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Posts posted by benjamindbloom

  1. <p>I have had problems with reds in both nightclub/live music situations and when shooting roses. I take Jody's approach above and underexpose when something is primarily lit by red or orange light sources; I figured either the sensor was overly sensitive to reds or the meter was undersensitive. Now that I think about it, I tend to desaturate the reds a touch when shooting portraits, too. <br>

    I've noticed this on my 20d, 50d, and 5d. </p>

  2. <p>When I was called they asked for days that I had known conflicts. I had some business trips planned that would have been expensive or impossible to rebook. I notified them and it was not an issue. </p>

    <p>I would call and ask about how it works in your jurisdiction; I believe ours was even more lenient for self-employed citizens. They're not trying to put you out of business and if you can talk to an actual person you can probably find a good compromise. </p>

  3. <p>John - I've held that belief for a while, too. The alternate side of the argument is that by switching cards more often, you increase the chance of imparting failure (dropping a card into a puddle, losing a card, etc..) I'm not sure which one scares me more anymore. </p>

    <p>4GB backs up to a DVD well, 8GB backs up to a double-layer DVD.. I usually shoot 8's now. </p>

  4. <p>I bring at least two fully charged batteries per camera. Usually, I find I don't need to swap batteries for a typical day shooting, but I do things like turn off autopreview to minimize battery drain. Nadine makes an important point about retiring batteries after a time period. They definitely get old and don't hold as much juice. I label my batteries alphabetically. I know that "A" is my oldest battery and holds the least juice. I don't use it for hired shoots.<br>

    Flash batteries... at least a full set of NiMH batteries per flash plus two sets of alkalines for each flash. Would love to have all NiMH backups, but shelf life, price, and recharge time keep me buying alkaline as backups.<br>

    As for media - I bring as much as I can. Enough to store a few thousand RAW photos. You can calculate how much storage you need if you estimate how many photos you'll take and know the approximate size of your RAW images. </p>

    <p> </p>

  5. <p>I have a Tamron (I think?) grip that I purchased for my 20D. It was always a little flakey, often losing connection and to the point where I didn't trust it on important shoots. On my 50D, it works like a charm. Been very reliable.</p>
  6. <p>I live just outside of Burlington. </p>

    <p>There's a followup article on the Seven Days blog, if it hasn't already been posted (didn't see it) http://bit.ly/b7xZn5</p>

    <p>Church Street is a pedestrian street running four blocks. I believe it's public property and as such I don't believe the photographer has broken any laws. I also believe that both sides probably could have handled the situation better much earlier on in the process. </p>

  7. <p>I have, I think, the lens you're talking about. I bought it just before the vII came out. I love the lens. It focuses accurately and produces nice images. It's my go-to lens for sports and outdoor portraiture (though I also adore my 85f/1.8). It's not as fast focusing as the Canon 70-200's that I've used, but it's fast enough. I don't often find myself wanting for more speed, just notice it when I pick up the Canon version. <br>

    Cons: It's heavy (as are all lenses this size) and the cool grippy/rubberized finish it came with is flaking off. Doesn't bother me, the images are still great. <br>

    I'd buy one again; much cheaper than the Canons and still takes great photos.</p>

  8. <p>Is there a way to Sync / batch apply / preset / default the Process Version in Lightroom 3? </p>

    <p>I'm editing now and want to use the Process Version 2 noise reduction on all of them. All of the photos are defaulting to Process Version 1. I've got presets defined for the rest of the adjustments I want to make to most of the photos, but I can't find a way to quickly sync the process version. On his blog, Matt Kloskowski mentioned selecting all of the images in the filmstrip and setting process version, but it's not working for me. </p>


  9. <p>Hal & Eric, I'll play with some shots at 1/60th to get some panning, but I usually find I need to shoot faster. The speedlights help stop the action, but unless I really knock down the ambient, the faster the shutter the better. It'll be interesting to pay attention in post to which shutter speeds cause the most problems for me. <br>

    The vast grey background gets filled with 2,000 cheering fans, so I don't want to drop the ambient too far. :) Dropping the saturation is a good call - especially considering I can use an LR Adjustment brush to so easily bring it back up on the main subject.<br>

    Mark - when you say "color meter it ... then correct your flashes" I assume a color meter is a piece of equipment much like a light meter, but measures the color of your lights? 'twould be nice to have, but alas not likely for this event. <br>

    Thanks for the advice, everyone!</p>

  10. <p>Derek - I'd have to keep my shutter below 1/60th to keep a whole cycle, right? I'll keep that in mind when I pick panning speeds, but usually I need to juice the shutter as much as possible to stop action. </p>

    <p>Michael - funny you mention that; I was just considering an Expo Disc. It's my understanding that I'd point it at the light source, take a few shots (a few because they cycle) and then be able to set a custom white balance. correct? Any way I could then use this (in camera) to figure out how to gel my speedlights to match? If it helps, I'll have a 50d and a 5d with me.</p>

  11. <p>Thanks, Matt. That's been my approach so far -- take a bunch of shots of my gray card, hope I hit the cycles, and set up a few WB presets in Lightroom. I can usually get away with shooting RAW on my 50D and not outpace the buffer too badly. </p>

    <p>So am I best off continuing to shoot with ungelled flashes? Typically, I find that when the skater is nicely lit with flash, the background goes greenish yellow. If I correct for the background, the skater's skin tones go out of whack. What would happen if I gelled 1/4 green or maybe a partial straw? Or does that just complicate a matter that would be better dealt with in post? </p>

    <p>You're dead on for horsepower -- I can light an individual skater and darken down the backgrounds pretty well, but then I'd need a few more lights to fill them back in to see the crowd, refs, etc. I've got four flashes to draw from, but still... :)</p>

  12. <p>So I'm shooting again this weekend in a room I've shot in a few times. It's roller-derby, so it's fast action but very predictable as far as where the skaters will be. Typically, I'll set up two hotshoe flashes on stands. balancing their color to the lights in the ceiling has been a nightmare, though. </p>

    <p>Can anyone provide any assistance in figuring out the best way to gel to match these lights? They seem to flicker between green and magenta.</p>

    <p><img src="http://sonicbloom.org/share/lights_room.jpg" alt="" /><img src="http://sonicbloom.org/share/lights_closeup.jpg" alt="" /></p>

    <p>The way they cycle, I expect there will be a fair bit of failure, but I'm hoping it's not a completely lost cause..</p>


  13. <p>I started with the two lenses you have: 18-55 (non IS) and a 50 1.8. Using these two lenses, I started to figure out my camera and, eventually, what qualities I wanted out of future lenses. The 18-55 will be a fine walkaround lens for a little while. Does it take amazingly beautiful photos? No, but they're adequate. The reality is, your composition, exposure, and focus will likely be more of a problem than your gear. I know that was very true for me; still is, I guess.</p>

    <p>If you're dead set on buying a lens, then recommendations for a f/2.8 constant zoom are good. The 17-85 (or the new 15-85?) both image stabalized are good walkaround lenses. Depending on where/what you like to shoot, you may want to consider an inexpensive flash instead of a new lens. If you're inside a lot, a 430EX is a great flash to bounce and give you enough light to use your kit lens without going to high ISO. </p>

    <p>Take lots of photos. Share both the good ones and the troubling ones. The advice you get on the photos that didn't come out properly will help you determine what your next gear purchases should be. Best regards.</p>

  14. <p>So you have a a 580 and you're looking at either a 430 or a ST-E2? I'd get the 430 because it gives you a second light. You can then use the 430 off camera and use the 580 on camera for fill. If you just get the ST-E2, you can get the 580 off camera, but will not have a fill. </p>

    <p>If you already have other lights, I'll let others chime in on their experiences using the ST-E2 vs 580 as a master; I've only used the 580.</p>


  15. <p>Have you tried both with and without automask turned on? I find that AutoMask significantly slows down the adjustment brush tool. It's getting better with every version, though. </p>

    <p>Additionally, have you tried the LR3 beta? I haven't done meaningful/accurate comparisons, but it feels like it responds faster on most things. </p>

  16. <p>Do you mean from the large LCD on the back? um.. I think there's a mode where I can see what point is selected on that screen, but I can't change it by touching the screen, if that's what you mean. </p>

    <p>By pressing the right-most thumb button (I think that's the one, working from memory) and spinning the wheel, I can set the point either in the viewfinder or by looking at the top LCD.</p>

    <p> </p>

  17. <p>I manually select my AF point at all times. The only time I may consider letting the camera select the point would be with a wide angle lens taking party snapshots.</p>

    <p>I use the thumb button to autofocus, shutter does AE and trip the shutter. </p>

    <p>I select the AF point closest to the eye (for portraits) and focus on it. I may make a slight recompose if the AF point doesn't give me the framing I want. </p>

    <p>I have my 50D set up to select AF points by either a) tapping the joystick or b) hitting the AF-point thumb button and spinning the wheel. The latter is handy if I have the grip attached.</p>

    <p>If it is low light, I will often use the center AF point and recompose. Having just upgraded to the 50D, the idea of shooting wide and cropping for composition has crossed my mind, but runs counter to my normal approach of throwing away as few pixels as possible.</p>

  18. <p>I would look at sling straps like the R-strap by Black Rapid. There are other straps that work in a similar way. Basically, one camera will hang by your hip (right hip, usually) and then you can use your other camera strap around your neck, as usual, or you could get a second sling strap to hang it by your left hip. I rigged a similar strap to the R-strap by taking an old neoprene strap and sewing the ends together around a D-ring with a metal clasp on it (from an old briefcase, actually..) I was cautious with it at first, but I've grown to love it. </p>

    <p>I know some others adjust the lengths of the two camera straps so one hangs above the other, but I always end up catching one in the crotch when I do that. </p>

    <p>Another option I saw recently was a large open topped "bag" that fit a pro-size body with a 70-200. It was slung down around the left hip. When the photographer needed the long lens, her regular camera was released to hang around her neck (or possibly a strap attached to this bag) and she reached in for the other camera. I'm curious what the bag was, because it looked pretty handy. This solution would probably provide the best protection for the unused camera with the downside that it wouldn't work very well with a flash attached. </p>

  19. <p>I have the Sigma 70-200 2.8 and a Sigma 2x teleconverter. I assume their 1.4x would work better than the 2x and give you f/4 with autofocus. I don't use my 2x often, but when I need something long it does OK. If you've already got the 70-200, I say give the teleconverter a try - it's pretty cheap. If you're looking for a completely new solution, you'll get better results buying a longer lens, if you can swallow the price.</p>
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