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  1. #561
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    ... The push is to have a very tightly constrained specialty for your photo work. The "generalist" photography gig does not sell all that well in a city. You will starve to death. You have to be "focused" on a specific genre and create a portfolio depicting your focused efforts in that regard.

    So, that means no cute, cuddly kittens with your images of skyscrapers. No nature photographs with your fashion runway girls. No aviation shots with children's portraits. No fine food photographs with those images of astronomical events.

    One theme ... and you better make it good. ...
    Don, you should check out this month's issue of Digital Photo Pro. It has a pretty good article on aviation photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peekayoh View Post
    ... Also I think you did good to tell Calumet where to stick that "Armored" card and you're also right that the A850 couldn't use the extra speed seeing as 36MB/sec is about the maximum write speed. A UDMA6 card reader would improve the transfer speed to your computer but that's about it and not worth the additional expense unless you are sports or news Photog.

    I took a look at what Calumet say about the "Armored" card and AFAIK it's meaningless and doesn't justify the price hike.

    [i]ProSpec Armored memory cards are built tough for use in harsh environments and exceed normal memory card's performance. Each Armored Compact Flash card is subjected to rigorous testing, then put through a patented process that protects the card from extreme operating temperatures (-58F to 212F / -50 C to 100 C), underwater submersion, rain, humidity, impact, shock, dust and more. Although optimized for use with professional-quality DSLR cameras, it will also offer maximum performance when use with other digital devices.
    What do they think we're going to be taking pictures inside a hot oven or in boiling water???? I can see it's use in the Arctic areas, but really, who want's to be out in -58F weather???
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

  2. #562
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Thumbs up Pulling aerial-stunts

    Quote Originally Posted by DWessel View Post
    Don, you should check out this month's issue of Digital Photo Pro. It has a pretty good article on aviation photography.
    Darin, thank you for sharing that article ("Air-to-Air") referral. It definitely makes you more aware of preparation importance and the dynamics involved in there rather "risky" photographic situations. My recent interest was with doing this from a helicopter... but, that is far more expensive than I had imagined, once I investigated it. It was around 1650/hr. (based on actual, in-seat flying time until landing, not warm up of the craft) Of course, you defer these costs to the customer, but my goodness, there is still practice time which will come from somewhere, I imagine. Call it the "Cost of Education."

    Flying in a performance aircraft and getting dynamically thrown around, while shooting, is a little beyond these ancient bones, though. I might have gone for something like that in my early twenties and mid-thirties... but, beyond that... hey, I need to maintain basic and less painful functionality.

    Obviously, it would be nice to have a special aircraft, modified in ways that could afford a flying "vantage point" and specifically cater to the photographer and not only "passengers." Perhaps it could have quick and safe removable/replaceable observation ports, much like the gun turret on the old WWII aircraft, but also would allow the photographer a safe, comfortable, working environment, that caters to this precarious perch.

    One of the things the article mentioned was having loose/free photo equipment/gear accidentally interfering with the aircraft control systems (similar to a pop can rolling under an accelerator of a car, answering a cell phone while juggling a meal from a drive-through, etc). That could be solved by engineering the "photographer's compartment" to be isolated from the pilot/co-pilot, and having a suitable access/egress point available, just in case the pilot and photo-guy need to exchange or assist each other.

    Again, this is all pipe(r-cub) dreaming, but still... there is that market that is looking on-high.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 05-17-2011 at 01:36 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

  3. #563
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Weather ... or not?

    Well, the weather is changing back to something almost useful. The winter snow, sub-freezing temperatures and slop are gone, but the thunderstorms and tornado activity are dotting the Midwest, so taking outdoor images is still unbelievably challenging. Although I acquired my telescope last October, I still have yet to make substantial use of it, although last November, I did get to see the four visible moons of Jupiter, in the night sky. Most impressive.

    Anyway, I really want to try this 2032mm f/10 (f/6.3 w/ enhancement) lens and see how effective this lens really is. Unlike many other lenses, you need at least 29-feet minimum between you and your subject to properly focus. 30-feet exceeds the width of most houses, so no indoor shots.

    I also bought a light enhancing filter, which concentrates the available light almost 1.5 f/stops brighter. Now, I was skeptical about such a device, as training has taught me that light tends to degrade through optical devices, unless electronically enhanced. Well, after using this "filter", I am definitely changing my mind, because it does what it says! I shot images with it and without it and there is quite difference. Now, it does cause vignetting, on the Full Frame sensor (α850), as it push the camera further away from the back of the telescope, so there is that. If I use a APS-C sensor (α700), it is less noticeable in both cases, as the center is "cropped." But, let's face it, when you are scraping for available light ... decisions, decisions. Just for fun, I may try to add it to my MF 800mm f/8 reflex lens (also T-mount). If it works, the available light should be almost f/5!

    EXIF for both: 1/3 second, ISO-3200

    w/o light enhancing filter
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    w/ light enhancing filter
    Name:  w light enhancing filter.jpg
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    Why, it's like having almost... too much power!

    "Muhahahahahaha!"

    Name:  evil-smiley-face-small.jpg
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    Sorry...
    Last edited by DonSchap; 05-24-2011 at 12:54 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

  4. #564
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Thumbs up A lesson in discussion

    Tonight was kind of an interesting night at school. A couple of other students and I sat around discussing the requirements of good and solid photography. The list was rather involved as we shook out various camera bodies, various lenses and then shooting styles. Of course, there were those who insisted on brand type, but by the end of the discussion, it was ultimately decided that the variants of cameras were so close to one another, it really was not worth the argument. The big difference in overall approach was having a Full Frame and getting the most out of your available glass. That lead into the most important aspect, after full frame ... GLASS.

    Most of us agreed that to be able to deliver the best shot you can was to slap on the best lens you can. No matter how it was put forth, simply having a sharply focused, well-resolved image could not be denied. Getting it to the sensor was, simply put, the MOST important aspect in shooting. The sensor will do what it can with it, but get the best image circle possible to it. Hence, justifying the idea that great lenses lead to greater improvement in your photography. Simply eliminate the "glass variable", altogether.

    In the end, this discussion was definitely worth its time. Allowing people to, quite literally, see why you have to have the best possible optic (within reason) to deliver the best possible image to your sensor. As we all know, a slightly unfocused image rarely is the source of brilliant accolades. Sure, there is the deliberate soft-focus for portrait work, but let's try and keep an open mind about this. Most images are offered positive critique when they are superbly sharp, edge-to-edge and have nice contrast. That's what people want to see, for the most part. If you get a repeatedly soft image, you hunt for a reason... camera-shake (which is eliminated with use of a tripod, more often than not), lens is out of adjustment/alignment, or it is just a poor optical construction altogether (yes, Virginia, there are crappy lenses).

    The point is, the review of lenses is constant and worth your time. If your imaging is important to you ... it is the lens first. Then get a better sensor behind it. Once the gear is in place, no more excuses about the gear. It is up to you to get that shot, well-framed and properly exposed.
    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

  5. #565
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Cool Progressing beyond school... into the real market

    Well, as luck would have it, the thrust of "Internship" is becoming simply the search for a photographic job of substance. With that pursuit in mind, I went about looking and found a position that involves not only taking images, but organizing them into a redundant, accessible, search-able and protected source for other members of the particular company to be able to access quickly and easily. Not only that, they want me to provide videography, too. If that wasn't bad enough... here is the real ringer ... you have to have all your OWN equipment.

    Yes, there were some basic elements of video in ILIS's digital photography curriculum, but nothing to prepare you for actual production-level video. That is a whole 'nother genre called "Digital Filmmaking & Video Production", but even that curriculum does not prepare you for being a "still" photographer. It is kind of a Catch-22, of sorts. Two very different degree pursuits.

    I mean, it is one thing to camcorder a few action sequences, then another to try and get journalistic reporting for an event. Normally, there is a crew of several people for this kind of thing, not one guy running around with basic camcorder or dslr-video camera. Personally, I think this job may be beyond a single person.

    Anyway, in response to this challenge, I went looking to see what SONY had in their equipment to combat such a request, as far as A-mount/E-mount compatible equipment. Something I could use all my existing glass on, to eliminate further expense, in that regard. Well, as luck would have it, they just released this ...

    Name:  Zeiss lens on NEX100uk.jpg
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    (Click on above image to link to catalog description)



    Just under $6,000 w/o the glass, of course.

    No, it's not your father's SLR. Hell, it's not even my DSLR. This is the NEXFS100UK ... the "professional" version of the NEX bodies, combining pro-level expectation with the NEX design. The body weighs only 2 lbs 4 ounces ... or about the same as the SONY CZ 135mm f/1.8 lens which you see fitted to the front of it. It may be the answer to the request. Anyone have an extra $6000?
    Last edited by DonSchap; 05-24-2011 at 07:25 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

  6. #566
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Mount Pleasant, SC
    Posts
    145
    If I did have that much money lying around, I would own that SONY CZ 135mm f/1.8 lens which you see fitted to the front of it.
    Joe Holmes
    Sony α550
    Sony HVL-F42AM Flash
    Sony DT18-55 F3.5-5.6 (Kit Lens)
    Minolta Maxxum 50 1:1.7(22) Prime
    Minolta 35-70 F4 (Mini Beercan)
    Minolta 70-210 F4 (Beercan)
    Minolta 28-135 F4-4.5 (This beast is pretty heavy)
    Minolta Maxxum 100-200 F4.5
    Quantaray D28-90 1:3.5-5.6 Ver 5
    Tamron DiII 55-200 1:4.5-6

  7. #567
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    If I had that much money lying around... the Wife would probably help me spend it, but not on a VidCam I think.

  8. #568
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602
    If I had that much money lying around, I'd have a full line up of CZ glass.
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

  9. #569
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Angry SIGMA AF 120-300mm f/2.8 DG EX HSM OS ... production date quashed

    Well, for some reason, the "brain trust" at SIGMA has decided to quash the production date for the SONY-version of the AF 120-300mm f/2.8 DG EX APO HSM OS. I spoke to their Technical Support and they seemed to have no problem telling that this had happened.

    That is truly unfortunate, as I was looking forward to hauling that muscle-building optic around with me. Now, that idea is toast. Unfortunately, their is not any competition for this lens, either. It truly is in a class by itself.

    Will it dramatically impact my photography? Guess, the world will never know. In my experience, you cannot shoot it if you do not have it. I know I am not planning to change my camera manufacturer any time soon just to have access to the lens.
    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. #570
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Exclamation The Business Plan

    I began the basic Business Plan for Schap Digital Imaging, this weekend, and I have to say... this is a monstrous undertaking. The bulk of it, like most businesses, is the sheer amount accounting that must be begun, maintained and finished, every day.

    I have place just the raw outline together, with a couple fill ins and we are up to 38 pages. I am having trouble getting the insurance agent to respond with my request for a quote. I guess business must be really good for him.

    Another person that will be similarly relied upon is the small business banker I am going to have to contact to get the show on the road.

    More importantly is the client base. I know, "Who's that?" The imaginary client of the school is going to bite the dust in short order ... and I will need replacement(s). Hmmm, who could that be?
    Last edited by DonSchap; 06-04-2011 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

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