Friday, 24 August 2012

The next Canon EOS-1D-X

While Canon called the EOS-1D X an amalgamation of the EOS-1 line, I don’t think everyone truly believed that the 1D-X was going to be the only flagship level camera in the lineup forever. It may have bought them some time while they got the EOS-1D X to market and worked on getting the EOS-1D C to market as well... (read the rest of the article below)

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Weekend Nature Photography Seminar ~ December 8-9, 2012

Hey everyone, here is a great learning opportunity at the end of this year... check it out.

Denise Ippolito/A Creative Adventure and Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Hilton Garden Inn, Staten Island, New York 9am-4:30pm: $169 for both days
Saturday or Sunday only $99

Lodging available for out of town guests. We will be offering a discount to members of camera clubs or natural history organizations that promote the seminar on their websites or via an e-mail blast to their membership list. Have your club president or webmaster e-mail denise

What You Will Learn at the NYC Seminar:

1-How to become a better nature photographer.

2-How to create technically perfect, artistically designed images in the field.

3-How to make your images look better during the image optimization process: RAW conversions, image clean-up, Quick Masking, Layer Masking, saving the WHITEs, and lots more.

4-Flight photography tips.

5-How to get the right exposure every time in ten seconds or less.

6-How to create the truly pleasing blurs that are so popular today in many prestigious contests.

7-Why the longest lens in your bag is often not the best lens for bird photography.

8-How to use NIK Color Efex Pro to revamp your digital workflow and dramatically improve the look of your images.

9-How to evaluate your images; each registrant will be asked to submit two 1400 X 1050 jpegs via e-mail before November 25; a selection of the submitted images will be chosen for critiquing at the seminar.

10-New ways to photograph flowers and trees.


Saturday: Image Capture
Doors open: 8am

9:00am: denise/slides: Blooming Ideas/Creating new and different images of flowers and trees

10:00am: artie/slides: Tools of the Trade/Choosing and using lenses for bird and wildlife photography

11:00am: Break

11:15am: artie/slides: Beautiful Image Basics/Learning to create pleasing image designs

Lunch break

1:30pm: artie and denise: Refining your photographic vision. Learning to extract the image from the larger scene

2:15pm: denise & artie: Pro Gear Handling Tips: Live demos/tripod and lens handling in the field *Includes flight photography tips!

2:45pm: artie: It’s easier than you think: How to clean your sensor without fear or trepidation/Live Demo

3:00: Break

denise & artie/slides: Creating Pleasing Blurs/Using slow shutter speeds, panning, camera movement, and more. More and more prestigious contests are awarding prizes to creatively blurred images. Learn how at the seminar and follow up by getting a copy of “A Guide to Pleasing Blurs.”

4:00: artie/slides or chalkboard? Getting the Right Exposure with Digital: It’s as easy as pie. If you have ten seconds with the subject there is no excuse for not getting the right exposure every time with digital.

4:30: The End

Sunday: Image Processing & Evaluation

Doors open: 8am

9:00am: artie’s Digital Workflow: RAW conversion in ACR, recovering and saving the WHITEs, NIK Color Efex Pro basics.

9:45am: artie: Image clean-up with the Clone Stamp Tool, leveling images, the Spot Healing Brush, and Quick Masks.

10:20am: break

10:40am: denise’s Digital Workflow: RAW conversion in Lightroom, Working with Layers and Masks.

11:30am: denise’s Personal NIK favorites: She discusses the less commonly used Color Efex Pro filters and shares tips on creating her modern vintage look. (Yeah, it’s a bit oxymoronic.) Also: an amazing Photoshop Brush Size tip. (Sorry for the pun.)

12:00 noon: Lunch break

1:30pm: denise/slides: Creative Filters and Effects/Working with Photoshop plug-ins and filters.

2:30pm: break

2:45: Image Critiques: artie & denise: Only 1400 X 1050 jpegs submitted via e-mail before November 25 will be considered. A selection of the submitted images will be chosen for critiquing.

3:45: Door prizes

4:30: The End

In-the-Field Follow-up Workshop

Put your newly-learned skills to use by joining denise and artie in the field at a nearby location on the Monday following the seminar. The subjects will—for the most part—be routine: gulls and Canada Geese. But we will be close to the birds and should have some flight photography opportunities. And we just might have some good chances with Snow Geese and with Brant and who knows what as well.
In-the-Field Seminar Follow-up Workshop: Queens, NY. Monday, December 10th, 2012. Two sessions: 5:45-10:30am and 2:30-4:30pm. Two great leaders: Limit: 16 photographers: $350 per person.
We will consider an overflow session on Tuesday, December 11, 2012 if the first day sells out and/or for folks who wish to do two full days.

To register for this seminar or workshop e-mail denise

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Guest Blogger - Deborah Sandidge - Long Exposure Photography using Neutral Density Filters

I am blessed to have met some truly inspiring photographers on my own personal photographic journey. This woman in particular is one of those photographers i have been following for the past four years on some of photo sharing websites. Now we are going to be working together. I will get the chance to see her take images and teach others on the workshop and photo tours we will be co-leading... who knows, maybe I will teach her a couple of things as well... LOL
This post of Deb's is exceptional, and discusses one of my favorite types of photography, "long exposure photography with ND filters"... take it away Deb...
Long Exposure Photography using Neutral Density Filters
Copyright Deborah Sandidge
 I was pleased to be able to finally receive the coveted Lee Big Stopper, a 10 stop neutral density filter. It's a challenge to be able to find one in stock, anywhere. You may be able to find a B+W 10 stop, or variable ND which are screw on filters mounting on the lens, compared to Big Stopper which slides in the Lee foundation holder along with any other desired filters. I've used both types of filters, and prefer the stacking slide in type filters. Big Stopper decreases the amount of light entering the camera by 10 stops, giving the photographer the opportunity to control the length of exposure for creative effects. A second neutral density filter, a reverse graduated, can be used to balance light in the sky area. This allows the photographer to work during the daylight hours, rather than the edge of night or day.

Using a 10 stop ND filter is like using an infrared filter, as the filter is too dark to easily see though to focus. To use the filter, compose, meter and a focus first, then mount the filter on the lens (and turn off autofocus). If you have Live View, this will easily allow you to position a graduated ND at the horizon line. A 3 stop reverse neutral density graduated filter holds back brightness at the horizon line and fades towards the top of the filter, this works well for me in most cases. A 10 stop ND filter creates a silky blur with water and softens clouds for an artistic look through the extended exposure time. How much  the clouds blur depends on how fast or slow they move during  the exposure, time. but a cloudless day can be very interesting too.
You can also create a silky blur with water by shooting early morning or late evening, stopping down so that the exposure is long as possible. A polarizer can help with this automatically. If you want to accentuate the look or shoot during the day, neutral density filters can be used to slow down the exposure even more. Anything goes compositionally, however the elements of sky and water fit together for a dramatic image. Exposure time can run into minutes. You'll need...
  • Tripod, and cable release, bulb mode (Nikon MC-36, or similar)
  • Neutral density filters 
  • Timer (I use stopwatch on the iPhone)
  • Exposure calculator (free app, Longtime Exposure Calculator)
  • Close, or cover the eyepiece window 
  • Use Mirror Lock-up, lowest ISO
Meter for the exposure without the filter attached, focus and compose. Turn off autofocus. Calculate the exposure for the neutral density filter, 10 stops, plus the metered exposure time. For example using a 10 stop neutral density filter with a metered exposure time of 1/125 equals 8 seconds with the filter attached. LongTime Exposure Calculator is a handy app and it's free, below is a screenshot. I generally add more time to this, but you get the idea.
I set the white balance to 9000K+ using the Lee Big Stopper for the first image, however this can be tweaked in Photoshop or Lightroom. There is a slight color cast that may occur, and using a custom white balance or dialing in a custom setting seems to do the trick, although a color cast may work for the scene you are shooting. Converting to black and white creates a fine art look that is very expressive without color. 

Long exposures using neutral density filters can capture beautiful color in an image, and convey the passage of time for a surreal and compelling photograph. This gives the photographer more options during the day for an alternative type of composition. Have fun shooting! ~ Deb
To see the whole post with some more amazing images please visit Deb's blog here
To check out the first workshop Deb and I will be leading together, please visit

Could it be that the Canon 7D MKII is on its way

Is the 7D Mark II a go?

The link below is a purported spec list for an upcoming EOS 7D Mark II.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Nikon D600 dealer ad spotted and an announcement rumoured to happen on aug 22

On the heels of a rumoured announcement on August 22 of this year... The first dealer ad was spotted in Europe... Here is the story I found...

To see the post about the August 22nd announcement please see this link.

Olympus is working on a new body for top pro lenses

Being a life time user of Olympus I read this announcement with interest. Could they be actually creating a competitive PRO level DSLR to help their high end lenses to live up to all the hype?

Friday, 17 August 2012

Nikon D600 - more leaks released

So, for those of you Nikon shooters out there that are patiently waiting for information on the release of the Nikon D600... here are the latest specs to be realeased.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Canon 5D MKIII versus Nikon D800

There has been so much discussion on this topic lately I thought I would post this youtude video. Watch the video comparison of the Canon 5D MKIII versus the Nikon D800

Saturday, 11 August 2012

South of France Photo tour - Carmargue horses and Provence

In June of 2013 Rick Sammon, Denise Ippolito and Kevin Pepper are running a photography tour to Provence.

June is a wonderful time to visit this area. The Weather in June has a typical minimum daily temperature 17 centigrade, maximum 24 centigrade. On average you will experience four days with rain in June and the area has an average of 290 hours of sunshine.

About travelling to Provence in June, the New York Times says, “In terms of weather, the most idyllic months for visiting the south of France are May and June. Though the sun is intense, it's not uncomfortable. Coastal waters have warmed up by then, so swimming is possible, and all the resorts have come alive after a winter slumber but aren't yet overrun. The flowers and herbs in the countryside are at their peak, and driving conditions are ideal. In June, it remains light until around 10:30pm.

The most overcrowded times -- also the hottest, in more ways than one -- are July and August, when seemingly half of Paris shows up in the briefest of bikinis. Reservations are difficult to get, discos are blasting, and space is tight on the popular beaches. The worst traffic jams on the coast occur all the way from St-Tropez to Menton.”

June will offer excellent opportunity for numerous seascape photography sessions and lots of time to capture the Carmargue horses running through the surf in the golden hours in cooler temperatures.

As our trip is in the mid month we will be there to capture the lavender fields as they begin to flower in glorious rows of purple as far as the eye can see.

Please join us for this trip to Provence. Tickets are starting to sell and I would hate for you to miss out on this trip.

Please contact us through the Photographer’s Lounge for more information.

Photography Workshop in Paris

I will be running a few workshops in Paris and I decided to do them in September. With the peak tourist season winding down, air and hotel fares take a dip to a more reasonable rate, but the weather is just as nice, if not nicer, than during the summer months.

The laid-back, summer-vacation ambiance is still lingering around the city, but most Parisians are back in town, creating an interesting mix of fun and authenticity. Those wishing to avoid the cramped conditions of peak season may find September to be one of the best times of the lower season to visit. Late September is probably the better choice for avoiding the tail-end of high season.

However, September in Paris is generally on the cool and damp side, with average temperatures at around 24 degrees F. Rain is common and it isn't unusual for autumn-like conditions to occasionally foil plans for outdoorsy activities on the odd day.  In recent years, however, unusually hot temperatures have been known to strike Paris in the summer months, and spikes in temperature may hit in September.  

From a photography standpoint cloudy September is an amazing time. The clear summer skies make way for skies of visual interest and the occasional rain creates puddles of water one can use for reflective imagery.

eiffel tower, paris, black and white

Make sure to pack a sturdy umbrella and at least one pair of waterproof shoes… and bring a good pair of walking shoes. Visits to Paris usually involve lots of strolling, and the Paris metro is notorious for some endless tunnels and stairs.

Since September is the tail-end of summer in Paris and warm, sunny days are still probable, you should also pack clothes for both cool and sunny conditions. You should also think about bringing a hat or visor and other gear for sunny days when you wish to spend time lounging in one the Paris parks and gardens.

I have been to Paris in every season,  spring, summer, winter and fall… and September is still my favorite time to go… so join myself and Deborah Sandidge and Denise Ippolito for photography workshops that will immerse you in the city of lights and love… the city that has produced more  iconic images than any other location on earth.

Email us for more information and to put yourself on the waiting list for our workshops.

Workshop One with Deborah Sandidge

Workshop Two with Denise Ippolito