Posts tagged: 70-200

Picture of the Week – Eclipse of the Century

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By , December 24, 2010 10:35 am


Last week I wanted to hint about this, but I didn’t want to jinx it by saying that I would get the shots and then fall asleep waiting. But I toughed it out and got shots of the 12-21-10 Lunar Eclipse. I’ve got the regular moon shot down pretty good, but the eclipse shot, that was something that was certainly a challenge. Little if any light to focus on, enough movement of the moon in long exposures to create blur and -20 degrees and deep snow to add just enough shake to the tripod with or without Mirror Lock Up to blur the shots that were at an ISO high enough to deal with the Moon moving. But as any photographer knows, gear and conditions are not limitations, but rather challenges to explore and exceed. I’m also happy that this set got picked up by the Twitter feeds for iNews800 and Westjet. It might have gone elsewhere as well, but judging by the stats, likely not. Finally, this is the first bit of astro photography I’ve done with the 7D and I can certainly say that I enjoy the extra cropping capacity (free zoom!) and the new flexibility of Aperture 3 to fine tune the RAW noise reduction (the 30D files don’t seem to offer as dramatic an effect). Ironically there, turning off the reduction helped more than I thought it would.

Picture of the Week – Forever Young

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By , November 26, 2010 10:14 am



Forever Young

Originally uploaded by idarknight

Some things never change. But then some things, as we all know change so fast that we don’t know what happened. I guess that is why so many people like photos and photography. It is a means of stopping time, if only for that moment, hopefully with the emotion and context present. Thinking about the time before photography, and excluding paintings, that were not true to life until much later, sculpture seems to have played a similar roll of stopping time in the past.

These thoughts come as the Grey Cup is about to be played on Sunday – boys (and girls) being boys… and well girls. Young and old coming together around a collective event to not only enjoy each other’s company, but perhaps to also freeze time as well. Allowing them to say later – remember when we watched/went to the game?

They also come after doing a couple of shoots over the last couple of weeks noticing the slight differences in focus and DOF of the 7D vs the 30D. It shouldn’t be, but I swear, the 7D DOF is shallower than the 30D. I also have a hunch that the focus might in fact be too good – or maybe thinking too much on its own. I’ve almost got 1000 shots on the body now, so I’m on my way to 10k, but even though I’ve got lots of shots left before mastery, I’m realizing that I am indeed mastering different things than the first time around.

This reminds me of what my Tae-Kwon-Do instructor once said about getting a Black Belt – now you are ready to learn. I will never call myself a master or expert photographer for that reason. I know that there is always more to learn. There is always someone better at something who may be willing to teach or from whom I can learn vicariously. There are also always things I can teach others and in that learn more myself.

Picture of the Week – Up!

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By , November 12, 2010 7:11 am



Up!

Originally uploaded by idarknight

One of the big things that I was looking forward to with the 7D body was the ability to crop and retain enough of an image that can produce large prints. I haven’t tried this one yet, but I plan to.

Picture of the Week – Grain

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By , October 22, 2010 10:03 am



Grain

Originally uploaded by idarknight

One of the really amazing things about photography now is the ability to take snapshots in low light. The compromise with these shots is however they tend to get grainy. Different bodies/sensors deliver different amounts of grain, and many people seem to be absolutely obsessed with removing the grain, and they pay big money to get applications to get rid of it.

For a while I was thinking like that, but then I started experimenting with it and realized, that in the right situations (like everything else), you want the grain. After all, there wouldn’t be a Photoshop filter to add grain if it were not the case right?

So, this weekend was my first event shoot with the new body and I knew it was going to be dark (part of the reason I was so excited to shoot it with the new body, just to see how well it would work). I also knew that unlike last year, there was going to be a band. Wild lights, wild colors, wild movement – wild times.

But before things got going I found this horn on stage and took a shot at the full ISO of 12800 to see just what would come out. And this is what you are looking at. The grainy photo with some vibration mimicking the grainy sound of the horn, that in the hands of the player is never really sitting still either.

Picture of the Week – Royal Field

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By , October 15, 2010 9:10 am


Royal Field

Originally uploaded by idarknight

It seems that the last colors are fading over the next couple days and the warm weather is leaving as well. This stand of flowers is on the Legislature grounds and is likely some of the first color to appear and, at least this year, some of the last to leave.

This was part of the first set of walkabout shots from the 7D (there will be some more coming) and I wasn’t really trying to do much other than play with the autofocus and see how the various modes worked. I forgot which mode this one would have been in, but I think it was AF Point Expansion. It seems to work well, especially with spot metering and auto ISO.

Some might think that the auto modes take all the skill and knowledge away from photography, and I might be willing to agree – if one only ever uses the auto modes and tries to be creative as the computers fit your proposed shot into a standard frame. But the part of me that disagrees will say that the auto modes are nice to have when there are so many other things to worry about outside the camera. I’m thinking that one can learn much more when the camera does the thinking about getting the exposure right and the photographer attempts to control the elements that are contributing to that exposure. A cop out? Maybe, does it make for more keepers and allow for more experimentation with positive results? For sure!

Picture of the Week – Fall Colors

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By , October 8, 2010 8:58 am



Fall Colors

Originally uploaded by idarknight

Well, it’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, and not only are colors on the trees changing, so are gas prices!

This is one of the first “real world” shots that I’ve taken with the new 7D. And it say that I’ve been impressed with the new body is an understatement. The colors are amazing, the viewfinder is big and bright (100% is so sweet!).

But with all this new power, it also means that I’ve got much more work to do to learn all the options with the new body and to that end, I’ve actually been reading the manual. In part to find out where my trusted functions from the 30D have moved to on the new body, but also to see where the new options are and to think about how I can use them. I’ve got a few shoots coming up and I hope that I can get at least half as efficient with this body as I am with my 30D within the next few months.

Gladwell suggests 10,000 hours to mastery, I would say that it would take about that many frames to master a body – I’m hoping though that the number goes down… 5K to master my 7D?

Picture of the Week – Lunitari

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By , August 20, 2010 8:31 am



Lunitari

Originally uploaded by idarknight

This was taken before yesterday’s massive smoke event. The last time I got a moon like this, I was in Mexico, looking over the Gulf. I’m thinking that has quite a bit to say about how much particulate matter there is/was in the air. I tried again last night, but there wasn’t much to be seen. I hope that by the time the moon is full, we won’t have to deal with the smoke, but it would be nice to catch a red rising harvest moon.

Picture of the Week – Hidden Friends II

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By , August 6, 2010 6:06 am



Hidden Friends II

Originally uploaded by idarknight

Well, one week at the new job is almost over and it seems that there are quite a few people there from my last institution. The place seems to be crawling with hidden friends.

Nothing overly special about this shot, other than the ISO grain helping to hide the Sparrows that are already somewhat tricky to see.

Picture of the Week – Mounting Monarchs

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By , July 30, 2010 7:01 am



Mounting Monarchs

Originally uploaded by idarknight

I missed the Edmonton Photowalk last weekend because we had to be in Calgary, but I did get a chance to get out to the Zoo. One of the new (I think) exhibits is a Butterfly conservatory. Filled with all manner of fluttering color, it was quite the place to stretch one’s photographic chops. I spotted these two and started shooting and instantly gained an appreciation of how fast butterflies can move their wings – just as fast as bees (perhaps it has something to do with the hover). My big challenge was that I had to be able to trust my shot beyond what it showed on the review screen.

Karmically, butterflies must be flapping their wings as there seem to be all manner of changes afoot, I just have to wait and see how things work out.

Picture of the Week – Original iPad

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By , July 23, 2010 1:03 pm



Original iPad

Originally uploaded by idarknight

I took this one at the CeLC last month and it seems to fit with what I’ve been doing for the last couple of weeks. Taking notes like a mad man. I was originally trying to compose this shot with an iPad right next to it, but then the iPad shifted, so I decided to get this one – kinda stock, but I like it all the same. Hopefully all my notes will allow me to one day get an iPad. Even though I still have reservations, I’m starting to see how thinking about it as an ephemeral portal to data and that thanks to the massive weight of market/mindshare that has developers going nuts over it, many of the limitations are going to be remedied by apps and when multitasking comes in Octoberish, it will be a “whole new device”. I just hope that those OS updates are free and that Apple doesn’t “two-state” this device as they did the iPod/Phone.

Finally a comment on the shot – I always feel that it could stand to be brighter, but when I adjust it, it never really comes out the way that I want to, and it seems that this is the only shot that has been like that for me.

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