at 5.3fps in bursts of 58 full-resolution JPEGs. 

A standard ISO range of 100-6400 is extendable to 12800, providing smooth images with minimal noise in low light conditions. A 9-point, all cross-type autofocus (AF) system also provides swift and accurate focusing, with an extra-sensitive centre point for lenses faster than f/2.8, allowing photographers to artistically employ a shallow depth of field during portraiture or for more atmospheric shooting.

The EOS 60D features Canon’s iFCL metering system, first introduced with the acclaimed EOS 7D, with a 63-zone Dual-Layer sensor.  Information on subject location is gathered from the Auto Focus system, and is combined with colour and luminance readings for consistent accurate exposures whatever the situation. The Integrated Speedlite transmitter also provides in-camera control of multiple EX flash units for more creative lighting.

Shoot from all angles
- A new 7.7cm (3.0”) Vari-angle wide LCD monitor features a 3:2 aspect ratio and a 1,040k dot resolution, providing added flexibility and allowing photographers to view their images in incredible detail. The Vari-angle wide LCD helps frame shots from difficult angles, and can be positioned with Live View enabled to achieve the desired composition if shooting isn’t possible using the viewfinder. The ability to capture wildlife portraits, overhead shots or ground-level photography is instantly enhanced, and the surface of the screen features an anti-reflective, water-repellent coating to protect the screen allows easy viewing in bright light and from a variety of angles.

Empowering creativity
- A new Basic + function makes it easy for photographers to add their own creative touch to images without worrying about changing settings. Photographers can add ambiance to a scene by shooting according to lighting and scene type, with Portrait, Landscape, Close-Up, Sport, Night Snapshot or Creative AUTO modes all available. Different effects can be achieved by shooting with Basic + enhancements such as Daylight, Cloudy or Sunset or pre-set Picture Styles including Vivid, Soft, Warm or Monochrome.
View the Hands-On Preview from dpreview.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sony Announces New Alpha 560 and 580 DSLR models

Sony announces two new Alpha DSLR models, the A560 and A580.  The A580 will be released later this year, while the A560 is not expected until early 2011.
Company Press Release:
Appealing to photographers ready to explore sophisticated new creative possibilities, the DSLR-A580 and DSLR-A560 from Sony offer unparalleled levels of imaging refinement.
At the heart of both is a new-generation Exmor™ APS HD CMOS Sensor processor. Together with the latest iteration of Sony’s powerful BIONZ imaging processor, it supports high-speed continuous shooting plus a sophisticated range of digital image compositing and processing functions. This gives even greater artistic possibilities to beginners and photo enthusiasts alike.
The A580 and A560 can freeze fleeting photo opportunities at up to 7 fps in Speed Priority Continuous Advance mode. What’s more, Sony’s popular Quick AF Live View system is now more effective than ever. The benefits of live image preview are maximised by a newly developed 15-point phase-detection autofocus system that keeps even moving subjects in pin-sharp focus.
The DSLR-A580 and A560 are compatible with the full α range of over 30 A-mount interchangeable lenses of Sony and Carl Zeiss and offer SteadyShot INSIDE. This in-body sensor shift image stabilisation system provides up to 4 exposure steps of anti-shake correction when shooting handheld.
Full HD movie shooting
 - Both the A580 and A560 offer Full HD video shooting. Just touch the dedicated Movie button and record detail-packed HD videos and crisp stereo sound in a choice of AVCHD 1080i or web-friendly MP4 formats. Thanks to the large, high-resolution Exmor™ APS HD CMOS Sensor, it’s possible to capture stunning HD movie clips with beautiful background defocus (‘bokeh’) effects.
Effortless composition and image viewing
 - The A580 and A560 enable exciting new possibilities for framing and viewing the highest-quality still images and video.
Articulating up or down for comfortable framing in any shooting position, the bright 7.5 cm (3.0") Xtra Fine LCD offers a bright, high contrast view with superb detail and colours.
As an additional refinement, new Focus Check Live View mode simplifies critical assessment of the finest image details. A real-time ‘feed’ from the main sensor can be viewed on the LCD monitor, with switchable magnification allowing close-up confirmation of delicate manual focus adjustments. Contrast AF method is selectable in focus check Live View mode.
DSLR enthusiasts will also welcome the bright, high contrast optical viewfinder with 95% frame coverage that provides a supremely detailed view while composing still images.  Depth of field preview is now available at the touch of a button.
Both cameras feature 3D Sweep Panorama, allowing photographers to capture detail-packed extra-wide panoramas with a huge field of view. 3D panoramas can be enjoyed on any compatible 3D HD television.
Auto HDR is now refined further compared with previous-generation α models. Data from a burst of three frames at bracketed exposure values is automatically combined, creating a single image with extended highlight and shadow detail. Multi-frame Noise Reduction ‘stacks’ a high-speed burst of six frames, creating a single low-noise exposure that boosts effective sensitivity as high as ISO 25600.
The new cameras accept both Memory Stick PRO Duo™ (including Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo™) and SD (including both SDHC and SDXC formats) media (all sold separately).  Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo HX 30MB per second transfer rate offers the best performance during cameras' continuous shooting mode or when transferring the data to another media.