Photo Week 2017 with CreativeLive

Posted October 5th, 2017 by   |  Photography, Uncategorized, Workshops  |  Permalink

PhotoWeek graphic

Next week is Photo Week with CreativeLive.com and I’m proud to be a part of their production. I’ll be teaching three live classes, hosting a live travel photography critique, and will be hosting the closing event with a panel of accomplished photographers including Ian Shive, Clay Cook and Michael Clark.

The awesome thing about CreativeLive is anybody can watch for free during the live broadcasts. I’d love to hear from you during the classes, so RSVP at the links below and say hi during the live shows!

PhotoWeek October 9-13, 2017

Here are all the links you need:

1. Class 1, October 12, 2017, 1:15 PM –> Introduction to Macro Photography w/ Mike Hagen

2. Class 2, October 13, 2017, 9:00 AM –> Fundamentals for Great Prints w/ Mike Hagen

3. Class 3, October 13, 2017, 10:45 AM –> Color Management for Better Prints w/ Mike Hagen

4. Travel Photography Critique, October 13, 2017, 12:15 PM –> Clay Cook and Mike Hagen

5. Photographer’s Panel, October 13, 2017, 5:00 PM –> Mike Hagen w/ Ian Shive, Clay Cook and Michael Clark

6. Link to all Photo Week classes and events –> Photo Week 2017

7. Mike’s CreativeLive Instructor Page –> Mike Hagen’s classes with CreativeLive

If you miss the classes during the live broadcasts, no worries! You can still purchase the classes to view on your own time, on your own schedule. CreativeLive will also be rebroadcasting all of the classes as the week progresses.

See you there!

PW 2017 Instructors





Using Your Photos to Tell Stories

Posted May 13th, 2016 by   |  Photography, Uncategorized  |  Permalink

 

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Photographs combined with a story truly have the power to engage, influence and potentially compel people to action. Whether it is as simple as improving your ability to convey your message or as complicated as trying to convince people to change their way of thinking, combining your images with a great story is a powerful tool.

Recently, I was asked to share my images with a private school in my hometown (http://lcschool.org/).  They often bring in guest speakers to help teach core principles, and the week I spoke, they were teaching about temptation.

hagen_160427_0061-Pano

In response, I created a story from my images to help reinforce their curriculum. In this case, I used a series of images I took in Africa demonstrating how lions were tempted to kill a tawny eagle. They wisely didn’t because they knew the eagle could very easily gouge out their eyes with its talons. The lions resisted temptation and literally lived to see another day.

Lion-and-eagle

During the presentation, I had the schoolchildren roar like lions and fight like the eagle. We laughed and oohed and aahed at the photos together. It was great fun, but more importantly, I was able to help reinforce the lesson that the school was working to convey.

Over the years, I’ve been asked to share my images at all kids of events, meetings, and conventions. In each case, I always adjust my presentation so it reinforces the main topic that organization is trying to broadcast. Some recent examples of my talks include:

– Community groups. A non-profit group was focused on keeping members challenged and active, so I told stories of travel photography.

– Middle school writing class. I talked about the writing process and working with editors. I used images and props that reinforced the instructor’s teaching plan.

– Rotary International. The focus was on service, so I showed images taken in developing countries.

– Camera clubs. Obviously, the focus was on photography, but since I always try to go one step deeper, I tell the story surrounding the images. This created context while simultaneously teaching technique and philosophy.

Here’s my general approach when speaking for an organization:

1. Talk to their leadership to understand their current focus and theme.

2. Ask for resources from which they are currently teaching, such as articles, books, scripture, websites, etc.

3. Gather images from my image library that resonate with their story.

4. Tell the story of my images in a way that reinforces their organizational purpose or goal.

You’d be amazed at how receptive organizations are to having you speak for them. Schools, teachers, clubs, colleges, and libraries – everyone wants content and is eager to have you provide it for them. If you are able to share your images, then work hard at adding value to their organization and they’ll have you coming back every year.

People really appreciate it when you support their cause. Want proof? Just wait until you start getting thank you letters from the attendees. Check out these thank you letters from students who attended my talk last week. Their artwork was endearing and their heartfelt words of thanks meant the world to me.

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I encourage you to join me in sharing your story with the world. Just get out there and do it!





Adobe Updates Lightroom CC 2015.5, ACR 9.5, Photoshop CC

Posted March 18th, 2016 by   |  Photography, Software, Uncategorized  |  Permalink

New Updates for Lightroom CC, Camera RAW, Photoshop CC

Adobe just released an update to their imaging software including Lightroom CC 2015.5/6.5, Camera RAW 9.5, and Photoshop CC. There are a quite a few software bug fixes in tehse updates including some significant fixes for tethering, especially with Canon cameras like the 5DM3, 5Ds, 1DsM3.

The bigger news however is Adobe now has support for a bunch of new cameras like the Nikon D5, Nikon D500, Canon EOS-1D X Mark II, Canon Rebel T6, Canon EOS 80D and the Sony Alpha a6300. This marks the first time I can remember that Adobe and Nikon/Canon/Sony worked together to allow shooters of these new cameras the capability to process RAW photos before the cameras are released to the public. Kudos Adobe.

ACR gray

The new interface for Adobe Camera RAW is gray vs. the older white interface.

On the Adobe Camera Raw side, Adobe changed the default color schema in ACR to gray. This better matches other software interfaces and is a welcome change.

Updating Software

To update your software, use the Creative Cloud application/utility from Adobe as shown here.

CreativeCloud-update

Alternatively, you can download the files directly here:

Camera Raw 9.5 direct download for Windows and Mac

DNG Converter 9.5 download for Windows and Mac

 

Lightroom CC Installations

Please select Help > Updates to use the update mechanism in the Creative Cloud app.

Direct download links:  Win | Mac

 

 

Links for more information:

Adobe’s Lightroom Journal http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/

Lightroom CC 2015.5 update http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/2016/03/lr-cc-2015-5-now-available.html

Adobe Camera RAW 9.5 update http://blogs.adobe.com/lightroomjournal/2016/03/camera-raw-9-5-now-available.html

 

 

Bugs Fixed in Lightroom CC 2015.5 / 6.5

 

New Camera Support in Lightroom CC 2015.5 / 6.5

  • Canon EOS-1D X Mark II
  • Canon EOS 80D
  • Canon EOS 1300D (Rebel T6, Kiss X80)
  • Nikon D5
  • Nikon D500
  • Olympus PEN-F
  • Olympus SH-3
  • Panasonic DMC-CM10
  • Panasonic DMC-GF8
  • Panasonic DMC-ZS100 (DMC-ZS110, DMC-TZ100, DMC-TZ101, DMC-TZ110, DMC-TX1)
  • Samsung NX3300
  • Sony Alpha a6300 (ILCE-6300)
  • Yuneec CGO4

 

 

 

Bugs Fixed in Camera Raw 9.5

  • Fix crash/hang in Camera Raw and DNG Converter on some Mac systems when saving multiple images.
  • Fix corruption issue that would prevent DNG images originally created by Parrot Bebop Drone devices from being opened after metadata updates.
  • Pressing the Option/Alt key while click-dragging on a perimeter handle of a Radial Filter will adjust only that side of the filter. This change in behavior was made to match Lightroom’s behavior. Previously, Option/Alt-clicking on a Radial Filter in Camera Raw would delete that filter.
  • Camera Raw Filter now displays the histogram and RGB color readouts using the assigned color space of the corresponding Photoshop document. Previously, Camera Raw Filter always displayed its histogram and RGB color readouts using the ProPhoto color space.
  • Improve quality of Boundary Warp for some panoramas.
  • Fix bug where EXIF metadata for SIGMA 50mm f/1.4 ART lens on Canon was incorrectly identified as Zeiss Milvus 50mm f/1.4.

 

New Camera Support in Camera Raw 9.5

  • Canon EOS-1D X Mark II
  • Canon EOS 80D
  • Canon EOS 1300D (Rebel T6, Kiss X80)
  • Nikon D5
  • Nikon D500
  • Olympus PEN-F
  • Olympus SH-3
  • Panasonic DMC-CM10
  • Panasonic DMC-GF8
  • Panasonic DMC-ZS100 (DMC-ZS110, DMC-TZ100, DMC-TZ101, DMC-TZ110, DMC-TX1)
  • Samsung NX3300
  • Sony Alpha a6300 (ILCE-6300)
  • Yuneec CGO4

 

New Lens Profile Support in Lightroom CC 2015.5 / 6.5 & Camera RAW

Mount Name
Android Huawei Nexus 6P
Android LG Nexus 5X
Canon EF SIGMA 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM A016
Canon EF-M Bower 16mm f2 ED AS UMC CS
Canon EF-M Rokinon 16mm f2 ED AS UMC CS
Canon EF-M Rokinon 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC CS
Canon EF-M Rokinon 300mm f/6.3 ED UMC CS
Canon EF-M Samyang 16mm f2 ED AS UMC CS
Canon EF-M Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC CS
Canon EF-M Samyang 24mm f1.4 ED AS IF UMC
Canon EF-M Samyang 85mm f1.4 AS IF UMC
Canon EF-M Samyang 300mm f/6.3 ED UMC CS
Fujifilm Bower 16mm f2 ED AS UMC CS
Fujifilm Rokinon 16mm f2 ED AS UMC CS
Fujifilm Rokinon 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC CS
Fujifilm Rokinon 85mm f1.4 AS IF UMC
Fujifilm Rokinon 300mm f/6.3 ED UMC CS
Fujifilm Samyang 16mm f2 ED AS UMC CS
Fujifilm Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC CS
Fujifilm Samyang 24mm f1.4 ED AS IF UMC
Fujifilm Samyang 85mm f1.4 AS IF UMC
Fujifilm Samyang 300mm f/6.3 ED UMC CS
Nikon F Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR
Nikon F Nikon AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G
Nikon F Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR
Nikon F Nikon AF-S Zoom-NIKKOR 28-70mm f/2.8D IF-ED
Olympus Bower 16mm f2 ED AS UMC CS
Olympus Bower 24mm f1.4 ED AS IF UMC
Olympus Rokinon 16mm f2 ED AS UMC CS
Olympus Rokinon 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC CS
Olympus Rokinon 24mm f1.4 ED AS IF UMC
Olympus Rokinon 85mm f1.4 AS IF UMC
Olympus Rokinon 300mm f/6.3 ED UMC CS
Olympus Samyang 16mm f2 ED AS UMC CS
Olympus Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC CS
Olympus Samyang 24mm f1.4 ED AS IF UMC
Olympus Samyang 85mm f1.4 AS IF UMC
Olympus Samyang 300mm f/6.3 ED UMC CS
Olympus SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC DN C016
Panasonic Bower 16mm f2 ED AS UMC CS
Panasonic Rokinon 16mm f2 ED AS UMC CS
Panasonic Rokinon 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC CS
Panasonic Rokinon 24mm f1.4 ED AS IF UMC
Panasonic Rokinon 85mm f1.4 AS IF UMC
Panasonic Rokinon 300mm f/6.3 ED UMC CS
Panasonic Samyang 16mm f2 ED AS UMC CS
Panasonic Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC CS
Panasonic Samyang 24mm f1.4 ED AS IF UMC
Panasonic Samyang 24mm f1.4 ED AS IF UMC
Panasonic Samyang 300mm f/6.3 ED UMC CS
Pentax K HD PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4-5.8 ED WR
Samsung NX Bower 16mm f2 ED AS UMC CS
Samsung NX Bower 24mm f1.4 ED AS IF UMC
Samsung NX Rokinon 16mm f2 ED AS UMC CS
Samsung NX Rokinon 24mm f1.4 ED AS IF UMC
Samsung NX Rokinon 85mm f1.4 AS IF UMC
Samsung NX Samyang 16mm f2 ED AS UMC CS
Samsung NX Samyang 24mm f1.4 ED AS IF UMC
Samsung NX Samyang 85mm f1.4 AS IF UMC
SIGMA SIGMA 50-100mm F1.8 DC HSM A016
Sony E Bower 16mm f2 ED AS UMC CS
Sony E Rokinon 16mm f2 ED AS UMC CS
Sony E Rokinon 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC CS
Sony E Rokinon 300mm f/6.3 ED UMC CS
Sony E Samyang 16mm f2 ED AS UMC CS
Sony E Samyang 21mm f/1.4 ED AS UMC CS
Sony E Samyang 300mm f/6.3 ED UMC CS
Sony E SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC DN C016
Sony FE Rokinon 24mm f1.4 ED AS IF UMC
Sony FE Rokinon 85mm f1.4 AS IF UMC
Sony FE Samyang 24mm f1.4 ED AS IF UMC
Sony FE Samyang 85mm f1.4 AS IF UMC
Sony FE Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM
Sony FE Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM

 

 





Profoto B2 AirTTL Off-Camera Flash Review

Posted June 17th, 2015 by   |  Flash Photography, Photography, Uncategorized  |  Permalink
Profoto B2 Air TTL

The Profoto B2 250 AirTTL Location Kit

Profoto asked me to review the new Profoto B2 off-camera flash system so I put the B2 AirTTL system through its paces shooting some outdoor portraits and photographing kids playing on a trampoline. For this test, I used the Profoto B2 250 AirTTL Location kit, Profoto OCF light shapers, a Nikon D750, the Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8, the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, and the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8.

Here’s a video I put together for the Profoto B2 AirTTL OCF system.

I currently own a set of Profoto D1 Air studio strobes and think that Profoto makes some of the best studio lights on the market today. The B2 flashes take the Profoto technology and shrink it down into a small, battery-powered location kit that you can take just about anywhere. Like everything else in the Profoto lineup, the build quality of the B2 system is top-notch. Also, the quality of light is excellent when used with the OCF (off camera flash) light shapers.

Profoto trampoline

I used the Profoto B2 250 AirTTL heads to photograph these kids jumping on the trampoline. The flashes worked great with the outdoor location and packed enough punch to work with the bright sun.

The OCF system uses a battery pack to power the heads. This battery is small in comparison to other location power-pack systems and weighs just a few pounds. It is small enough that you can easily wear the pack with a shoulder strap while shooting events and outdoor action sports.

The heads are 250 watt-seconds each, so they pack about four times more power than a Nikon or Canon speedlight. They also recycle much faster than dedicated flashes, making it easier to photograph action with the B2 system.

Profoto trampoline BTS

Here you can see the two B2 heads in the lower right and upper left. I used the extension cable to move the background hair light about 15 feet away from the battery pack.

The B2 battery pack is designed to hang from a light stand or over your shoulder with a longer strap. Power runs from the battery pack through cables to the B2 heads. These heads are small, lightweight and compact and mount to just about any light stand. The heads work with any of the Profoto OCF light shapers. They also work with the traditional speedrings from other Profoto systems like the D1, D2, etc.

Profoto sells a wide variety of OCF accessories including softboxes, octas, umbrellas, snoots, grids and extension cables so you can move the heads farther distances away from the battery pack. The OCF light shapers are lighter weight than Profoto’s studio light shapers. The OCF material is made out of a reflective silver-coated rip-stop nylon and is constructed very well. It is all designed to go out on the road and perform in any environment.

The AirTTL system allows full remote control of two B2 heads. It mounts on the camera’s hot shoe just like a dedicated flash. The difference is that it communicates with the B2 battery pack while allowing for full TTL control or full manual control of the flash heads. You can control the flash power from the battery pack itself or from the remote control.

B2 on flash bracket

The B2 OCF heads are small enough and light enough to place on a flash bracket.

The B2 system has built-in modeling lights. These are useful for studio work indoors, but the modeling lights aren’t quite bright enough to use outdoors. The modeling lights could also be used for video lighting in a pinch.

The B2 flashes are powerful enough to use outside on a sunny day. I used them with bright sun in the background and was able to shoot at f/8 and ISO 400 with a rapid recycle rate. Not bad for a small flash system.

Jumping on trampoline

For this photo I used two B2 heads; one with a softbox and the other as a direct flash.

Since the B2s are really lightweight, they can be mounted on a flash bracket attached to your camera. You’ll still use the supplied B2 battery with cable, but instead of mounting a typical Nikon dedicated flash like a SB-910, you’ll mount the B2 head to the bracket. Additionally, you can use any of the OCF light shapers while the B2 head is mounted on the flash bracket. The advantage of using the B2 this way is that you can shoot events while getting lots of power, fast recycle rates and lots of shots before the batteries run out.

The entire B2 location kit fits in a small bag about the size of a classic Domke F-2 shoulder camera bag. This means that you can take the B2 OCF system on location just about anywhere in the world and produce high-end results.

B2 carry bag

The location kit fits in a small shoulder bag making it easy to carry around the world.

My hat is off to Profoto for innovating yet another killer product. The B2 AirTTL Off-camera Flash system definitely gets two thumbs up from me.

Buy your own B2 AirTTL OCF system here:

B&H Photo Video: Profoto B2 AirTTL Location Kit

Adorama: Profoto B2 AirTTL Location Kit

Ice-cream portrait

Fun summertime ice-cream portraits with the Profoto B2 Location Kit.

Ladder portrait

For this portrait, I shot in TTL mode. The Nikon D750 camera and AirTTL controller nailed the exposure!

 





Rise of the Drone Cameras

Posted April 17th, 2015 by   |  Photography, Travel, Uncategorized  |  Permalink

Drone photography is gaining in popularity every single day and camera manufacturers have taken notice. We are at the very beginning of the new drone era and imaging companies are producing more advanced photo and video products every day.

GoPro was the first to really promote the use of their cameras with drones. Their line of Hero cameras integrated very well with the DJI Phantom series of quadcopters . This integration brought about a revolution in the photo industry that allowed just about anybody with $1,000 to capture high quality HD aerial footage of their adventures.

Now, in the quest for 4k drone video and super-high resolution stills, new players are jumping into the ring with incredible cameras specifically designed for drone usage. Here’s a run down of some of the new high resolution drone cameras available on the market today.

GoPro

GoPro Hero4

GoPro Hero4.

GoPro continues to up their game and this year they released the new Hero4 Black edition that captures 4k video at 30 frames per second. The Hero4 comes with a live view system that integrates with wi-fi enabled devices such as tablets and phones. Price is $499.99.

B&H Link: GoPro Hero4 Black

Sony

Sony FDR-X1000V

Sony FDR-X1000V action camera

Sony just announced a new series of 4k ActionCams called the FDR-X1000V to compete directly with the GoPro Hero 4. These use a live-view remote that you wear on your wrist for easy control of the camera from a distance. That’s cool. Price is $498.00.

B&H Link: Sony FDR-X1000V

Phase One

Phase One

Phase One aerial cameras.

Phase One just announced the iXU 180 drone camera with 80 MP CCD sensor. The price is $60k. Yes, $60,000 USD! These products are designed specifically for aerial imaging where you need the utmost in image quality for applications like surveying, scientific analysis, wind turbine inspections, crowd monitoring, and mapping.

Read more about the iXU 180 here: Phase One Industrial Imaging

Canon

Canon XC10

Canon XC10 4k camera.

Canon XC10 4K camera with a 1” sensor. This is a small form factor camera with a 24-240mm zoom lens. It has the ability to shoot 4k video, 12MP stills and grab 8MP JPGs during live recording. It is smaller than 5” in all dimensions and just under two pounds, so it could be mounted on medium to larger drones such as hexa-copters and octa-copters. Price is a very reasonable $2,499 with free shipping from Adorama and B&H.

Adorama Link: Canon XC10

B&H Link: Canon XC10

Panasonic

Panasonic Lumix GH4

Panasonic Lumix GH4.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 has been out for about a year and is commonly used in drone photography because of it’s light weight and 4k video capability. Add to that the fact that you can attach virtually any lens from any manufacturer with an adapter, and you have a powerful video platform. Price is $1,498.

B&H Link: Lumix DMC-GH4

Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Micro cinema

Blackmagic Micro Cinema camera.

During the 2015 NAB show (National Association of Broadcasters), Blackmagic announced its new Micro Cinema Camera. The Micro is designed specifically for drone cameras and POV shooting for extreme sports. This little wonder shoots Ultra HD files at 4k 30 fps or can be configured to at 1080p60. Price is set for $1,295.

Product info page: Blackmagic Micro Cinema Product Info

B&H Link: Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera 

DJI Phantom

DJI Phantom 3 pro

DJI Phantom 3 Professional.

DJI’s new Phantom 3 Professional drone comes equipped with a 4k camera on a full 3-axis gimbal. This system offers Lighbridge technology, which allows operators to see what the drone sees in real time, in HD, and from up to a mile away. Price is $1,259.

B&H Link: DJI Phantom 3 Professional

 

 

 





Best of Vancouver 2015 Award

Posted March 20th, 2015 by   |  Photography, Uncategorized  |  Permalink

My old business just won the 2015 Best of Vancouver Award for commercial photography. This is pretty cool, and I’ll take the accolades, but I haven’t lived or worked in Vancouver for over ten years now. It’s good to know that I’m the best in the business, even in places where I don’t work!

Here’s the link to the press release and a bit more about the award:

Best of Vancouver

Our new award trophy for the Best of Vancouver 2015 Award for Commercial Photography.

Best of Vancouver 2015 Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Out There Images Receives 2015 Best of Vancouver Award

Vancouver Award Program Honors the Achievement

VANCOUVER March 12, 2015 — Out There Images has been selected for the 2015 Best of Vancouver Award in the Commercial Photography category by the Vancouver Award Program.

Each year, the Vancouver Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Vancouver area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2015 Vancouver Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Vancouver Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Vancouver Award Program

The Vancouver Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Vancouver area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Vancouver Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Vancouver Award Program

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What is the Vancouver Award Program?

Each year, in and around the Vancouver area, the Vancouver Award Program chooses only the best local businesses. We focus on companies that have demonstrated their ability to use various marketing methods to grow their business in spite of difficult economic times. The companies chosen exemplify the best of small business; often leading through customer service and community involvement.

For most companies, this recognition is a result of your dedication and efforts as well as the work of others in your organization that have helped build your business. Your team is now a part of an exclusive group of small businesses that have achieved this selection.





Nikon D810A, Canon 5DS and Canon 5DS R

Posted February 10th, 2015 by   |  Photography, Uncategorized  |  Permalink
Canon and Nikon announced new cameras to their lineups with the Canon 5DS/5DS R and the Nikon D810A.

Canon and Nikon announced new cameras to their lineups with the Canon 5DS/5DS R and the Nikon D810A.

With the 2015 CP+ trade show just around the corner, both Canon and Nikon have been busy with new camera announcements. Read on for details and sample photos from both cameras.

Canon 5DS and 5DS R

5DS R

Canon 5DS R. Image Courtesy Canon USA, Inc.

Canon has the bigger news this month with an absolutely incredible new camera duo, the 50 megapixel Canon 5DS and 5DS R bodies. These two camera bodies are being targeted towards studio photographers, landscape photographers and fine art photographers because of their incredibly high resolution. The 5DS has a typical low-pass anti-aliasing filter found in most other dSLR cameras, while the 5DS R has a filter design that cancels the effect of the optical low-pass filter, resulting in even higher sharpness.

Up until this point, Nikon and Sony held the title of most pixels in a dSLR with the 36 MP Nikon D810 and Sony a7R. A few years back when Nikon came out with the D800, I was skeptical about the need for more pixels. Up until that point, I had been shooting with 12 MP and 18 MP cameras and felt they offered all that I needed from a resolution standpoint. However, once I began shooting with the D800, I was immediately enamored with the higher resolution and found the stunning clarity changed the way I thought about my photography. Having that many pixels meant that I could frame my composition a bit looser, which ended up giving me more options in post production for cropping or lens corrections. I use the super high resolution as another tool, just like I would use a tripod, lens, or flash.

This higher resolution is exactly why I’m excited about the Canon 5DS and 5DS R cameras. 50 megapixels will be a fantastic tool that we’ll be able to use in our kits to achieve great images. These new Canon cameras are slated to begin shipping in June 2015. Prices should be around $3,700 for the 5DS and $3,900 for the 5DS R. Here are links to more information:

Canon USA Information Page
Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R

Pre-order at B&H Photo
Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R

5DS R

Canon 5DS R top view. Image Courtesy Canon USA, Inc

 

Canon 5DS back view. Image Courtesy Canon USA, Inc.

Canon 5DS back view. Image Courtesy Canon USA, Inc.

Sample Images from 5DS

5dS Portrait

Image 1 [Portrait]
File Name: 01.jpg
Shooting Mode: Manual exposure
Tv (Shutter Speed): 1/125 sec
Av (Aperture Value): f/8.0
ISO Speed: ISO100
Lens: EF70-200mm F2.8L IS II USM
White Balance: Color temp.(5200K)
Picture Style: Fine Detail

http://canon-premium.webcdn.stream.ne.jp/www09/canon-premium/eosd/samples/eos5ds/downloads/01.jpg

5DS Tokyo Sky

Image 2 [The Tokyo sky]
File Name: 02.jpg
Shooting Mode: Manual exposure
Tv (Shutter Speed): 1/125 sec
Av (Aperture Value): f/4.0
ISO Speed: ISO800
Lens: EF24-70mm F4L IS USM
White Balance: Auto (Ambience priority)
Picture Style: Fine Detail

http://canon-premium.webcdn.stream.ne.jp/www09/canon-premium/eosd/samples/eos5ds/downloads/02.jpg

5DS_Bird

Image 4 [Wild bird]
File Name: 04.jpg
Shooting Mode: Aperture-priority AE
Tv (Shutter Speed): 1/100 sec
Av (Aperture Value): f/4.0
ISO Speed: ISO200
Lens: EF200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x
White Balance: Auto (Ambience priority)
Picture Style: Fine Detail

http://canon-premium.webcdn.stream.ne.jp/www09/canon-premium/eosd/samples/eos5ds/downloads/04.jpg

5DSr_Fantasy

Image 1 [Fantasy]
File Name: 01.jpg
Shooting Mode: Manual exposure
Tv (Shutter Speed): 1/15 sec
Av (Aperture Value): f/11.0
ISO Speed: ISO400
Lens: EF24-70mm F2.8L II USM
White Balance: Color temp.(5200K)
Picture Style: Fine Detail

http://canon-premium.webcdn.stream.ne.jp/www09/canon-premium/eosd/samples/eos5dsr/downloads/01.jpg

5DSR_Hippopotamus

Image 3 [Hippopotamus]
File Name: 03.jpg
Shooting Mode: Manual exposure
Tv (Shutter Speed): 1/3200 sec
Av (Aperture Value): f/4.0
ISO Speed: ISO400
Lens: EF500mm F4L IS II USM
White Balance: Auto (Ambience priority)
Picture Style: Fine Detail

http://canon-premium.webcdn.stream.ne.jp/www09/canon-premium/eosd/samples/eos5dsr/downloads/03.jpg

Nikon D810A

Nikon D810a. Image courtesy Nikon, Inc.

Nikon D810a. Image courtesy Nikon, Inc.

The Nikon D810A is the world’s first dSLR camera specifically designed for astro-photography. The camera retains it’s tremendous 36 MP sensor, but adds in a new IR filter set specifically designed to optimize sensitivity to H-alpha red tones. This new filter results in four times greater sensitivity to the 656 nm wavelength over a standard DSLR.

The camera introduces an electronic front curtain shutter which helps eliminate internal vibrations. The camera also has a new series of shutter speeds to help photographers optimize their long-exposure photographs. These new long exposure options are available in mode M and provide selectable shutter speeds from 4 seconds to 900 seconds (15 minutes). In other Nikon cameras, you would normally have to use bulb mode to expose for longer than 30 seconds, now these shutter speeds are built into the camera’s exposure system.

The new D810A also has a new live view mode that allows framing the composition in darkness. The mode is called virtual exposure preview and will be a great tool for actually seeing the stars and landscapes when ambient light is almost nonexistent. All other features of the camera remain virtually unchanged from the Nikon D810. Expext the D810A to be available beginning in May, 2015. Price should be around $3,800.

Here’s a link for more information: Nikon USA D810a

Purchase your own: Nikon D810a at B&H

Top view D810a

Nikon D810a top view. Image courtesy Nikon, Inc.

D810a right view

Nikon D810a. Image courtesy Nikon, Inc.

 

Sample Images from D810a

Comparison between the Nikon D810a and D810.

Comparison between the Nikon D810a and D810.

D810a sample

Nikon D810a astro photography sample.

D810a sample

Nikon D810a astro photography sample.

 

 

 

 





Think Tank Freebies – Photo Contest – Capture NX-D 1.1.0 Update

Posted February 5th, 2015 by   |  Photography, Software, Uncategorized  |  Permalink

I have three news items today for photographers. One is a promotion from Think Tank Photo for free swag when you buy one of their backpacks. Another is a contest where you can win a Nikon D750 with three professional lenses. The third is an update to Nikon Capture NX-D software.

Freebies from Think Tank Photo

Looking for a new camera bag? Think Tank Photo has a great new promotion for February. Whenever you order a Think Tank camera backpack you will have their choice of receiving of one of Think Tank’s popular AppHouse 8 or AppHouse 10 tablet cases for free. In addition, as with all of their orders from Think Tank of $50 or more, they will receive another free item. That’s two freebies for one purchase. Very cool.

Think Tank Bag Promotion

Airport Commuter Backpack_Nikon

New Photo Contest – I Am Generation Image

You can win a Nikon D750 and three lenses with Nikon’s new photo contest tited #IAmNextContest. Simply post your photos to Instagram or Twitter with the #IAmNextContest hashtag. Here’s a link to the contest page:
#IAmNextContest

Check out Nikon USA’s I Am Generation Image page here: I Am Generation Image

 

Nikon Capture NX-D 1.1.0 Released

Nikon_Capture_NX-D_Logo

Nikon recently released Capture NX-D version 1.1.0. In my mind, there are two significant items with this release:

1. Nikon now supports some of the edits you made in Nikon Capture NX 2. You’ll only be able to adjust items that were created in the Edit List of NX 2.

2. Nikon supports flare control with their new PF lens, the AF-S 300mm f4 PF.

There are a number of other modifications to the software and I’ve detailed those below. Here are the download links:

Nikon USA Download
Nikon EU Download
Nikon Global Download

Updates included with 1.1.0

Modifications that apply to both the Windows and Macintosh versions
Support for the D5500, COOLPIX S3700, S2900, L32 and L31 has been added.

When Capture NX-D is used to edit files that were once edited with Capture NX 2, additional adjustment of editing performed with Capture NX 2 is now possible.
However, only items in the Develop section of the Capture NX 2 Edit List can be adjusted with Capture NX-D. In addition, images that have been edited using Color Efex Pro may be edited after settings are reverted to their original values.

A PF Flare Control item has been added to the Camera and Lens Corrections palette.
This item can be used to reduce flare (ring flare, circular flare, etc.) caused by bright light sources in images captured with compatible lenses.

A Revert to Last Saved State option has been added to the Adjust menu.
This option resets adjustments applied with Capture NX-D.

A Launch Camera Control Pro 2 option has been added to the Tool menu.

The following issues have been resolved.

When images to which Distortion Control has been applied are opened, edges were fringed with color.

When Noise Reduction was applied, the application would quit unexpectedly.

When a RAW image captured with a camera that does not support the Picture Control system (D2XS, D2X、D2HS, D2H, D1X, D1H, D1, D200, D100, D90, D80, D70S, D70, D60, D40X, D40) was displayed, the icon indicating that the image had been edited was displayed, even if the image had not actually been edited.

When Quick Adjust was applied to RAW images captured at a Picture Control setting of Neutral, Flat, or Monochrome, and for which Recorded Value was selected in the Picture Control palette, the Quick Adjust value reverted back to “0.00” when the images were again displayed in Capture NX-D after the application was once closed and then launched again.
A Noise Reduction setting of Better Quality 2013 could be selected for JPEG and TIFF images.

Additional modifications to the Windows version

The following issues have been resolved.

Multiple images in the My Pictures folder could not be selected to copy or move under Windows 7 or an earlier operating system.

When files were saved with different file names using the Convert Files function, the new file names were not accurately reflected.

Additional modifications to the Macintosh version

Support for OS X version 10.10.1 has neen added.

OS X version 10.7.5 is no longer supported.





Galapagos – South Plaza and North Seymour Islands

Posted October 28th, 2014 by   |  Photography, Travel, Uncategorized  |  Permalink
South Plaza and boat anchorage.

South Plaza and boat anchorage. Nikon D600, 14-24mm f/2.8.

South Plaza is a tiny .13 square kilometer island in the Galapagos that was formed by uplifted lava. It is covered by opuntia cactuses, a tree-like cactus endemic to Galapagos. There are two big draws to South Plaza, the large sea lion colony and the colorful yellow and red land iguana. When visiting the island, you can barely take a step without fear of treading on one of these animals and you have to be really alert while walking along the trail. The last thing you want to do is step on a resting bull sea lion and have him get angry at you.

Sea lion lounging on the rocks.

Sea lion lounging on the rocks. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4.

galapagos land iguana

Land iguana posing on a lava rock. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4.

There are multiple sea lion colonies that call South Plaza their home. Each colony of 15-20 females is ruled by a bull male who is “king” for about three months. After his exhausting tenure is over, he returns to the bachelor herd and gives up the strenuous task of mating to another bull.

Some of the colony, resting on the soft green foliage. Nikon D600, 14-24mm f/2.8.

Some of the colony, resting on the soft green foliage. Nikon D600, 14-24mm f/2.8.

Nearby is North Seymour, a small island in the Galapagos that is also home to an amazing density of wildlife.  Photography is especially fun on this island with easy and direct access to all of the animals. The visitor trail around the 1.9 square kilometer island is a short 2 kilometer (1.4 mile) loop that takes you along cliffs, shoreline and interior regions teeming with wildlife.

Land iguana eating a cactus.

Land iguana eating a cactus. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4.

Land iguana waiting for the morning sunlight.

Land iguana waiting for the morning sunlight. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4.

One of the interesting stories about this island involves the land iguana. In the 1930s, Captain G. Allan Hancock noticed that the island didn’t have a population of Galapagos Land Iguanas. Thinking he was helping out the population, he brought over a small population of land iguanas from South Seymour. A few years later, some of the other islands in the Galapagos where the land iguana was native went through a drought and the population died off. North Seymour didn’t suffer through the same drought and the land iguanas thrived there. They were able to use the remnant population from North Seymour to repopulate the other islands in the Galapagos.

Mmm, cactus.

Mmm, cactus. Nikon D800, 200-400mm f/4.

These days, wildlife managers and resource managers are very careful about moving species of animals from one island to another because they understand that animals in the Galapagos have specialized to live on specific islands. In fact, specialization animals adapting to distinct environments is what makes the Galapagos quite unique. In the case of the land iguana though, Galapagos wildlife managers use the North Seymour’s iguanas for their captive breeding program throughout the island chain.

Opuntia cactus detail

Opuntia cactus detail. Nikon D600, 24-70mm f/2.8.

Dead land iguana.

Dead land iguana. Nikon D600, 14-24mm f/2.8.

Opuntia cactus

Opuntia cactus panorama. Nikon D600, 24-70mm f/2.8.

 





Fixing a Hazy Photograph

Posted September 27th, 2013 by   |  Computers, Photography, Software, Uncategorized  |  Permalink
Mt Adams from air

Cascade Mountains from the air. The three visible mountains are Mt Adams, Mt Hood, Mt Jefferson.

A few days ago while flying from Seattle to Salt Lake City, our airplane passed over the Cascade Mountains. I took about ten photographs of the mountain range, but knew that they weren’t going to amount to much because of the hazy sky. After returning from my trip, I decided to take a swing at creating a usable image from my original RAW file using Adobe Lightroom 5 and Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.

The reason hazy photographs look drab is that they lack contrast. In other words, the image doesn’t have significant separation between the shadows and the highlights. This low contrast scenario is readily apparent if you look at the histogram. Notice how in the original picture, the histogram is bunched up in the middle of the graph. This means that the shadows are not black and the highlights aren’t white.

Mt Adams low contrast

Here’s the original RAW file as it appears in Lightroom. Notice how the histogram is bunched towards the middle.

The solution to giving your image more contrast is to spread out the histogram so the shadows are darker and the highlights are brighter. There are a few ways to do this, but the quickest and easiest is to simply adjust the contrast slider in your editing program. The contrast tool is a fairly blunt tool and I rarely recommend using it because it doesn’t have much finesse. However, in a situation like this photograph, I recommend it. Increasing the contrast effectively spreads out the histogram so the highlights are brighter and the shadows are darker.

Mt Adams High Contrast

I’ve added contrast using the Contrast slider. Doing so spreads out the histogram and gives better blacks and brighter whites.

The next step is to add some micro-contrast so features like mountain ridges have more definition. Do this by increasing the Clarity slider or by adjusting Structure in plugins like the Nik Collection.

Finally, to really make a hazy photograph look good, my suggestion is to convert it to black and white. I’ve found that color photographs tend not to look great when they started as very hazy images. Converting the image to B&W allows you to add even more contrast without messing with the saturation or color balance of the image.

 

Nik Silver Efex Pro 2

I used Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 to convert this image to black and white.





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