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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Holy Crap The New Sony A7II Image Stabilization Is Amazing!

Sony just keeps hammering away at the competition. I remember it was just a few years ago when I said that Sony does not have any real pro level models, and if you are just starting out and did not know how far with photography you would go, steer away from it. After all, when choosing your first camera, you want to make sure there is a clear progression path should you improve and desire to go pro or semi-pro.

That is certainly no longer the case. In fact I am now seriously contemplating switching.... (Are you listening, Sony? I can be bought!)

Their latest refreshing of the full frame A7 camera still includes the same 24mp sensor - that does a great job in low light by the way - but they have improved AF by 30% thanks to some software tweaks.

The real news is the absolutely amazing new image stabilization built right into the camera that features a jaw dropping 4.5 stops of stabilizing power via a brand new concept of 5 axis control! Not sure what 4.5 stops looks like? Check out the video below.

Nice job, Sony. I am impressed.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Awkward Thanksgiving Photos

There is the wonderfully horrible site called Awkward Family Photos. Anytime I think I stink as a photographer, I can always go here to pep myself up. Here is a great collection of Thanksgiving photos to help get you into the spirit of the season.

Cuz' nothing says Thanksgiving like liquor and turkey.

Unless it's dressing up like a turkey with your pets...

Who's stupid idea was this anyway?

What the heck is that dog doing?

Great hat idea, Grandma'! This -is- festive...

Tofu turkey anyone?

Yeah, um, no.

Good Grief! Someone get that guy a doctor before his head falls off!

Is if just me, or does that kid look like he has two mouths?

Awe who is the cute little turkey? You are!

No -YOU- are!

Umm... No! -YOU- are!

OK wait. Definitely -YOU- are!

That's my girl...

Why do family get-togethers always result in long faces and drinking?

Wait Watchers - Disturbing Selfies

Haley Morris-Cafiero created a series of disturbing selfies, and has a Kickstarter campaign to turn them into a book. But they are not disturbing for reasons that the title of this post might imply. Rather they are disturbing because it unveils just how shallow we humanity walkers can be sometimes.

You see, Haley is a photographer. A real photographer. Like the kind with a BA in Photography from the University of South Florida, and a MFA in Art from the University of Arizona. She is also an Associate Professor and Assistant Dean at the Memphis College of Art.

And.... She is a wee bit over weight. Her body style does not exactly fall into the super model category. Because of that, like many people that share her body makeup, she is aware of how cruel people can be.

So she decided to catalogue that cruelty in pictures.

Now to be clear, Haley does not really give a rip about what people think of her. She is quite comfortable with who she is and how she looks. So to capture the images that you will see below, is not a cry out for sympathy, but rather a simple statement of how society reacts to overweight people when we see them for the first time.

She sets up a camera on a timer, stands in front to do a selfie in a large group of people, makes sure the shot is wide enough, and then sees if she captured the reaction of any passersby. And boy does she...

Check out some of her pics below, and below that watch the video to her Kickstarter campaign. Additionally, you can give Haley a shout out of support at her Facebook Page.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

How to fix the stupid people problem

Every once in a while, you run across someone that repeatedly says or does something that makes you scratch your head and ask yourself, "Are you serious?!?!" For me it is usually encountered while driving. It seems the highways are littered with.. well if I am being completely honest here, "Stupid People".

Now I know this has not one dad-gum thing to do with photography, and this is after all a photography blog, but if I have noticed the "Stupid Person" problem that exists in our society, surely you have too. In fact there are so many of them on the highways that it caused me to write a letter into the state highway department requesting the creation of something that I call "The Jimmy Lane". A single private pathway where only I am allowed to drive, thus allowing me to avoid aforementioned Stupid People.

After no reply, I sent another letter. After many attempts at making my request, they did indeed send me a letter in reply. It was accompanied by a Sheriff's Deputy, and it was called a "Cease and Desist".

Needless to say, I did not get my own private lane to drive in, and I now have an additional Cease and Desist to add to my collection. (I am reminded here of Sheldon Cooper and his collection of restraining orders. Only Big Bang Theory watchers will get this reference.)

But to get back on topic here, after musing on the masses of Stupid People that do stupid things for stupid reason all around me, it caused me to dream up a solution to the problem at hand. It is so simple, I am surprised that no one else has come up with it yet.

It works like this:

We are surrounded everyday by warning labels directed exclusively at stupid people. For instance, I have one on my box fan that directs stupid people to refrain from sticking their fingers into the spinning blades.

So here is my simple approach to our stupid person epidemic. All of us normal people that follow the laws of "Common Sense", simply remove all of those stupid person warning labels and - PRESTO! The problem takes care of itself!

(Grins and rubs hands together will muttering "Hee Hee Hee".)

Pro Photoshop Actions
for an Amateur Price.

Photos of Armistice Day

Each year, Britain remember the end of World War 1 and the nearly 900,000 that lost their lives by proudly displaying red poppies. This year they created a massive art project title 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red'. It was a project that started back in July, as workers began laying out red ceramic poppies along the dry moat of the Tower of London. Here are a collection of photos found in the news showing the completed work.

(Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

(Reuters/Toby Melville)

(Reuters/Peter Nicholls)

(Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

(Reuters/Neil Hall)

(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

(Reuters/Neil Hall)

(Reuters/Luke MacGregor)

(Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images) 

Yes you can afford Photoshop
Yes you can afford Lightroom
If you do it this way.
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Glowing Bike Path Photos

The next time a High Schooler comes to your for graduation pics and says, "I want photos of me along a pathway. I think those are cool." You tell them to pack their bags. We are headed to the Netherlands.

OK that may not be the most practical option, but if you did, you would find this enchanted bike path created by Studio Roosegaarde that glows in the dark thanks to solar charging, and resembles a Van Gogh painting.

I would I could with a pretty girl and a handful of manually triggered speedlights....

Yes you can afford Photoshop
Yes you can afford Lightroom
If you do it this way.
ONLY $9.99 a month!

I love sunsets - A Timelapse by Hans Leysieffer

Who doesn't love a sunset? Few photographers, for sure. It is one of the first few things we try to tackle with cameras when we first start out. Well here is an absolutely captivating timelapse dedicated to sunsets. It is paired to a moving soundtrack that helps you stay glued to the video. You will love this. Promise.

One little note: While filming this is Sardinia, Italy, Photographer Hans Leysieffer shot the last piece on a Sigma 300-800mm at 800mm. It is what makes the sun appear so large on the screen, and the sailboat appear so very small. Backing way off, and zooming in on an object far away in front of a setting sun or moon, will provide the illusion of enormity. Just a tip if you try something like this yourself.

Yes you can afford Photoshop
Yes you can afford Lightroom
If you do it this way.
ONLY $9.99 a month!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Did You KNow That Walt Disney Created A Multi DOF Camera?

Originally designed for shooting animated movies, this camera showed up in the 1950's and was the brand child of Mr. Walt Disney. One can only wonder what he would be doing with modern day photography if his creative genius was still around.

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