Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Capturing Atmosphere

Coastal California

5D Mk III, 24-79 f/2.8 L II, Lee Little stopper
f/11 at 2 sec

This was an interesting scene, when we arrived it was a hazy/foggy late evening and the atmosphere was not something I thought I was going to be able to catch, often times unsettled air does not allow for good images. Here I feel like I was able to capture the atmosphere of that moment and the long exposure helped, giving it a more dreamy look with the blurred waves.


Images In Light

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


5D Mk III, EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II, Lee 10 stop ND filter, 5 sec at f/11.
Garrapata Beach

Black and White conversion done in Lightroom. I feel sometimes monochrome images can better convey mood than color and at other times color more efficiently tells the story. Regardless, telling the story is the key to an image, not what camera or what software was used. Composition and understanding of how your camera works are far better than your cameras ability to recover shadows or print large.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Full Frame DSLR, The Future?

Pentax is teasing a full frame DSLR for next spring

So with the edition of a Pentax FF camera, we now have Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Sony and Leica giving us around a dozen full frame bodies, whether they are mirror-less or traditional, that leaves a handful of companies yet to join the FF fray, including: Fuji, Panasonic, Samsung and Olympus. Will they weigh in? I believe they have to, people are demanding it. So what about APS-C?, I think there is still room for smaller sensors, however Olympus and Panasonic look to be in trouble with the smaller micro 4/3's.

With improvements in sensor production and Sony pushing the limits of technology, its a matter of time until the rest fall in place, professionals will choose the larger format, along with enthusiast's. Smaller format sensors will be around for the foreseeable future, I would like one myself and in fact have a Fuji x100s, but for my main stream imaging I want FF and I would like a small format camera that I can use with small primes but can also adapt my FF lenses too. 

Interesting times ahead, I look forward to seeing the evolution and what the late comers will bring to the market. They need to get moving quickly though.

It looks like Ricoh buying Pentax was indeed a good move for photographers. In the film days I shot with a Pentax ME and would love to see a Pentax revival, they are truly a photographers company.

I would shoot with a 50mp, medium format Pentax 645Z (43.8 x32.8mm) if I could only afford one.

 Shot with film back in 1999. Serengeti National Park


Friday, September 11, 2015

When will we hit ISO 1 Million

The new Sony A7sII

See specs here at DPReview

Its not far now until we hit ISO 1 million, the new Sony A7sII gets us one step closer, what is that going to mean in the near future? will we be taking photos at night like we do in the day? I'm guessing yes. Will we still need tripods? yes, I think so, for a while anyway.

Sony's rapid fire introduction of cameras is out pacing any company I have seen before. Some of these devices are being delivered with high price tags and not a lot of thought in to what a photographer really needs. I am still waiting on a Sony camera that will allow for a quick method of selecting an auto focus point,  please Sony a little thought in to ergonomics. I applaud the innovation, but more than that is needed, we are photographers and we want a device that gets out of the way, so we can think about what it is we are photographing and not what button do I find that function under.

Then there is uncompressed 14 bit RAW, when is Sony going to provide that? and just like that, they fix it, here.

See low light 4k video here


Monday, August 31, 2015

New Canon EF 35 f/1.4 II

Now this should be a sweet lens, for those that need a fast and fairly wide lens, this will be the one you should have in your kit, great for landscape, event, portrait and low light.

Key features:
9 bladed aperture
Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics
Two aspherical elements and one UD glass element in a 14 element, 11 group optical formula
Sub-Wavelength Structure Coating
Fluorine coating on the front and rear lens surfaces
Water resistant

DPreview here and here

The MTF chart looks very promising. 

From Canon:

New L-Series Lens is First to Feature Canon’s Proprietary Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics – That Achieves a Higher Level of Chromatic Aberration Correction For Superb Image Quality
MELVILLE, N.Y., August 27, 2015 – Canon U.S.A., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today introduced the new EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens for EOS system cameras – a wide-angle fixed-focal-length Canon EF lens that is the world’s first* to utilize the Company’s newly-developed and exclusive Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics (BR Optics). This new optical technology utilizes organic material newly developed by Canon to achieve a higher level of chromatic aberration correction than other existing technologies resulting in outstanding high-quality imaging performance.
“As the world leader in production of interchangeable lenses, having produced over 110 million EF lenses since 1987, it is with great excitement that we now introduce a revolutionary new technology to add to Canon’s unequaled optical heritage when it comes to chromatic aberration correction,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO of Canon U.S.A., Inc. “We continually strive to achieve the ideal lens performance, which has driven the development of Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics, found in the new EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens. This technology is yet another ‘first’ in optical design introduced by Canon to enhance the performance of our lenses for our customers.”

Canon’s proprietary Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics (BR Optics) incorporate a new organic optical material with unique anomalous dispersion characteristics for use in camera lenses. The molecular design of BR Optics refracts blue light (short wavelength spectrum) to a greater degree than other existing optical technologies including UD glass, Super UD glass and Fluorite, to control color fringing as effectively as possible. When placed between convex and concave lens elements made from conventional optical glass materials, BR Optics help to produce sharp images with outstanding contrast and color fidelity by thoroughly reducing axial chromatic aberration.
In addition to BR Optics, the new lens incorporates two aspherical elements and one UD glass element in a 14 element, 11 group optical formula. The EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens also features Canon’s proprietary Sub-Wavelength Structure Coating (SWC), applied to the rear surface of the first and second aspheric lens elements to help combat flare and ghosting caused by light rays entering the lens at a large angle of incidence. The lens also offers best in class minimum focusing distance at 0.28m (approximately 11 inches) resulting in an increased maximum magnification of 0.21x – ideal for capturing close-up subjects. Autofocusing is swift and virtually silent due to a rear-focus optical system and Canon’s original Ring USM focusing motor. Full-time mechanical manual focusing is also available even when the lens is set to AF mode.
The Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens features improved durability over its predecessor. As with all L-series lenses, this new lens is highly resistant to dust and water ─ making it ideal for outdoor photography, even in harsh conditions. The high-grade design of the lens provides users with a substantial and luxurious feel, as well as optimal operability.  In addition, a fluorine coating on the front and rear lens surfaces helps to repel liquids and dust particles, and makes the lens easier to clean.
Pricing and Availability
The new Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens is compatible with 72mm filters and will be supplied with Lens Hood EW-77B and Lens Pouch LP1219. It is scheduled to be available in October 2015, for an estimated retail price of $1,799.00. For more information including specifications and an MTF chart, please visit http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/lenses/ef_lens_lineup/lens_wide_pro.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Wide Angle Abstract

5D Mk III, EF 11-24 f/4 L, 11mm, f/11, 1/80th sec

The perfect lens for this shot, the 11-24 f/4 super wide angle lens, can be fun if you find the right composition.


 5D Mk III, EF 16-35 f/4 L IS, 16mm, f/6, 1/100th sec

This lens continues to amaze me.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Just for fun - Made With Matter

An App that I thought I would share, called Matter, its fun to play with and currently free in the App store. Make otherworldly images with a few simple taps.

Images In Light

Monday, July 27, 2015


5D Mk III, EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II at f/3.5

Silhouette's can be a very interesting to shoot, finding the right background is key, here is a fern set against a brooding sky, converted to black and white in lightroom. I especially like to shoot people in profile like this one here or this one.


Images In Light

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Stormy Weather


 5Dmk III, 24-70 f/2.8 L II, f/9, 1/125 sec, 35mm hand held


5Dmk III, 70-200 f/4 L IS, f/4, 1/800 sec, 100mm hand held


 5Dmk III, 24-70 f/2.8 L II, f/10, 1/160 sec, 35mm hand held

I love shooting weather, one of these days I'll go storm chasing in the Midwest and chase some real weather, until then I will have to work with the occasional hurricane remnant that works its way up from Mexico like this one last weekend in Big Sur. 

I head out whenever possible if weather is in the forecast, the next trip to Yosemite will be based on that. Incoming weather is always a good opportunity for landscape photography, it sets a mood that sunny blue sky's just can't do. Ideally it happens at sunset or sunrise, adding that wonderful light to a moody sky.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Panasonic DMC-GX8 announced

Panasonic announced the new GX8 with some pretty nice specs for a M43 (micro 4/3) camera, 20mp's is a first for a M43. Dynamic range is supposed to be increased and new processing power is supposed to keep pace with the 16mp GX7's 6fps speed continuous AF. The Dual IS system, sounds very interesting. It combines sensor and optical lens stabilization.

It seems Olympus has gone to sleep and left Panasonic to do the innovation in the micro four thirds realm, not sure why Olympus has been so quiet, perhaps they are preparing a 20mp sensor from Sony also. If this f/.95 lens was AF, I would consider this option. Come on Olympus, give us some really fast primes. The lens options are not bad, but not good enough to budge me to the mount.

  • 20.3 MP Digital Live MOS Sensor
  • Venus Engine Image Processor
  • Micro Four Thirds System
  • Tilting 2.36m-Dot 0.77x OLED EVF
  • 3.0" 1.04m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen
  • 4K UHD Video Recording at 30/24 fps
  • Built-In Wi-Fi Connectivity with NFC
  • 10 fps Shooting with AF-S and ISO 25600
  • DFD AF System, 4K Photo Modes
  • In-Camera Image Stabilization, Dual I.S.

  • Priced at $1198 body only, it will be a hard sell for a small sensor camera, but if image quality comes in high, it would be nice used with some of the fast primes from Panasonic and Olympus.

    See the preview at DPReview here 

    Images In Light

    Wednesday, July 1, 2015

    The right lens for the job

    Image: Soberanes Point, 5d Mk III, EF 16-35 f/4 L IS, f/13, 18mm, 1/100 sec, hand held.

    I have been in search of the right wide angle lens for a long time for my system, finally Canon produces with the EF 16-35 f/4 L IS, after a few weeks of using this lens I could not be happier.

    If you are looking for a good landscape lens, this is the one, even adapted to an A7r II with a Metabones adapter this will produce sharp images with plenty of resolution to match even the new 5DSR.

    I would say this is the best wide angle lens on the market, I have tested out the EF 11-24 f/4 L and I would rather have this lens any day of the week. The 11-24 f/4 is a great lens, but this is a lot smaller, can use filters and fits my style of shooting better than the 11-24.

    Images In Light

    Getting the right shutter speed for motion

    Garrapata Waves

    Garrapata Beach. 5D Mk III, 70-200 f4 L IS, 1.3 sec at f/13

    With neutral density filters you can get the shutter speed you want at almost any time of day, on this very bright morning at Garrapata I used a 6 stop filter on a 70-200 f/4 L IS lens to isolate the rocks and show movement in the waves. 

    It takes a while in the morning for the sun to get over the hill behind the beach, so when it arrives its pretty intense in the summer, holding back the light with a neutral density filter helped to cut down on that very bright sun and give me the shutter speed I wanted to show some motion in the waves without completely smoothing out the water.

    I could have used a 10 stop filter but the effect would have been more than I wanted, by using aperture priority I could have easily gone to 30 seconds and completely smoothed out the ocean, but I was looking for crashing waves with a small amount of motion to show the interaction with the rocks.

    I have found for slight motion in waves .6 to 2 seconds is a pretty good rule of thumb to use depending on wave height and light conditions.


    Wednesday, June 24, 2015

    5DS/R Info and samples from around the web


    The 5DS and 5DSR are now available and people are starting to report on it from around the world.

    I will start linking to them here so I have a place to refer to.

    Is Medium format in trouble? probably, unless they find a way to improve and innovate faster than, Sony, Canon and Nikon are all moving quickly to high resolution sensors with Nikon at 36mp and Sony at 42mp . Even fashion photographers are going to have a hard time justifying more than 50MP cameras, I certainly will not need more than that.

    At  300dpi, 8688 x 5792 will give output prints from this camera at 19 x 29 without up-scaling, so minor up-scaling will give 24 x 36 easy and prints to 60 inches should be possible.

    • Chris Giles wedding photographer here
    • Photography Blog here
    • The Phoblographer here
    • Glenn Bartley bird photography here
    • DPReview studio scenes here
    • DPReview 5DS samples galley here
    • Fashion at Photography Blog here
    • 5DS at The Digital Picture review here 5DSR here
    • recommended lenses via Canon at The Digital Picture here
    • Martin Bailey here 
    • DxO here take with a grain of salt, there is more to the equation. Then read this here


    Images In Light

    Thursday, June 11, 2015

    Sony A7 R II announced

    Sony just announced the A7 R II, 42mp Back Side Illumination (BSI) 4K video up to ISO 102400 with IBIS 5 axis sensor stabilization.

    It offers full EF lens support for Canon users with Metabonse adapter, including AF  and continuos tracking and aperture control. Supposedly it has a fast phase detection AF system, but I will wait to hear what the early testers have to say.

    Fotodiox adapter is better ? here
    More on adapters here

    From Dpreview :
      This is potentially a huge deal – especially for Canon users. We’ve used an a7R II with a Canon 24-70mm lens and a Metabones adapter, and focus is indeed very fast indeed. We’ll be looking at this in more depth as soon as we have a production sample camera, but for now, we’re highly impressed.

    Shooting with 3rd party lenses on the A7 series, good article here 

    Not great AF with adapted Canon lenses here 
    Photography Blog here 
    Over hyped? over priced? here 
    still needs fixing here
    Gushing about the A7rII here
    Tech Radar here

    Now uncompressed 14 bit RAW here.

    Luminous Landscape here 

    The Phoblographer here 

    Fstoppers here

    Zeiss Batis here

    Film perspective here

    Buy it here at B and H  

    This could be my next camera if Canon don't get moving quickly, I think they will, but I think Canons new sensor technology is still a couple of years away. However Sony is aiming for a larger chunk of the sensor market, maybe they will make a deal with Canon until Canon can produce sensors as good or better than Sony.

    Sony still needs to fix their lossy RAW file's, we need uncompressed 14 bit RAW. See interview here.

    If this works as well as I am hearing with EF lenses, I may try this camera out, I don't like the Sony interface and I don't like Sony's support or trust that they will stay the course, but the Sony sensors are very clean and I may have to get on board with this one, I will keep my 5D Mk III, because the A7 is still no DSLR and some times I need that kind of speed


    Tuesday, June 9, 2015

    More from Big Sur

    Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; Lifting Fog 

    5D Mk III, EF 16-35 f4 IS L, f/16, 1/60 sec, ISO 100, hand held on fence post.

    Lifting Fog, Big Sur

    5D Mk III, EF 16-35 f4 IS L, f/13, 1/200 sec, ISO 100, hand held on fence post.

    Big Sur is sure turning in to one of my favorite places to shoot, nudge nudge, know what I mean?

    A place that holds its rightful location at the top of peoples list's to shoot, I have been fortunate recently to spend some time in this area, witnessing scenes like this one unfold as I drive along the coast highway. Truly a beautiful place, sometimes magical and mystical, but always very photogenic.

    Clouds 1v

     5D Mk III, EF 70-200 f4 IS L

    More soon from the Big Sur coast....


    Images in Light