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  1. #811
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
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    9,554
    Red Rocks, NV... this place is cool. Yeah. you can quote me on that opinion.

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    SONY a850 & 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM
    @ 70mm - f/11 - 1/60 sec - ISO-200 - Tripod - Natural Lighting - 7-panel Panorama HDR +/- 2Ev Bracketing


    I mean, look at that texture...

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    SONY a850 & 70-400mm f/4-5.6 G SSM
    @ 70mm - f/11 - 1/60 sec - ISO-200 - Tripod - Natural Lighting - HDR +/- 2Ev Bracketing


    Even the opposing view is amazing...

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    and getting closer... below is easily a 200-foot section of...

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    THIS

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    My daughter even joined in on the fun... as we scaled some of these very serious-looking rock formations,

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    Last edited by DonSchap; 02-26-2012 at 01:47 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  2. #812
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    New Gear...

    As a student, basically having chosen SONY gear, I am always looking to see what the upcoming gear holds in store for our chosen field of fun.

    Considering the limited presence they have in the market, SONY did a pretty good job of presenting their stuff, at the WPPI Trade Show. They had a shooting session going on, almost constantly, behind their display... featuring a couple of female models dressed as brides. The current crop of equipment was displayed, too...

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    What had me a bit perplexed was the lack of the high-end NEX FS100UK video camera for exhibition. I mean they had the new SONY 500mm f/4 G SSM lens for $13,000, but not this pro-level video camera body, only the VG20? I found it strange.

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    Last edited by DonSchap; 02-26-2012 at 12:30 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  3. #813
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    RF TTL for the SONY

    Well, during my exchange with the staff around the counter of the SONY booth, at the WPPI Trade Show, they brought to my attention a third-party RF solution to the proprietary SONY hot-shoe TTL information issue, which they had only learned of while doing the CES Show, the prior month. Now, a few folks were aware of this device, back in November, but it did not get a lot of play.


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    Click on the image for link to Gadget Infinity Retailer

    This is supposed to be all you need to reliably RF-tether your HVL flash unit to your hot shoe and have the complete TTL functionality. They make these for Canon and Nikon, too. It has a USB port and is "updatable," has a PC-port for strobe-sync and you can stack your HVL flash on top of it, too, to maintain on the camera flash, if you so chose. Pixel makes kits with up to four receivers, which can be also be purchased separately. There is not much of a price break on these. It seems to be a convenience thing.

    For a $150, for one transmitter and receiver, it seems like a steal, compared to what a single new PocketWizard PLUS III ($139) and the SONY Adapter ($109) solutions. You still would need a PLUS III for the strobe and a hot shoe adapter for the SONY HVL flash. Just messy. Believe me. By the time you're through, you are well over $400 and still not have TTL!

    Here are the SPECIFICATIONS (<- Click on this) on it

    Here's the catch: Pixel King does not support Sony Wireless function (External flash function setting)

    Again, the wireless function is part of the camera's communication and who would not love the RF-menu control "in the camera's menu?" Anyway, this should be somewhat helpful compared to the very limited alternatives that are currently available... and significantly cheaper.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 03-05-2012 at 07:56 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  4. #814
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    I bought a set of these last year. I'm still waiting for the firmware upgrade that makes them work with the A77.

  5. #815
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554
    Did you sell off the a900?

    On the Dyxum forum, as I review the members findings, there are a lot of complex issues concerning advanced operations. Basically, the ratio-control of the flash units resides in the HVL flash, itself. There is no way for the camera body to generate this end of the process, unless SONY took the time to revise the necessary firmware and move this ratio controller functionality down into the camera body.

    Even worse, the a100 has a rudimentary flash adjustment system (program), unlike the next generation models. It is a unique, almost prototype-model and people really need to realize that. They have to quit trying to fit this half-baked camera into the standard mold of the follow-on models.

    As I have contended, unless SONY partners with Pixel (which I doubt will ever happen), they need to step up and build this control functionality, from the top down, into the camera body and use RF-only to control all future and prior flash designs. There is no reason they cannot add a RF-transceiver shooting adapter to the foot of the various flash units, for whatever feedback-filled exchange that the earlier flash device is capable of.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 03-06-2012 at 07:04 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  6. #816
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    The clock ticks...

    Two weeks left and I am finished, degree'd and out, indeed. It is weird reaching this point. In my "Internship" class, I was able to relate my trip to Las Vegas and the enormously great experience it was, as the jaws dropped:

    "You went to Vegas as an INTERN?"

    "Uh, yeah! Didn't you?"

    Anyway, I was able to show my desert images... and relate how I enjoyed going as a "student" and only paying $20 for the student admission instead of the $325 fee that the rest of the working world has to sport. I mean, that's hard to turn down. I went Super-Economy for the flight there and back... and kept my room and car expenses on the cheap, also. So, although it was kind of a surprise venture, overall, it was definitely worth the trip. My last hurrah as "Mr. Student."

    Again... realizing that this is all coming to an end is a little weird. Looking back, on this thread... I can only hope you all got some entertainment and a little educational direction, yourself. It was a start-to-finish effort and more of a challenge than I had believed.

    Was it worth it? Heck yeah!

    Would I do it, again? Uh... hard to say. I am a little ambivalent about whether or not I had gotten all I that could have out of the experience. I know there were paradigms where there should not have been and they were not there for my protection or anything along those lines. There was also a "power-struggle" for artistic/creative expression, which really should not happen in an Art School. This is the place where you should be able to explore yourself and your chosen avenue of expression, operating within certain guidelines to provide for common safety and whatnot.

    I also was not to crazy about the stringent attendance policy to slowly crept in as I went along. It interfered with my activities to produce the desired artistic result. You really need to be able to negotiate your class attendance, so that you can adequately and reasonably accommodate your projects. These classes are not always scheduled at the most convenient times for the students, but were more geared to facilitate the faculty and their schedules. That kind of thing is not really fair to the students paying the big bucks for these instructors and this education. Again, I do believe that a modicum of latitude would go a long way it that regard.

    There is a certain wow-factor to having it all come to an end. A ton of work... the sense of accomplishment... the chance to actually get employed? I have my camera...
    Last edited by DonSchap; 03-06-2012 at 08:40 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  7. #817
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Presentation

    Well, this week I am working on developing my "Presentation" for the Portfolio Show. The 6' x 10' Image on Heavy Weight Vinyl Tarp came in, a print from this image...

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    and it is a piece of work.

    I placed on my collapsible backdrop stand and with only the main two horizontal bars in use, it is darn near a perfect fit. That made me smile.

    Then I went down to the basement and retrieved my 3' x 6' table, that is the same size as the one provided by the facility where the show is being held. The facility also provides a basic white table cloth to fully cover it, but white is not working for me. I want BLACK, so I have my own. I then placed my 11" x 17" image portfolio in the center of the table top, in order to get a feel of how it will fit, proportionally and how much of the tabletop will be left for other items, such as business cards, resumes and some other heavy-duty images I had wanted to call attention to.

    Anyway, with my ceiling (at home) limited to 8'... I extended the backdrop stands as close as I dare, without scratching the ceiling... and took a preliminary shot of the presentation concept.

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    Anyway, at the actual show room area, the stands will extend their full 13-foot height, suspending the bottom edge of the full-length backdrop to the top of the table. I think it may look interesting enough to warrant some attention. After attending several of the portfolio shows, I noticed that no one seemed to be making use of the vertical space behind the table presentations. Oh, some would put up a couple of mounted shots, but nothing really big. Okay... time for a shake up.

    I am also debating on whether or not to put my rolling-image digital frame display from the previous Art Direction Show. I figure that it is not as risky as leaving out an iPad HD or a laptop. I can hide it behind the two images of the train shot (the first, the "final image" and the second, the reflective-bounce-lighting drape application.... so if someone wants to watch the massive background lighting ideas, it is there, already running.

    When I originally considered my final presentation, almost a year ago, I had something entirely different in mind. Of course, that was before I found out what lenticular printing set-up charges were for a one-off lenticular creation. Yeah, about $1000-1400, with no guaranty the critical registration would be as good as it may need to be. I truly wanted a 3D-looking, 6-foot tall image of a man, who's eyes would follow you as you moved around the table, then as you reached the end, it would either reach out and grab you or look like it took take your picture, with a huge flash. I calculated it to be at least 20-30 separate images deep, for about 1/2-3/4 seconds of movement, based on the 24-30 images per second rate. When I worked it out, it looked like a $4000 expenditure. Buzz... that's a rethink of that idea.

    My main thrust is present in the fact that I am not shy about using my camera and in my photographic efforts. If someone wants it shot... let's get to work.

    Anyway, If you have any additional nice ideas... I am in "listening mode"... and that, my friend... is rare indeed.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 03-13-2012 at 08:13 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  8. #818
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Johnny come lately...

    Yesterday, my digital photography professor wrote me and said that he truly liked my landscape work from the Las Vegas trip. I had presented the images, during my Internship class (which he leads), a few days after I got back. So, here I am looking at this note, saying to myself, "Now, he tells me." I mean, the show is next week and I have been struggling not to forget important things in my portfolio... and there is nothing from this very recent trip in it.

    Oh, I had an inkling it was nice-looking, but a few shots is all I have that is representative of that kind of work... and a successful one-off does not necessarily imply success with future efforts, although I have a number of one-off efforts to choose from, also. I mean, there is only so much time in the day. Repeats are usually redundant... and if you do not have to... why?

    So, last night I went and printed a few of these landscapes with the Epson 3800 on some of the finest bright white paper I have found, 13" x 19" MagicLee Verona 250HD 100% cotton Fine Art Paper. There is not a hint of shine of this stuff, but it renders the colors and blacks beautifully. People always remark on its quality feel. This morning, I brought it in for the professor's and other student's review and, of course, the crowd goes nuts. The professor insisted that I go ahead and print at least one big one for the Portfolio Show... and I'm like at a loss to pick which one to do, as I had printed five from the collection. I offer him the choice and, of course, he picks the longest panorama I had made up (seven images).

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    So, I took the file down to the Print Services room and all they have is single-weight, white matte and white glossy paper. We do a test print on both types and the glossy wins over the matte finish. While this white does not pop the color level like the Verona 250HD does, the sheer sharpness and size of the image is amazing. Yeah, I went and printed this banner at 70" x 13". I then had to transport it to a "mounting" vendor, because there is just no way I am proficient to linearly trim and mount something this large... and have it look "professional." Sorry... I am still a student... for another week.

    I plan on hanging this "monster-print" on the front of the black table cloth, pushed back a bit, so it stays out of the way, but it is clearly available for pass & review. I also got notification that I have the "corner spot", which has no one on the one side.

    Therefore, between the huge backdrop and the landscape... I am breaking new ground, in a six-foot space, for this kind of show. I hope I inspire something out of the next class. That would be the best reward. I really want to see these younger students... work.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 03-14-2012 at 06:48 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  9. #819
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,554

    Talk about "pins and needles"

    The PORTFOLIO SHOW!

    Can you believe it? Pinch me!

    Tomorrow (3/22), from 2-3pm, the 2012 Winter Quarter Graduates get their chance to join the ranks of graduates from The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg.

    This is what it comes to... and the finality of it is deafening. In a way, it could not come soon enough... and in another... too soon! An in another... it's like one hand clapping.

    Just got keep whistling... the sun will come up, tomorrow.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  10. #820
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,562
    Congrats!!!

    Frank
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

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