Sunday, October 28, 2012

Shots From PhotoPlus Expo 2012

The main purpose for attending a photography trade show is to get a chance to handle cameras, lenses and gear. But there are also interesting photo opportunities at various booths and stages around the floor.

By far the biggest aisle clogger was the body painting being done at the Unique Photo booth.

Dancers, jugglers and models were to be found in front of backgrounds lit with continuous lighting.

Here are some examples, all made with a Canon EOS 1D Mark III and EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens at f/2.8 and ISO 800:

I mistakenly brought far too heavy a shoulder bag to the event. Next year I will definitely slim down the weight and probably opt for a backpack/sling bag to save the shoulders.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fall Foliage Comparison - Year Four

It's time for this year's photo comparison of some maple trees I began photographing in 2009. This year I'll repost all of the photos with a brief summary of that year's weather statistics.

Weather statistics are for the period June 1 to September 1, are obtained from the National Weather Service and are taken at the Albany International Airport, only a few miles from the photo location.

Interestingly, each photograph has been made with a different camera body, which I will identify in the caption along with the date the photo was made.


18.5 inches of rain - mean temperature .5 degrees below normal

October 22, 2009 - Canon EOS 30D


9.25 inches of rain - mean temperature 2.5 degrees above normal

October 19, 2010 - Canon EOS 50D


18.12 inches of rain - mean temperature 1.5 degrees above normal

October 20, 2011 - Canon EOS 5D


9.16 inches of rain - mean temperature 1.8 degrees above normal

October 20, 2012 - Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Friday, October 19, 2012

More School Soccer

I decided to try and get some decent photos at a girl's high school soccer game earlier this week. The game was held at night under the lights.

The lighting created a couple of different problems. First, there's really not enough light to keep shutter speeds fast enough to freeze the action. Second, metering - even spot metering - can be all over the place due to the uneven light depending on where the spot happens to be aimed.

I sort of solved the shutter speed problem by choosing the camera's highest ISO setting of 3200 and using the 70-200mm lens wide open at f/2.8. I would have liked to use my 300mm lens but f/4 simply wasn't fast enough. I guess I need an f/2.8 300mm lens. I think the discontinued non image stabilized version can be found for under $3000.

Of course, ISO 3200 brings with it lots of noise which needs to be fixed in post processing. Here are some 100% crop samples of before and after added noise reduction in Canon's Digital Photo Professional:

Before added noise reduction

After added noise reduction
The metering issue I eventually resolved by simply metering the green artificial turf and setting that exposure manually for the rest of the game. Here are some shots from the game, all with a Canon EOS 1D Mark III, EF 70-200 f/2.8L USM at f/2.8, 1/1000 second, ISO 3200.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Little Shooting Lull

Weather and schedule seem to have conspired to keep me away from being out shooting much the last couple of weeks. But, yesterday morning, although cold (27 degrees F), was bright and sunny and because I had not yet been on the Peebles Island trails since the beginning of October, I made a couple of hours available.

There are not a lot of maple trees on Peebles Island so brilliant Fall color is isolated. Yellow and gold seem to be the predominant coloring throughout the area, at least this season.

I did not bring the tripod setup for bracketing exposures this trip. I also needed to get in a bit of walking exercise and standing, moving a short distance and standing again seems to be the procedure when using the tripod.

Although I did not bracket exposures for HDR processing, because I process RAW files on the computer rather than have the camera do the processing and save the resulting .jpg files, there is a lot that can be done to improve images.

Below are similar images, the first with just the standard settings in Canon's Digital Photo Professional software and the second after I had adjusted the standard settings to correct white balance, bring more detail in the shadows, even out the lighting a bit and slightly increase color saturation.

Canon EOS 5DII, EF 24-70 f/2.8L at 24mm, f/8, 1/30 sec., ISO 200

Canon EOS 5DII, EF 24-70 f/2.8L at 24mm, f/8, 1/30 sec., ISO 200

Here a couple more shots from yesterday and, as always, the entire Peebles Island Trail Scenic Project can be seen on Zenfolio with the link to the right.

Canon EOS 5DII, EF 24-70 f/2.8L at 24mm, f/5.6, 1/750 sec., ISO 200

Canon EOS 5DII, EF 24-70 f/2.8L at 24mm, f/5.6, 1/250 sec., ISO 200

And, a cooperative White-tailed Deer did provide me with my second "deer on the trail" shot of the project.

Canon EOS ID MarkIII, EF 300mm f/L IS USM, f/5.6, 1/90 sec., ISO 400

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

PhotoPlus Expo

In two and a half weeks, I'll be boarding an Amtrak train to attend the 2012 PhotoPlus International Expo in New York City.  The Expo is sponsored by Photo District News, a great photography periodical.

While I won't be attending any of the seminars or conference sessions, It will be exciting to be in the midsts of so many photography types at the Javits Convention Center. The list of exhibitors is impressive.

As I am located in upstate New York, I can't just stroll into a store like Adorama or B&H Photo in the city or Unique Photo in New Jersey to physically inspect accessories or handle the newest cameras and lenses. There used to be a nice independent camera store near me which I used to visit and, in fact, my Tamrac bags came from that store. Sadly, it closed a year or two ago.

In these days of internet shopping we're stuck with online reviews and youtube videos to try and get a sense of whether something will work for us or not.  I've ordered several items which simply weren't quite what I thought they would be and ended up selling them or storing them in a pile in the corner.

The Expo web site currently lists 226 entities which will be exhibiting their products or services. I'm particularly interested in examining the latest from Canon and accessory makers Gura Gear, Manfrotto, OP/TECH, Tamrac and Think Tank Photo.

I've been curious about Lensbaby products but have never had the opportunity to use any of their unique lenses. Similarly, Korean lens manufacturer Samyang recently announced a tilt/shift 24mm lens for Canon. Vivitar, which rebrands some Samyang lenses is an exhibitor and maybe will have a pre-production model.

While at the Expo I'll try to document the experience with photos and will do a report on what I hope is a fun day. To visit the Expo's web site, click here.