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Monday, July 28, 2014

Episode 194 - How to do a photoshoot

Some of the photo examples from this shoot are located below. See the complete set here.
Links to some of the equipment discussed located below the video.

Friday, July 25, 2014

No Cameras Allowed Movie Trailer

Meet the guy that makes sneaking into concerts to shoot pictures into a movie. It's the ultimate expression of art. Not only is he an artists, but he breaks into places to take his picture. He then made a movie about breaking in.

Understand that the trailer does not reveal that he actually broke the law, but he did sneak into places where policy said he should not be. So technically he broke someone's policy, and not the law.

I am not sure if it is an excuse or not, but I still want to see the movie.


Bride inviting wrong guests makes for picture opportunity

One Bride for unknown reasons needed to do wedding photos and the reception on another day from the actual event. So in making sure that everyone came, she sent out text message to everyone. One number was wrong however, and it made for great pictures.

#westillcoming was trending for a while on Twitter. As you can see from the photo, they did indeed still come, and they brought their friends. That's funny.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Can the DXO Mark website really be trusted?

As I am sure you are aware, DXO Mark has a long history of testing image sensors in cameras and determining which camera has the best. At least according to their scores. I have never put much stock in them or paid much attention to any of their findings for one simple reason. I use a camera not based on what numbers spill out of a computer, but more on the image that I can produce with them. Telling me the camera, for example, can shoot at ISO 128,000, tells me nothing of the image that it will produce at that level. I need to see results with my eyes and and not by numbers on a computer screen. It is one reason I have never used a histogram to tell me if the exposure is good. If I did, I would almost always be wrong. You can be the judge for yourself if I have a firm understanding of exposure or not by going to my website.

I was recently asked just how valid the numbers that DXO Mark were. I told them what I just told you. Then I decided to go take a trip by their website to see what they had to say, and take a look at their top 10 list.

My findings left me to exclaim out loud, "ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?!"

What I found - and this is all just my opinion - has got to be the biggest collection of obvious brand bias that I have ever seen.

Now in all fairness, I have no idea how they come to their conclusions. I am a photographer that lives and feeds my family by the images I produce. I am not an engineer. I won't understand you if you try to break it down for me even in the simplest redneck language there is. Again... I am a photographer. An artist. Not an engineer. Signal to noise ratio means nothing to me. Real world example photos do.

But here is what I found that had me shocked, and asking myself why some reputable sites like Popular Photography, PPA, etc. have not called them out for this.

On their list of best image sensor from top to bottom, they currently have the D810 listed first. That is followed by 5 more Nikon models in the top 10. The rest of the top 10 consist of a Phase One medium format camera, and some Sony models including both versions of the RX1 mirrorless Cyber-shots. Not one Canon model appears in the top 10 at all.

OK... Not one? Really? Not even the top of the line 1Dx camera? Wow. OK.

In fact, in the top 29 best image sensors in existence, Nikon takes 13 spots with Sony claiming 8. So 21 of the top 29 belong to the same sensor family. Either Nikon or Sony. Mixed in are some Pentax models and a Leica. But not one Canon camera in the top 29 at all.

In fact you don't see a Canon camera until you go all the way down the list to the number 30th spot. Which, you will find, has the top of the line Canon 1Dx tied for that position with a Nikon D3300.

And that's when my malarkey meter pegged out and I started writing this blog post. Who in their right mind would dare to think that the image sensor in an entry level $500 DSLR could be equal to the sensor in a top tier $6,800 DSLR? Who? No one can be honest with themselves and say that they believe that.

OK, you may say, there has to be some sort of asterisk on the DXO website that would justify this finding.

Nope. And I present to you a screen capture as evidence.
In fact, as you can see above, the el cheapo entry level D3300 -BEATS- the 1Dx in both color depth and dynamic range. The poor pitiful 1Dx only managed to drag itself into a tie in it's better low light ISO performance.

Now look. Let's be honest with ourselves, photographers. If I placed any camera into the hands of an outdoor landscape photography master, you would be hard pressed to see the difference from one to the other no matter what they used. Almost any equipment in the hands of someone with experience and skill can produce captivating and compelling imagery.

But to claim that the D3300 will produce better results than a 1Dx until you crank up the ISO real high and start shooting in low light, pushed me right over the edge.

In this writer's humble opinion, I have serious suspicions about their integrity.

Production Model Nikon D810 Sample Pics

Photography Blog has some real world samples for the new D810 from Nikon. Included is the ISO 6400 low light shot below. Download it to see the complete noise generated. It's pretty good and very usable for production work. It seems comparable to my now aging 5DII at ISO 2000. Nice. See them all here.

Canon Sales Down

The world's largest camera maker lowered its sales forecast as demand dropped across the industry in favor of smartphone usage.

Industry wide digital camera sales are down roughly 35%. That equates to 1 million fewer cameras sold for Canon.

Despite the fewer cameras sold, net profit increased by 20 million dollars during the second quarter.

Pepper Spray and a camera. Now that's innovation.




It's pretty straight forward. You pepperspray your assailant and at the same time a photo is captured. This sends it to your phone where that photo is sent to the authorities via a monitoring service that you subscribe to. Also included is a high pitch siren and strobing flash to attract attention.

Hmmm....

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Steal This Shot #1 - Wedding Shoes

I think I will start a new series. I am going to call it, like the title of this post suggests, "Steal This Shot". After all, we photographers try to be original all of the time, but we also have a reputation for being the biggest idea thieves on the planet. It is never exactly how we saw it before, and sometimes we put our own spin on it, but idea stealing has always been a pretty acceptable thing amongst our clan.

This first photo idea that must be stolen, comes from photographer Alan Hunt. He placed the shoes on a glass topped table, laid down underneath, and shot from the bottom looking up into a common ceiling light. Exposing for the bottoms yielded a unique look, and one I now consider "Stolen". Not that he stole it - and he may have - but meaning I have now officially stolen his idea and will make it mine.

Thanks, Alan! See his website here.

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