Nikon D500 Initial Report

Posted May 25th, 2016 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink

Nikon D500

I’ve been shooting with the Nikon D500 for a couple weeks and have to say that Nikon has truly created a beautiful camera. I’ll write up a more-detailed review in our next newsletter, but so far, I am exceedingly impressed. The things I’m liking are:

1. Autofocus performance is top-notch

2. Frame rate at 10 FPS is addictive

3. High ISO performance is excellent

4. Ergonomics are best in class

5. Rear flip-screen is very useful

6. Image quality is excellent

 

Fawn

Baby deer. Nikon D500, 200-400mm f/4

The camera “only” costs about $2,000, so I consider it a true bargain. It fundamentally has all the professional tools of the Nikon D5, packed into the smaller body of the D500. The size of the D500 is almost identical to the FX format Nikon D750 and the ergonomics/handling are excellent. I can guarantee you are going to love this camera for sports, action and wildlife. It is a killer camera.

I just received notice from Adorama that the D500 (and D5) are in stock and ready for sale. Here are my affiliate links:

Nikon D5 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body (CF Version)
$6,496.95 with free shipping

Nikon D5 FX-Format DSLR Camera Body (XQD Version)
$6,496.95 with free shipping

Nikon D500 DX-format DSLR Body
$1,996.95 with free shipping

Nikon D500 DX-format Digital SLR Body with AF-S DX Nikkor 16-80mm f/2.8-4E ED VR Lens
$3,066.95 with free shipping

Here are a few more photo samples from the D500.

Barred owl

Barred owl. Nikon D500, 200-400mm f/4, 1.4x TC. This image is ISO 2800.

Seattle skyline

Seattle skyline from waterfront ferris wheel. Nikon D500, 14-24mm f/2.8.

Dogwood flower

Dogwood flower. Nikon D500, 200-400mm f/4.





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

 

 





March 2016 Newsletter Posted

Posted March 2nd, 2016 by   |  Photography, Software  |  Permalink

GH Panos

Our March 2016 newsletter is posted here: https://visadventures.com/newsletters/2016-03-newsletter/

Articles this month include:

CreativeLive Partnership

New Instructor and Author – Rick Hulbert

New Workshops in The Wooldands, Texas

Stuff I Like This Month

Book Review: Picture Perfect Lighting

Book Review: Studio Anywhere

Digital Tidbits: A Custom Approach to Panoramas Using Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC

Business Updates

 

Check out all of our previous newsletters here: https://visadventures.com/newsletters/





New Nikon Compacts

Posted February 24th, 2016 by   |  Flash Photography, Photography  |  Permalink
Nikon DL

The Nikon DL18-50.

Nikon announced a bevy of new compact cameras for CP+ 2016. The cool thing about the higher-end models is they are large-sensor compact cameras. It is clear that Nikon is listening to their user-base and offering professional quality cameras that don’t weigh as much as a DSLR.

In my opinion, two of the cameras are very enticing and worthy of your attention: The DL18-50 and the DL24-85. Both of them have a f/1.8-f/2.8 fluorine coated lens and the 18-50 has the Nano coated lens to help reduce lens flare at the wide-angle settings.

Nikon DL24-85

The Nikon DL24-85

The DL18-50 and DL24-85 have a compact form and are small enough to fit in your pocket. Nikon is claiming the DL cameras have DSLR functionality, which includes fast/accurate autofocus, a blazingly-fast frame rate of 20 FPS, 20.8 megapixel 1″ sensor, and 4K video. If these specs hold up in real-world shooting situations, then these little powerhouse cameras will be tremendous for travel photography, street photography, and multi-media story telling.

As a prolific user of Nikon’s wireless flash system, I was happy to see that these cameras support the Nikon CLS (creative lighting system). I’m looking forward to testing out these enticing little cameras.

Nikon DL

The DL series cameras support the Nikon CLS (Creative Lighting System) and wireless flash photography.

Check out these early reviews from Nikon shooters Steve Simon and Drew Gurian:

Steve Simon DL Review at ThePassionatePhotographer

Drew Gurian DL Preview at DrewGurian.com

Purchase Links here:

DL18_50_LCD_2.high

Nikon DL18-50 articulating screen

Nikon DL18-50 F/1.8-2.8 Compact Camera – $846.95

DL24-85 with pop-up flash

DL24-85 with pop-up flash

Nikon DL24-85 F/1.8-2.8 Compact Camera  – $646.95

DL24-500 super-zoom

DL24-500 super-zoom

Nikon DL25-500 F/2.8-5.6 Compact Camera  – $996.95

Nikon B700 compact

Nikon B700 compact

Nikon Coolpix B700 Digital Point & Shoot Camera – $496.95

Nikon B500 compact

Nikon B500 compact

Nikon Coolpix B500 Digital Point & Shoot Camera – Black  – $296.95

Nikon Coolpix B500 Digital Point & Shoot Camera – Red – $296.95

Nikon A900 compact

Nikon A900 compact

Nikon Coolpix A900 Digital Point & Shoot Camera – Silver – $396.95

Nikon Coolpix A900 Digital Point & Shoot Camera – Black – $396.95





CreativeLive Photoshop Week Panorama Workshop

Posted February 16th, 2016 by   |  Photography, Software  |  Permalink

PW_Google+_1000x566

New CreativeLive Panorama Workshop

I’ll be teaching a class for CreativeLive during the industry’s biggest event of the year – Photoshop Week 2016. My workshop will be on producing beautiful panoramas using Lightroom CC, ACR (Adobe Camera RAW) and Photoshop CC. During the week, there are multiple instructors teaching in different learning tracks that you’ll be able to watch live for free. Other instructors include Tim Grey, Ben Willmore, Lindsay Adler, Matt Kloskowski, Jared Platt, Dave Cross and many more.

Tune in to watch the live panorama workshop broadcast at 1:15 PM PST, February 22, 2016. For more information on this specific class, check out the workshop page over at CreativeLive: Creating Panoramas in Photoshop and Lightroom – Mike Hagen

Photoshop Week 2016 Full Schedule: https://www.creativelive.com/photoshop-week-2016

RSVP today to watch live for free. Signing up early also allows you to pre-order the complete Photoshop Week training package for half-price.

More Press from CreativeLive’s Website

Discover the tools you need to remake the world in your image. Learn from some of the world’s most inspiring photographers and retouchers. Unlock the power of Photoshop and Lightroom to transform the images you have into the images you want.

On February 22nd-27th watch the free live stream of the industry’s biggest week. Learn exciting new ways to enhance your work and remake your post-production workflow. Create images that stand out and inspire. No matter how many years you’ve been in the game, find the tools, techniques and shortcuts you need to bring your unique creative vision to life.

This year, you can chose from 4 unique course tracks to find the skills you need. We now have a Beginner’s track and an Advanced track, so you can master the essentials and then graduate to more complex techniques. Get in the habit of shooting with post-production ideas in mind with our Shoot to Edit classes. After you get your skills locked down, keep up to date on the latest Photoshop techniques and designs with the Trends series.

Make the most out of what you learn this week! Our partners at Adobe are offering 20% off the Creative Cloud Photography plan to new subscribers if you join us for Photoshop Week – get access to Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, and Adobe’s versatile mobile apps to craft amazing images anytime. RSVP now, and we’ll email you a link to this exclusive offer.





Lightroom CC Update – Boundary Warp and Nikon Tethering

Posted January 27th, 2016 by   |  Photography, Software  |  Permalink
Boundary Warp

Here’s the new Lightroom CC Boundary Warp control window. A great new addition for Lightroom and Adobe Camera RAW.

Adobe released a new version of Lightroom today for the Creative Cloud and stand-alone versions. Lightroom CC 2015.4 and Lightroom 6.4 address a number of bugs while also updating the software for new cameras and lenses.

As far as I’m concerned though, the two most important things about this release are the Boundary Warp feature in Lightroom CC and the ability to tether Nikon cameras for photographers using the newest Mac OSX 10.11 (El Capitan).

Here’s the link to the press release at the Adobe website: Lightroom CC 2015.4 Press Release

1. Panorama Boundary Warp

Boundary warp is a brand-new feature available in the Lightroom CC version aimed at improving panorama merging. It is designed to warp the corners and edges of the panorama so you don’t lose those areas of the image.

This slider works exceptionally well when merging photos taken with extreme wide-angle lenses. You don’t typically get much distortion with focal lengths of 50mm or longer, but you get quite a bit with 14mm and 20mm lenses. Boundary Warp helps solve this problem in a very easy-to-use interface.

Check out this video I created to help further explain the tool.

YouTube Link: Boundary Warp (https://youtu.be/2yt-A6OoZuc)

 

2. Tethering with OS X 10.11 (El Capitan).

Another great fix with this release of Lightroom CC/6 is the ability to tether Nikon cameras in Mac OSX 10.11 (El Capitan). Finally!

Unfortunately, operating system updates can be very troublesome for us photographers. We heavily rely on software for our businesses, so any hiccup in the operation of our computers is a major deal. The most recent update to the Macintosh operating system, El Capitan, broke the ability of Lightroom CC/6 to tether with Nikon cameras.

For me, that was a deal breaker to upgrading to El Capitan since I use Lightroom tethering for my portrait and commercial work. Tethering really helps when shooting with clients on set as it allows them to immediately collaborate on images.

The newest version of Lightroom CC/6 now fixes the tethering issue for us Nikon shooters and represents my last obstacle to upgrading my Mac to El Capitan.

List of Changes/Additions in Lightroom CC/6

Fixed Bugs

– Auto Sync of some settings failed when using smart previews

– Lightroom would ignore model-specific custom default settings for some cameras, including some Leica and Sony models.

– Crop resets to image bounds when adjusting rotation via slider

– In Lights Out mode, an image would “disappear” if a customer uses the Undo functionality

– SIGMA 50mm f1.4 ART lens was incorrectly identified as Zeiss Milvus 50mm f1.4

– Soft Proofing RGB readout values differed for same file between 5.7.1 and 6.x

– Import from iPhoto would result in all photos receiving a “pick” flag

– Comments from Lightroom web come in to Lightroom on the desktop as already “read.”

– Lightroom would not display the correct EXIF metadata for some video files generated by Canon, Fuji and Panasonic cameras

– Vertical panoramas created using Merge could appear with the wrong orientation

– The video cache did not respect the maximum size specified in the preferences

– Customers experienced issues importing video files in some scenarios

– Tethering Nikon cameras on Mac OS X 10.11(El Capitan) did not work properly

New Camera Support in Lightroom CC 2015.4 / 6.4

– Fujifilm X70

– Fujifilm X-E2S

– Fujifilm X-Pro2

– Leica M (Typ 262)

– Leica X-U (Typ 113)

– Panasonic DMC-ZS60 (DMC-TZ80, DMC-TZ81, DMC-TZ85)

– Phase One IQ150

– Sony ILCA-68 (A68)

Additional Updates in Lightroom CC 2015.4 / 6.4

– Nikon 1 J4 Camera Matching Profile added

– The panorama merging process should complete roughly twice as fast as Lightroom 6.3

– Improved quality when applying Auto Straighten and Upright “Level” mode

– A preference was added to the Mac to prevent accidental “speed swiping”

– Metadata is added to merged panoramas to support Photoshop’s Adaptive Wide Angle filter

– Customers can now set the location of where photos are stored when downloaded from Lightroom mobile or Lightroom web in the preference panel or – contextually in the folder panel

– Thumbnails update much quicker when copying and pasting settings in the grid view

– Images load faster in the Library module when you are zoomed in and navigating images

– Tethered support added for the Nikon D5500 and Nikon D7200





Panoramas About Town

Posted January 22nd, 2016 by   |  Photography, Software  |  Permalink
Gig Harbor Pano

Panorama of the Gig Harbor waterfront. Nikon D750, 14-24mm f/2.8. Processed in Adobe Lightroom CC and stitched in Adobe Photoshop CC. Converted to black and white in Nik Silver Efex Pro.

I make a habit of carrying a camera with me just about everywhere I go, especially when heading out on short errands. I love finding new photographic gems in my hometown of Gig Harbor, Washington.

Last week, I headed down to the Post Office to ship some books and took a quick side trip to photograph the Gig Harbor waterfront with my Nikon D750 and 14-24mm f/2.8 lens. A couple days prior to that, I took a one-hour break from writing to walk across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge with my D750 and 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. In both cases, I decided to create panoramas of the scenes before me.

Narrows Bridge

Panorama from center span of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Nikon D750, 24-70mm. Processed in Adobe Lightroom CC. Stitched together in Adobe Photoshop CC.

I’ve been shooting more panoramas lately because I really enjoy the entire process from capture to print. I also love being able to capture the atmosphere of the scene in a way most people don’t normally see. On the technical side, I thoroughly enjoy the discipline it takes to create a good-looking pano. There are a lot of settings and techniques that have to be executed well in order to produce an image that works.

For example:

– Exposure control for the darkest and brightest areas of the scene

– Depth of field

– Composition

– White balance

– Panning technique

– Dealing with subjects that are moving

– Wind

– Sun

– Clouds

– Overlap percentage for individual frames

– Lens choice

– Distortion control

– Developing the images in software (Lightroom CC) so all images work together in the final panorama

– Stitching the images together in Lightroom CC or Photoshop CC

– Post-processing the panorama to fix problem areas

– Final presentation and printing

Some panoramas work really well and others are just, well, boring. Sometimes, you don’t know until you’ve gone through all the work and have the final image on your computer screen. In the case of the two images I’ve shown here, I like the image of the boats from downtown Gig Harbor, but don’t really care for the Narrows Bridge image. I think the reason why the Narrows Bridge shot falls flat for me is the clouds lack texture and form. I’ll need to go back on another day when the sky is more dramatic.

Because of my love of panoramas, I have decided to teach a panorama workshop on when I travel to The Woodlands, Texas in April. My partner in crime, Rick Hulbert (http://www.rickhulbertphotography.com), and I are running a series of four different workshops from April 4th – 9th, including one on panorama photography. These workshops are open for all camera users (Canon, Nikon, Fuji, Olympus, etc.) and all skill levels.

While in The Woodlands, we are joining The Woodlands Camera Club to celebrate their 10-year anniversary. After their party, we’ll run workshops and photo walks on a variety of topics like autofocus for action, urban and street photography, studio lighting, HDR photography, and more.

You should join us! More information here:

https://visadventures.com/workshops/the-woodlands-texas-april-5-9-2016/

TheWoodlands-workshop-flyer





January 2016 Newsletter is Posted

Posted January 7th, 2016 by   |  Photography, Travel, Workshops  |  Permalink

Our January 2016 Newsletter is posted. We have a great series of articles covering everything from book reviews, to backpacks, to new products.

In This Month’s Newsletter

– Greetings
– Instagram
– Stuff I Like This Month
– Workshop Updates
– Our Newest Book: The Nikon Autofocus System
– Book Review: The Digital Negative, 2nd Edition
– Book Review: Jay Maisel, Light, Gesture & Color
– Long Term Gear Report: Naneu K5 v2 80L Backpack
– Workshop and Business Updates

Jan 16

Check it out here: Visual Adventures January 2016 Newsletter





Nikon D5, D500, SB-5000, & KeyMission 360

Posted January 6th, 2016 by   |  Photography  |  Permalink

D5-D500-SB500-KeyMission-Comp-1200pxNikon has been busy this last year developing some amazing new camera gear. They have totally knocked it out of the park with the release of two new professional cameras, the Nikon D5 and D500. While the D5 is indeed an impressive new camera, the D500 is truly the new DX flagship camera that we’ve all been waiting for.

Nikon is still innovating in the DSLR market and have so far, at least publically, ignored the mirrorless professional market. I am one photographer who really likes shooting with DSLRs because of their excellent speed and top-notch autofocus. Time will tell what Nikon intends to do with the mirrorless world.

In addition to the two new cameras, Nikon also released a new SB-5000 flash and a new sports-action camera called the KeyMission 360. Read below for more details on all these new products.

D500

This DX (small sensor) DSLR is truly a professional camera in a smaller body. Nikon shooters have been waiting many years for a Nikon D300/D300s replacement and we now have our new DX flagship camera that is a small version of the full-frame Nikon D5.

Nikon D500

The Nikon D500 is the new DX flagship.

Autofocus

This smaller camera is approximately the same size as a D750 or a D810 and utilizes the same autofocus system as the Nikon D5. This new AF module incorporates 153 autofocus points for almost full coverage of the entire frame. Additionally, quite a few of the sensors (15 to be precise) will operate at f/8 effective maximum aperture.

ISO

The native ISO range has been increased to 100 – 51,200. The D500 also uses expanded ISO options of Hi-1, Hi-2, Hi-3, Hi-4, and Hi-5. Hi-5 is an equivalent of ISO 1,640,000!

Sensor

In the interest of speed and high ISO performance, Nikon has chosen a 20.9 MP CMOS sensor for the D500. I would have liked to have seen more pixels, but 20.9 is perfectly adequate for almost all shooting scenarios we come across. I’ve become used to the 36 MP sensor on my D800, but I also shoot quite extensively with my 24 MP D750 and find its resolution just fine.

High Speed Continuous

Again, working to claim its title as a professional DX camera, the D500 will shoot at 10 frames per second. Nikon claims the camera will sustain 10 FPS for a total of 79 shots in a row while shooting 14-bit compressed RAW using an XQD card. That’s unheard of in a camera this size. Truly amazing. Kudos to Nikon.

Tilting Touch Screen

The D500 incorporates one of my favorite features of the Nikon D750; the tilting screen. The screen allows me to place the camera in awkward positions while still being able to compose during live view. The D500 monitor adds touch screen capability, a first in the DSLR world.

D500 touch screen

The new tilt screen on the D500 is touch sensitive.

Light Meter

Nikon has created a new light meter, increasing the resolution of the light sensor to 180,000 pixels. As many of you know, Nikon uses the light meter to work in tandem with the focus system, so this new light meter will be better suited for subject tracking and facial recognition.

Automatic AF Fine Tune

Nikon has created an internal automatic AF fine tune utility. Supposedly, it compares a live image on the CMOS sensor with a captured image, then fine tunes the focus for each specific lens.

XQD and SD Cards

Further tipping its hat to professional photographers, the D500 utilizes both XQD cards and SD cards. The XQD format is blazingly fast and allows transfer speeds of 400 MB/s write and 350 MB/s read. That’s over twice as fast as the current super-speed CF cards of 160 MB/s.

4K Video

For the video enthusiasts in the crowd, the D500 can shoot 4K video at 30p. It also shoots 1080p at a variety of frame rates. While shooting video, it has the ability to send 4K video to the memory card and an HDMI simultaneously.

Cost and Availability

The D500 is set to retail for $1,999.95 and should start shipping March 15, 2016.

More Information

D500 PDF Brochure

 

D500 at Nikon.com

 

D500 at NikonUSA.com

 

D500 Sample Photos

 

Pre-Order D500 at Adorama

 

D5

The Nikon D5 is a professional FX (full-frame sensor) camera. At a price point of $6,500 USD, it is out of reach for most casual shooters, but does things that no other camera before it has done.

Nikon D5

The D5 is Nikon’s new professional flagship camera designed for ultimate performance.

Autofocus

The brand-new autofocus module is shared with the D500 and boasts 153 AF points. 99 of those are cross-type sensors. The center sensor will that operate down to EV -4, which allows full autofocus on moonlit nights.

ISO

The native ISO range of the D5 is 100 to 102,400. With an expanded ISO up to Hi-5, the system will take pictures at an ISO equivalent to 3,276,800. Yes, that’s ISO three million. Unbelievable.

Nikon D5 back

Nikon carries on its tradition of excellent ergonomics and a logical button layout.

Sensor

The FX (full-frame) sensor comes in at 20.8 MP. This is a modest increase in pixel count from the D4s’ 16.2 MP sensor, but is sufficient for most everything a professional sports or action photographer might need.

High Speed Continuous

The D5 will shoot 12 frames per second with full AF and AE tracking. The frame rate increases to 14 FPS with the mirror locked up. In that scenario, the camera won’t track autofocus or exposure. The camera has a 200-frame buffer when shooting at 12 frames per second. With this performance, you can shoot for almost 17 seconds straight without stopping.

4K UHD Video

Along with the D500, the D5 offers 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) video at 30/25/24p. It uses dot-by-dot readout, which means it doesn’t use the full frame when recording 4K video, so the crop factor ends up being about 1.5x. When shooting 1080p, the camera does use the full frame.

The great thing about video with this camera is that you are able to use the full range of ISO sensitivities while recording. This will allow ISO ranges from 100 to 3 million. Imaging shooting video in almost complete darkeness!

Light Meter

Nikon created a brand-new 180,000 pixel light meter for the D5 and D500 cameras. Coupled with the EXPEED 5 engine, this camera’s metering performance should be the best in Nikon’s history.

Touch Screen

The D5 uses a new touch screen monitor on the back of the camera. This LCD is 3.2 inches diagonal and 2.4 million dots of resolution. Unlike the D500, the screen doesn’t pivot, but the new touch functionality will dramatically improve navigation through pictures.

Memory Cards

The camera ships with one of two options for memory cards; either dual CF cards or dual XQD cards. Most professionals will probably opt for the dual XQD cards due to the increased speed they provide over CF cards. Nikon says the card slots are modular, so I’m guessing that you’ll be able to send the camera back to Nikon and swap out one module for the other.

Pricing and Availability

The D5 will retail at $6,500 USD and will be available March 15, 2016.

More Information

D5 at NikonUSA.com

 

D5 PDF Brochure

 

D5 Sample Photos

 

Pre-Order at Adorama CF Version

 

Pre-Order at Adorama XQD Version

 

SB-5000

This new flash packs more power than the SB-910 into a smaller form factor. Also, it adds radio control in addition to the standard infrared light-pulse system of the legacy creative lighting system (CLS).

SB-5000

The SB-5000 is more powerful and smaller than the SB-910.

 

 

https://youtu.be/BULCpZSiM4o

 

More Groups

The cool thing about the new SB-5000 is it will now work with up to six groups while the previous CLS allowed three groups. It allows control up to 18 flashes within those 6 groups, so you’ll have no more excuses for not having enough flash control.

Backwards Compatable

The SB-5000 is backward compatible with the previous CLS control system, allowing it to use three groups in legacy CLS control with three groups in the new radio CLS control.

Radio Control

The operation of the new wireless radio control requires a Nikon D5 or D500 to send the signal with the optional WR-R10 wireless transceiver. Radio control allows the off-camera flashes to be positioned around corners and even outside the room. The previous system was IR light controlled, so all flashes had to be line of sight in order for the system to operate.

SB-5000

SB-5000 mounted on the Nikon D5.

Cooling System

Because the flash is smaller and more powerful, Nikon designed an internal cooling system to prevent overheating. Previous flashes like the SB-800, SB-900, and SB-910 would overheat or even shut down after firing multiple flashes in a row. Now, Nikon says the SB-5000 will shoot 120 continuous frames at 5-second intervals without overheating.

Price and Availability

The SB-5000 will retail for about $600 and will be available in March of 2016.

More Information

SB-5000 at NikonUSA.com

 

Pre-order at Adorama

 

KeyMission 360

This is an action camera built in a similar form factor as a GoPro, but with significant differences. The KeyMission 360 uses two cameras pointed in opposite directions. Each camera has a super-wide-angle lens so that the system captures a full 360 degrees of coverage while recording in 4K. You can edit the video so you have continuous spherical coverage of the action.

KeyMission 360

The KeyMission 360 action camera shoots spherical 4K video.

The camera is waterproof to 30 meters (100 feet) and shockproof to 2 meters (7 feet). It also has in-camera electronic image stabilization.

 

More Information

 

KeyMission at NikonUSA

 

Pre-order KeyMission 360 at Adorama

 





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