Scott Flaherty Photography: Blog http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog en-us Scott Flaherty sales@clanoflaherty.com (Scott Flaherty Photography) Mon, 03 Apr 2017 19:43:00 GMT Mon, 03 Apr 2017 19:43:00 GMT http://store.clanoflaherty.com/img/s/v-5/u1063596639-o146103091-50.jpg Scott Flaherty Photography: Blog http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog 86 120 Photography at the Zoo http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2017/4/shooting-at-the-zoo Ever have trouble getting nice images at a zoo. The environment can cause problems. What I try to do is to eliminate man made objects from the frame. This can be difficult when cages and fences are involved. This is where a reasonably wide aperture or a longer lens and some distance can help.

If there's a fence between you and the animal, shoot with shallow depth of field and get close to the fence. But not too close as to endanger yourself or to stress the animal. If the animal isn't too close, you'll be surprised to see the fence seems to have disappeared.

In other situations, a longer focal length comes in handy in that you can shoot tighter head-shots and therefore eliminate man made distractions, for the most part. I do this a lot. Depending on the facility that you're at, it can be difficult to get distraction free images when photographing the entire body. That's especially true for larger animals.

Here are a few shots from recent trips to the Columbus Zoo in Ohio.

African LionAfrican Lion African LionAfrican Lion Mountain LionMountain Lion Polar BearPolar Bear Polar BearPolar Bear Pallas' CatPallas' Cat African LionAfrican Lion African LionAfrican Lion

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sales@clanoflaherty.com (Scott Flaherty Photography) zoo http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2017/4/shooting-at-the-zoo Mon, 03 Apr 2017 18:41:27 GMT
Sigma Unveils Four Brand New Global Vision Lenses at CP+ http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2017/2/sigma-unveils-four-brand-new-global-vision-lenses-at-cp sigma4-asigma4-a

Sigma Corporation today announced its brand new Global Vision Art and Contemporary lenses introduced at the 2017 CP+ Camera + Photo Imaging Show in Tokyo, Japan. 

 

Sigma 14mm F1.8 DG HSM Art

Debuting the world’s first 1.8 wide-angle lens, the 14mm F1.8 Art incorporates the same groundbreaking aspherical element as Sigma’s critically acclaimed 12-24mm F4 Art. Boasting outstanding image quality from center to edge, the 14mm F1.8 Art features the largest glass mold (80mm) in the industry, offering photographers an ultra-wide prime with virtually no distortion, flare or ghosting. Three lens elements are made with FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass, which is equivalent to calcium fluorite in performance, and four SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements, which reduce chromatic aberration. In addition to the great IQ from edge to edge, the new 14mm F1.8 offers a super fast and efficient AF system.

With a minimum focus distance of 10.6 inches at 14mm, photographers can compose incredible close-up shots with expansive backgrounds.

 

Sigma 135mm F1.8 DG HSM Art

Boasting outstanding sharpness and great IQ from edge to edge, the 135mm F1.8 Art lens enters the market as Sigma’s new premiere mid-range telephoto prime lens. Ideal for events such as concerts, indoor sports, conferences and press events, the 1.8 F-stop delivers greater “shallow depth of field” and isolation of subjects. The outstanding compression effect makes it equally as powerful for up-close and full-length portraits. Its new large hyper sonic motor (HSM) provides ample torque to the focus group for optimal speed while the acceleration sensor detects the position of the lens for compensation focus groups for factors including gravity, producing faster and more responsive AF. Equipped with a focus limiter, the 135mm F1.8 Art can be easily optimized for a variety of distances and situations.

 

Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 DG HSM OS Art

Featuring a brand new OS and highly efficient and fast AF system, the revamped 24-70mm F2.8 Art embodies all the technical qualities and finesse that define the high-performance Sigma Global Vision Art series. Covering a wide range of shooting scenarios, the 24-70mm workhorse DNA includes three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements and four aspherical elements to reduce chromatic aberration. The 24-70mm F2.8 Art aspherical elements use Sigma’s groundbreaking thicker center glass design and highly precise polishing process, delivering stunning images and bokeh effects. The lens’ purpose-built structure boasts a new metal barrel for optimal durability with TSC composite internal moving components designed to resist thermal contraction and expansion.

 

Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 DG HSM OS Contemporary

Boasting outstanding reach and performance value, the new 100-400mm F5-6.3 Contemporary telephoto zoom lens offers great IQ and usability with its lightweight, compact, dust- and splash-proof design. Equipped with the newly released Sigma OS and AF, the lens provides exceptional performance at lower shutter speeds. Highly versatile, the 100-400mm F5-6.3 Contemporary also features Sigma’s unique macro function (1:3.8 ratio) for perfecting close-ups and distance shots, and push/pull focal zooming for ease of use.

The all-new four Sigma lenses supports Canon, Nikon and Sigma mounts and works with Sigma’s MC-11 Sony E-mount converter. The Nikon mounts feature the brand new electromagnetic diaphragm.

Sigma Global Vision lenses, including the new 14mm F1.8 Art, 135mm F1.8 Art, 24-70mm F2.8 Art and 100-400mm F5-6.3 Contemporary lenses, can be updated with the latest lens software from a workstation or laptop using the Sigma Optimization Pro software and Sigma USB Dock (sold separately). The new Sigma lenses are also available for mount conversion services.

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sales@clanoflaherty.com (Scott Flaherty Photography) http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2017/2/sigma-unveils-four-brand-new-global-vision-lenses-at-cp Tue, 21 Feb 2017 16:25:48 GMT
Nikon's New Automatic AF Fine Tune http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2016/5/nikons-new-automatice-af-fine-tune

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sales@clanoflaherty.com (Scott Flaherty Photography) http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2016/5/nikons-new-automatice-af-fine-tune Mon, 09 May 2016 18:48:50 GMT
Photographing Waterfalls http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2015/12/photographing-waterfalls Recently I’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding waterfall photography. I have to say, this is one of my favorite types of photographs to create. While I’m by no means an expert, I have had some success in capturing nice waterfall images. The first thing I do is identify the type of waterfall I am going to photograph. For me, this comes down to two options, “Large and Powerful” or “Small and Graceful”. Small and Graceful
For this type of waterfall, I believe that long shutter speeds and soft, diffused light are the keys to getting the image. I usually shoot this type of waterfall early in the morning. Very often, right after sunrise. This helps me get longer shutter speeds. I also use a polarizer to help lengthen my shutter speed and also to cut the reflection coming off the wet rocks. If the sky is overcast, that is another bonus. It too helps with longer shutter speeds and has the added benefit of allowing me to see into the shadows while not forcing me to blow out the whites from the flowing water. My goal is to achieve a shutter speed somewhere from 1/4 to 2 seconds in length, at my desired aperture. Middle Falls, Old Man's CaveMiddle Falls, Old Man's CaveHocking Hills Ohio
 
Large and Powerful
This is a different beast all together. In this case I usually want to convey power and speed. With the water current’s strength and the volume of water flowing over the falls, as in the case of the Lower Falls in Yellowstone, how can one not focus on its power and grandeur? So here, I use faster shutter speeds. I don’t want to absolutely freeze the water in position, but then again I also don’t want to veil the water and give it that milky look that I like for small waterfalls. If you freeze the water too much, you’ll loose that sense of motion and thereby loose the feeling of its power. For these larger waterfalls I’m looking for a shutter speed of approximately 1/13 to 1/20 of a second. Lower FallsLower FallsLocated in what is commonly referred to as the "Grand Canyon of Yellowstone".
 
Keep in mind that these are just my preferences. If you’ve never photographed waterfalls before, you might want to use these ideas as a starting point. But eventually, you’ll want to start experimenting to find out what works for you in expressing the feelings you have when standing in the presence of these wonderful scenes. ]]>
sales@clanoflaherty.com (Scott Flaherty Photography) how to tip waterfall http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2015/12/photographing-waterfalls Wed, 16 Dec 2015 14:34:52 GMT
Replicating Color Efex Pro 3 Tonal Contrast http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2015/9/replicating-color-efex-pro-3-tonal-contrast I've had OSX Yosemite installed on my Mac for quite some time now. When I installed it I found out that I could no longer use Color Efex Pro 3 for Tonal Contrast. That was disappointing to find out. While I didn't use it a lot, when I did the results were amazing. Nothing else could create that tonal contrast result, even Color Efex Pro 4 . . . or so I thought. This morning I was trying to replicate version 3's result, and I think I'm getting pretty close.

My Color Efex Pro 4 recipe is as follows:

  1. Tonal Contrast Filter:
    1. Highlights = 50%
    2. Midtones  =75%
    3. shadows = 50%
    4. Saturation = 40% (depending upon the image)
    5. Contrast Type = Fine
    6. Also use a litlle bit of shadow protection
  2. Detail Extractor Filter:
    1. Detail extractor = 10%
    2. Contrast = 0%
    3. Saturation = 0%
    4. Effect radius = Normal

I had to clean up a little noise using a mask, but that wasn't a big deal.

 

Here is a sample result:

SAF_20120914_145322AASAF_20120914_145322AA

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sales@clanoflaherty.com (Scott Flaherty Photography) post processing http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2015/9/replicating-color-efex-pro-3-tonal-contrast Sat, 12 Sep 2015 14:49:46 GMT
2013 Holiday Season Competition Photos are now Online http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2013/12/2013-holiday-season-competition-photos-are-now-online All of the photos from the 2013 Holiday Season Competition are online and orders are now being accepted. Please follow the link to http://store.clanoflaherty.com/hsc2013

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sales@clanoflaherty.com (Scott Flaherty Photography) http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2013/12/2013-holiday-season-competition-photos-are-now-online Sun, 22 Dec 2013 22:21:48 GMT
A new version of Adobe CC (for Photographers) http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2013/9/revision-for-adobe-cc-for-photographers Like many, when Adobe announced their plans to take their product line to the "cloud", I was quite frustrated. No matter how they tried to spin it, in the end, I'd be paying quite a bit more money than I had been up to this point. Well, it looks like Adobe has been hearing the outrage voiced by many of us in the photographic community. They've now come out with the Photoshop Photography Program.

The Photoshop Photography Program bundles Photoshop and Lightroom together for the price of $9.99 per month. They state that this is not an introductory price, but instead is a fixed price, as long as you subscribe before December 31st, 2013. The following is included in the subscription:

  • Photoshop CC
  • Lightroom 5
  • 20GB of online storage
  • Behance ProSite
  • Access to Creative Clous Learn's training resources
  • Ongoing upgrades and updates

Now this has me tempted . . . although I am a little confused. They mention Photoshop CC but state a specific version of Lightroom. I need to contact them and get confirmation that ongoing updates and upgrades include Lightroom. If they tell me it's included, I may be subscribing in the near future. I'll let all of you know what I hear from Adobe.

Here's a link to the announcement on their blog

 

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sales@clanoflaherty.com (Scott Flaherty Photography) http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2013/9/revision-for-adobe-cc-for-photographers Mon, 09 Sep 2013 12:38:25 GMT
A Tale of Two Meters (Incident & Reflective) http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2013/9/a-tale-of-two-meters-incident-reflective Established cinematographer Mark Vargo explains when and why he uses either an Incident meter or a Reflective meter for determining the proper exposure for his shots.

A Tale of Two Meters from Mark Vargo on Vimeo.

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sales@clanoflaherty.com (Scott Flaherty Photography) http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2013/9/a-tale-of-two-meters-incident-reflective Fri, 06 Sep 2013 12:09:48 GMT
Long Week-end in Washingon DC http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2013/9/long-week-end-in-washingon-dc Back in May of this year, Cindy and I spent a long weekend in our nation's capital . . . Washington DC. I always love visiting DC and have been there several times. It will take many more visits to see all that I want to see. This time I really wanted to get a few good shots of the Library of Congress (LOC) and the US Captial Building. The LOC worked out quite well, but the skies did not cooperate with me for the Capital Building.

Here are a few of the shots I came back with . . .

 

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sales@clanoflaherty.com (Scott Flaherty Photography) http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2013/9/long-week-end-in-washingon-dc Thu, 05 Sep 2013 18:59:02 GMT
Bad Back Troubles http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2013/9/bad-back-troubles Last month Cindy and I spent some time down on TopSail Island in North Carolina. I was looking forward to spending the morning doing some shorebird photography. It was not to be my day. First off, I was stupid and forgot to take into account the humidity of the environment and had to wait an hour for my lens to un-fog. When I finally got going, it was the end of the period of good light, and more people were starting to show up at the beach. The next day my lower back started to hurt like crazy, so that was the end of shooting for that trip . . . at least in regards to lying prone on the beach, trying to get eye level with the birds. Oh well, there's always next time.

Here's one of the few shore bird shots on got on that trip.

SanderlingSanderling

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sales@clanoflaherty.com (Scott Flaherty Photography) http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2013/9/bad-back-troubles Thu, 05 Sep 2013 18:16:57 GMT
Clippers vs Mudhens http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2013/9/clippers-vs-mudhens I recently obtained a press pass to shoot last Sunday's (9/1/2013) Columbus Clippers vs Toledo Mudhens minor league baseball game. People know me mainly as a Nature photographer (landscapes and wildlife) and sometimes as a Portrait photographer. Lately I've been developing an interest in taking a try at shooting sports. I've photographed several Figure Skating competitions in the past, but this was my first go for sports at any type of professional level team(s).

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sales@clanoflaherty.com (Scott Flaherty Photography) http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2013/9/clippers-vs-mudhens Thu, 05 Sep 2013 16:40:08 GMT
Nikon Announces the D7100 DSLR http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2013/2/nikon-announces-the-d7100-dslr Superior subject acquisition performance and sharp rendering Advanced basic performance from features such as an AF system with 51 focus points, all in a compact, lightweight body

Tokyo - Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the release of the advanced, high-performance DX-format D7100 digital SLR camera.

The D7100 is a compact, lightweight camera (W x H x D: approx. 135.5 x 106.5 x 76 mm; weight: approx. 675 g*1) that offers superior portability. It is loaded with features that enable excellent subject acquisition and rendering performance capable of reproducing the finest details.
The high density of 51-point AF system accurately acquires the intended subject for superior subject acquisition and tracking performance. Cross-type sensors have been adopted for the 15 most frequently used focus points at the center of the frame. In addition, the center focus point (cross-type) is fully functional with lenses with a maximum aperture of f/8. This means faster, more precise autofocusing with a variety of conditions. The D7100 is also equipped with a new crop image area, 1.3x DX crop, which increases the angle of view by approximately 1.3x that of the standard DX-format angle of view. This effectively increases lens focal length to an equivalent angle of view of approximately 2x*2, making distant subjects larger. In addition, the 51 focus points cover the entire image area when 1.3x DX crop is enabled for quick and certain acquisition of subjects moving randomly through the frame with high-speed continuous shooting at approximately 7 fps*3.
The D7100 is also equipped with a DX-format CMOS sensor, an effective pixel count of 24.1-million pixels, the high-performance EXPEED 3 image-processing engine, and does not have an optical low-pass filter. These features enable excellent rendering with high resolution. The incredible potential of the high pixel count, high-definition D7100 can be maximized by the use of NIKKOR lenses, which offer superior rendering performance made possible with Nikon's own optical technologies.
The D7100 also offers a number of new functions that improve operation and support more natural and efficient shooting, including Spot White Balance, a white balance Preset Manual option that allows users to choose a specific subject from which white balance is measured with shooting in live view. Additionally, the D7100 features an RGBW array that enables more effective accumulation of light, as well as a large, 3.2-inch high-resolution TFT LCD monitor with wide viewing angle, and an  button that enables direct access to frequently used functions.

  • *1Camera body only
  • *2Equivalent in 35-mm [135] format.
  • *3When 1.3x DX crop is enabled; up to 6 fps when standard DX format is enabled. Both maximum frame rates possible only when image quality is set to JPEG/12-bit NEF (RAW). Measured according to CIPA guidelines.

D7100 primary features

  1. Support for lenses with a maximum aperture of f/8 and an AF system comprised of the high-density 51 focus points offering faster AF initiation

    The 51 focus-point AF system built into the D7100 utilizes the new Advanced Multi-CAM 3500DX autofocus sensor module with 51 focus points covering a broad range of the frame for more certain acquisition of the intended subject. Cross-type sensors have been adopted for more certain acquisition and tracking of rapidly moving subjects. In addition, the camera is able to focus automatically with extreme accuracy, even in lighting measuring just −2 EV (ISO 100, 20°C), roughly equivalent to moonlight. What's more, the center focus point (cross-type) supports autofocusing with lenses with a maximum aperture of f/8. This allows users to enjoy ultra high-speed AF shooting with a compact and lightweight system when a telephoto NIKKOR lens with a maximum aperture of f/4 and a teleconverter (2x) are used.

  2. 51 focus points covering the entire frame bring distant subjects closer. 1.3x DX crop for high-speed continuous shooting at approximately 7 fps*1.

    The DX format effectively increases the shooting angle of view to an equivalent of approximately 1.5x the actual focal length of the lens*2. The new 1.3x DX crop image area increases this effect by an additional 1.3x for a total effective increase in angle of view to approximately 2x lens focal length*2, making distant subjects appear closer. What's more, when 1.3x DX crop is enabled, the AF system's 51 focus points cover the entire frame, and high-speed continuous shooting at approximately 7 fps*1 is possible for quick and certain capture of the intended subject.

    • *1When 1.3x DX crop is enabled; up to 6 fps when standard DX format is enabled. Both maximum frame rates possible only when image quality is set to JPEG/12-bit NEF (RAW). Measured according to CIPA guidelines.
    • *2Equivalent in 35-mm [135] format.
  3. A new Nikon DX-format CMOS sensor, an effective pixel count of 24.1-million pixels, no optical low-pass filter, and the EXPEED 3 image-processing engine optimized for high-performance digital-SLR cameras

    The D7100 is equipped with a new Nikon DX-format CMOS sensor, an effective pixel count of 24.1-million pixels and no optical low-pass filter. It supports a broad range of standard ISO sensitivities, from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, as well as further expansion to an equivalent of ISO 25600 (Hi 2) for capture of sharp, clear images for which noise is effectively suppressed throughout the entire range of sensitivities. In addition, when used with NIKKOR lenses loaded with Nikon's advanced optical technologies, the D7100's high pixel count achieves sharp, well-defined rendering with a sense of depth. The EXPEED 3 high-performance image-processing engine maximizes the potential of the high pixel count for faithful reproduction of scenes.

  4. A compact and lightweight Nikon DX-format camera that is strong despite its light weight, and extremely portable

    Despite its advanced basic performance and being loaded with a number of new functions, the D7100 is a compact, lightweight camera measuring approximately 135.5 mm wide, 106.5 mm high and 76 mm deep, and weighing just 675 g*. As an entire system, the Nikon DX format, which includes DX-format lenses, offers excellent portability. The magnesium alloy adopted for the top and rear covers of the D7100 ensures great strength, and sealing of individual components ensures a high level of water and dust resistance. These aspects make the D7100 the perfect camera for a broad range of uses, from casual capture of everyday scenes to full-scale photography.

    • *Camera body only.
  5. Increased usability and improved operation
    • A new  button enables quick access to frequently used camera functions

      A new  button, positioned to the bottom left of the camera's monitor, enables simple access to frequently used functions with viewfinder and live view photography, movie recording, and playback. Pressing the button displays the options screen for the desired setting, allowing immediate access to setting options for normal shooting, live view photography, and the retouch menu in playback mode.

    • A new Spot White Balance option for measuring white balance using a specified portion of the frame

      With live view photography, preset manual white balance data can be easily acquired based on a portion of the scene selected by the user. Spot White Balance eliminates the need to prepare a reference object, such as a gray card, and allows for preset white balance measurement without changing lenses when a super-telephoto lens is used.
      This new option is most convenient with outdoor shooting, and sports and landscape photography.

    • A high-performance optical viewfinder utilizing a glass pentaprism and offering frame coverage of approximately 100%

      The optical viewfinder built into the D7100 offers frame coverage of approximately 100% for extremely precise framing of images, and magnification of approximately 0.94x* that makes all elements in the viewfinder display easy to see. Adoption of a very bright, high-contrast, low power consumption OLED display element ensures excellent visibility even in low temperatures.

    • OLED display element

      Adoption of a very bright, high-contrast, low power consumption OLED display element ensures faster viewfinder display ((information display below image area) with excellent visibility even in low temperatures.

    • 3.2-inch, 1229 k-dot TFT LCD monitor with wide viewing angle utilizing a new RGBW array

      The D7100 is equipped with a large, high-definition TFT LCD monitor with wide viewing angle for which an RGBW array that increases brightness has been adopted. This increases visibility with viewing in bright surroundings.

    • *With 50mm f/1.4 lens at infinity, -1.0 m-1.
  6. Support for 1920 x 1080/60i and 1920 x 1080/30p movie recording

    The combination of NIKKOR lenses, an imaging unit that does not include an optical low-pass filter, and the EXPEED 3 image-processing engine enables sharp, high-resolution imaging expression with movie recording as well. The Multi-area mode Full-HD D-Movie function supports movie recording using not only the standard DX-movie image area, but also the new 1.3x DX crop image area. The 1.3x DX crop option brings distant subjects closer with movie recording. In addition, the stereo microphone built into the pentaprism enables recording of high-quality stereo sound. The D7100 also supports recording of stereo sound via connection of the optional ME-1 stereo microphone.

  7. Support for the new WR-1 Wireless Remote Controller(available separately)

    The D7100 supports the WR-1, a highly functional transceiver that enables verification and adjustment of settings*1, as well as control over remote shooting. The WR-1 uses radio waves and supports 15 channels for communication over a maximum range of 120 m*2 between multiple WR-1s. Not only can one WR-1 be configured as a transmitter and a second as a receiver*3 to control operation of one remote camera, but multiple WR-1s can be configured as receivers for remote control over multiple cameras. A number of remote shooting options are available, including simultaneous release and synchronized release*4, as well as interval timer shooting and division of multiple cameras into groups for separate control over each group. Remote control is also possible using the WR-R10/WR-T10 combination.

    • *1Some functions excluded.
    • *2At an altitude of approximately 1.2 m; effective range may be reduced by obstacles and inclement weather.
    • *3Pairing required for all WR-1, WR-R10, and WR-T10 units. Up to 20 WR-1units can be paired, up to 64 WR-R10 units can be paired.
    • *4Only cameras with a ten-pin remote terminal can be employed as master cameras with synchronized release.

Other D7100 Features

  • Release time lag of approximately 0.052 s*1high-speed continuous shooting at up to approximately 7 fps*1*2
  • Extremely durable shutter that has passed testing for 150,000 cycles
  • Built-in flash equipped with a commander function
  • Double slots for SD memory cards
  • New Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D15 (available separately)
  • *1Measured according to CIPA guidelines.
  • *2When 1.3x DX crop is enabled; up to 6 fps when standard DX format is enabled. Both maximum frame rates possible only when image quality is set to JPEG/12-bit NEF (RAW).

 

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sales@clanoflaherty.com (Scott Flaherty Photography) http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2013/2/nikon-announces-the-d7100-dslr Thu, 21 Feb 2013 17:26:28 GMT
Lightroom 4 Tips - The Painter Tool http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2012/8/lightroom-4-tips---the-painter-tool The Painter tool can help you select, edit, label and rate multiple images at once. Here's a video from Julieanne Kost that shows some of her favorite uses for the relatively unknown Painter tool in Lightroom 4.

 
 
From the show "The Complete Picture with Julieanne Kost".
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sales@clanoflaherty.com (Scott Flaherty Photography) http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2012/8/lightroom-4-tips---the-painter-tool Wed, 15 Aug 2012 18:25:00 GMT
"Need" vs "Want" http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2012/3/-need-vs-want Lately I've been drooling over the recent Nikon announcements for the D4 and the D800. I had even convinced myself that I was going to buy the D800. However, last night I started to really ask myself if it is "need" or "want". The answer to the question is probably the same as it would be for many of you out there, if you were to seriously ask your self the question. for me the answer is no, I don't "need" it. However much I "want" it, I don't "need" it.

 
After all, my D700 didn't suddenly suck just because the D4 and the D800 were released. I can still create fantastic images with my D700. While I can't print as big as I could with the D800, I usually print at 12" x 18" or 8" x 12", and only a few times at 20" x 30". If I need a larger image of a static subject such as architecture or a landscape, I can always stitch images together on that rare occasion.
 
One of the major drawbacks of the D800, at least for me, is the overhead involved in using a 36 megapixel camera. The RAW files are approximately 75 MB and the resulting TIFFs can be in the neighborhood of 250 MB per image. So 3 shots could easily eat up a gig of space on my network storage. I went to Germany recently and return with close to 7000 frames. That's over 2 terabytes for that one trip alone. Sure, not all of the images were keepers. But even after discarding the rejects, that's still a significant amount of storage needed.
 
Now I'm not saying that there's no need for a D800 in the world. Tt's just that for they way I shoot today, it doesn't fulfill my needs. My needs may change in the future, and at that time, I'll re-evaluate it.
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sales@clanoflaherty.com (Scott Flaherty Photography) http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2012/3/-need-vs-want Sat, 31 Mar 2012 18:25:00 GMT
Photographing Water Drops http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2012/3/photographing-water-drops For a long time I've seen people produce some really nice images of water drops. I thought it was about time I gave this a try myself. My first few attempts didn't turn out so well. It wasn't until I realized that the shot needs to be backlight, that things started to go my way. Here's what I wound up doing to set up the shot:

  1. Filled a bread pan full of water and placed on my kitchen table
  2. Placed a cardboard box behind the bread pan
  3. Taped a white sheet of paper on the box, facing the bread pan
  4. Put a gel on my Nikon speedlight to color the light
  5. Placed the speedlight on the left side of the bread pan and aimed it at the white paper to bounce the light back into my scene.
  6. Setup two lightstands and the cross-bar I use for seamless paper rolls. From this I hung a ziplock bag half full of water.
  7. Positioned the bag directly over the bread pan and poked a tiny hole in it. The water dripped out at a rate of approximately 1 drop every 2 or 3 seconds.

 

Once I had that all set up, I got out my D700 and mounted a Sigma 180mm macro lens on it. I also used a 1.4x teleconverter. Your camera settings will vary based upon your particular environment, but I used the following:

  • Aperture: f/32
  • Shutter speed: 1/250 sec
  • Flash: 1/4 power (I think . . . can't quite remember)

 

After I started shooting, it only took maybe 20 or 30 shots before I had the timing nailed down. It was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Next time I think I'll replace the white paper with a piece of paper that has big splotches of 3 or 4 colors. I think that might produce an interesting effect. Anyway, it doesn't hurt to experiment. I hope this gives you some ideas. Have fun and keep on shootin'. Here are a few examples from that shoot:

Blue Gel
Blue Gel
Red Gel
Red Gel
Blue Gel
Blue Gel
Blue Gel - Altered in Photoshop
Blue Gel, but the color was altered in Photoshop

 

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sales@clanoflaherty.com (Scott Flaherty Photography) http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2012/3/photographing-water-drops Mon, 26 Mar 2012 18:24:00 GMT
Pro vs Amateur http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2012/3/pro-vs-amateur How many of you have participated in discussions of “pro” vs “amateur” DSLR cameras? As far as camera bodies are concerned, they’re just tools. Pick the one that best suits the work you’re trying to create. In many cases, that’ll mean having to own several different bodies, as each one may have capabilities applicable to different applications.

 
Personally, I’m tired of thinking in terms of “pro” vs “amateur”. I prefer to think about the skill level of a photographer, not his or her financial status. To me, being a “pro” says nothing about a person’s relative skill level. I’ve recently been spending time on 500px.com and the work created by amateurs there is absolutely stunning. How many of the “amateurs” on that site produce images that would blow away the work of many of the so called “pros” in the world.
 
I would recommend that you photogs out there focus more on the work you’re producing and less on how you label yourself.
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sales@clanoflaherty.com (Scott Flaherty Photography) http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2012/3/pro-vs-amateur Sun, 04 Mar 2012 19:24:00 GMT
Nikon Announces D800/D800E DSLRs http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2012/2/nikon-announces-d800/d800e-dslrs

A new Nikon FX-format digital SLR camera with the world's highest effective pixel count–36.3-million pixels–for noteworthy definition and image quality

TOKYO - Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the release of the Nikon D800 FX-format digital SLR camera. The D800 offers the world's highest* effective pixel count of 36.3-million pixels, and is equipped with the new EXPEED 3 image-processing engine and a 91K-pixel (approximately 91,000 pixels) RGB sensor for overwhelming definition and image quality. Nikon will be exhibiting the D800 at the CP+ CAMERA & PHOTO IMAGIING SHOW, to be held Thursday, February 9 through Sunday, February 12 in Yokohama, Japan. This exhibition is open to the public. *Among interchangeable lens digital SLR cameras equipped with image sensors conforming to the 35-mm film size as of February 7, 2012The D800, a new FX-format model offers an noteworthy effective pixel count of 36.3-million pixels. At its core is superior image quality equal to that achieved with medium-format digital cameras. The D800 is also equipped with a number of new functions for a high level of added value, all in a compact and lightweight body. In addition to a new Nikon FX-format CMOS image sensor and the new EXPEED 3 image-processing engine, specifically optimized for Nikon digital SLR cameras, the D800 is equipped with a new 91K-pixel (approximately 91,000 pixels) RGB sensor that supports the Advanced Scene Recognition System with its noteworthy advances in scene recognition performance. The camera is also equipped with a number of new functions, including Multi-area mode Full HD D-Movie that enables movie recording using either the FX-based movie format or the DX-based movie format. For users who demand an even greater sense of definition, Nikon also releases the D800E, a model that offers increased resolution for images with more dimension.

 

 
D800 Development Background

Reflecting Nikon's efforts to respond to a number of demands, including those for a higher pixel count, better image quality, and a smaller and lighter camera, the D800 is a digital SLR camera developed to capture still images with the superior resolution and record movies with the true high-definition picture quality demanded not only by advanced amateur photographers but also by professionals. Nikon is responding to the needs of users who demand more from photographs and movies with the recently announced D4, a flagship model that combines excellent definition and image quality with superior high-speed performance, and the D800, a model that offers the ultimate in resolution demanded for nature and studio photography.
 


D800 Primary Features

New Nikon FX-format CMOS image sensor

The D800 is equipped with a new Nikon FX-format CMOS image sensor and the new EXPEED 3 image-processing engine for Nikon digital SLR cameras. This new image-processing engine is faster and offers greater performance. The camera also offers the world's highest* effective pixel count of 36.3-million pixels. When combined with the sharp rendering of NIKKOR lenses, images exhibiting resolution equal to that achieved with medium-format digital cameras are possible. The D800 also responds to the demands of professional photographers with a standard sensitivity range of ISO 100–6400, and additional support for equivalents of ISO 50 (Lo 1) and up to ISO 25600 (Hi 2), for superior image and picture quality in dimly lit situations, such as just before sunrise and just after sunset, with shooting of still images as well as movie recording. *Among interchangeable lens digital SLR cameras equipped with image sensors conforming to the 35-mm film size as of February 7, 2012

New 91K-pixel RGB sensor for the more accurate Advanced Scene Recognition System

The D800 is equipped with a new 91K-pixel (approximately 91,000 pixels) RGB sensor. When a human face is detected in the frame, 3D Color Matrix Metering III bases exposure control on the brightness of that face so that the face is optimally exposed even with backlighting. In addition, the superior resolution of the metering sensor, which makes full use of an incredible 91,000 pixels, enables extremely precise analysis of the scene for more accurate control over autofocusing, auto exposure, i-TTL flash control, and auto white balance. *There is no display in the viewfinder that shows when a face or faces have been recognized.

Multi-area mode Full HD D-Movie for movie recording using one of two movie formats

The D800 records movies exhibiting superior resolution with optimal processing of information acquired from the 36.3-million pixel image sensor. Recording of 1920 x 1080p/30-fps full-HD movies is supported, and users can choose to record using the FX-based movie format or the DX-based movie format according to recording conditions. The FX-based movie format offers a shallow depth-of-field with an emphasis on blur characteristics while the DX-based movie format enables recording of movies that bring subjects closer when lenses with short focal lengths are used. The D800 is also equipped with a headphone jack and supports precise adjustment of microphone sensitivity. In addition, it supports simultaneous display of movies or the movie live view display in the camera monitor and on an external monitor. Further, the D800 responds to the needs of professionals who require uncompressed movie files with the ability to record movies directly to an external HDMI recorder in movie live view mode. The D800 also offers a time-lapse photography function that captures images at a selected interval and then combines the images to create a time-lapse movie that shows the changes in a particular scene that occur over time.

Viewfinder frame coverage of approximately 100%*1 and a lightweight and durable water- and dust-resistant body

The viewfinder built into the D800 supports a frame coverage of approximately 100%*1 and magnification of approximately 0.7x*2. Adoption of a magnesium alloy for the body gives the camera the same level of durability as the D700 with a weight approximately 10% less. *1With FX-format image area *2With 50-mm f/1.4 lens at infinity, -1.0 m-1

Support for high-speed continuous shooting and a variety of battery types with the Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D12 (optional)

The MB-D12 supports the Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries EN-EL15 and EN-EL18, common AA batteries, and the AC Adapter EH-5a/b (with Power Connector EP-5B). When the MB-D12 is mounted on the D800, high-speed continuous shooting at approximately 6 fps* using the DX-format image area is possible. The MB-D12 also offers the added convenience of controls, including shutter-release button, AF-ON button and multi-selector, for vertical shooting. What's more, the same seals as those used for the D800 with its magnesium body offer superior resistance to dust and water. *When powered by the AC adapter, or AA batteries or Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL18 with the MB-D12. Measured according to CIPA guidelines.

Other D800 Functions and Features

  • A 51-point AF system for improved subject acquisition and focus performance under dim lighting. In addition, 11 focus points (five at center with an addition three to each side) are fully functional when lenses with a maximum aperture of f/8 are used.
  • A 3.2-inch, approximately 921k-dot LCD monitor with reinforced glass, automatic monitor brightness control, and wide viewing angle
  • A virtual horizon that shows the degree to which the camera is tilted sideways (roll), or forward or backward (pitch) with display in the monitor and viewfinder
  • A new shutter unit that has passed testing for 200,000 cycles and supports a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 s and flash sync speed of 1/250 s
  • Continuous shooting at 4 (FX-format/5 : 4 image area) or 5 (DX-format/1.2x image area) fps* *When powered by a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL15
  • CompactFlash and SD dual memory card slots
  • Support for SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0)

 
The D800E with specifications for even greater resolution with an effective pixel count of 36.3-million pixels

In-camera disabling of the aliasing and moiré pattern reduction operation performed by the optical low-pass filter built into the D800E allows light passing through a NIKKOR lens to strike photodiodes directly for even greater resolution. This makes this model optimal for landscape and artistic photography with which higher resolution and clear definition is demanded. With the exception of the modification indicated above, all other functions and characteristics are the same as with the D800.

  • Aliasing and moiré patterns may be more noticeable in images captured with the D800E with some subjects, scenes or shooting conditions.
  • Optical low-pass filter IR coating and anti-reflection coating performance is the same with both the D800 and the D800E.
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sales@clanoflaherty.com (Scott Flaherty Photography) http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2012/2/nikon-announces-d800/d800e-dslrs Tue, 07 Feb 2012 19:24:00 GMT
Cedar Falls http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2011/7/cedar-falls This Spring was a very wet season here in central Ohio. The middle of April to the middle of May is usually the best time of the year to photograph waterfalls in the Hocking Hills region. The excessive rainfall this Spring made it even better than usual. Here is a shot from Cedar Falls.

Cedar Falls, Hocking Hills, Ohio

 

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sales@clanoflaherty.com (Scott Flaherty Photography) http://store.clanoflaherty.com/blog/2011/7/cedar-falls Sat, 09 Jul 2011 18:24:00 GMT