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on Sep 8, 2015 in Moose's Camera Bag

Gotta Have Power!

You simply gotta have power to run our babies! There was a time when with the first DSLRs of fifteen years ago you had to switch out the battery every time you switch CF Cards (and those were 64MB cards!). Those days are long gone, thank goodness!!! But there are times when our ability to charge our batteries can be the challenge. On my recent trip to Africa, I just didn’t know what power we’d have for charging batteries so I took extra batteries. I’ve had a lot of you have asked about off brand batteries. As you might have figured, I’m a “stick with the brand” kinda guy so have always stuck with the Nikon EN-EL18A to power my D4s. Well I had a sample of the Watson D4 battery come in and figured this was the perfect time to do a true field test and as it turned out, a stress test field test! The EN-EL18a is a 10.8V, 2500mAh battery that has served me brilliantly! The...

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on Aug 26, 2015 in Camera Tech

What the Hell is Flare?

“That’s Flare?!” Had a person exclaim this last week at Photoshop World when I answered their question, “Why does my image look flat and colorless?” I post this image taken a couple of weeks ago which I think is a classic example of flare in action. The top of the frame is normal, the bottom part of the frame has flare contamination. The lions mane around his ears has contrast and color, the lower mane is flat and colorless. I could see this in the viewfinder and took this photo just to illustrate the issue of flare. Shooting with the 800mm (D4s), I had the tiniest pinch of direction sunlight striking the bottom of JUST the front element (no other elements in the lens). That light was enough to cause the most common form of flare which for most photographers, is really hard to see in the viewfinder. In the case of the lion, to remove the flare, I asked that the vehicle be moved forward just one foot...

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on Aug 21, 2015 in Moose's Camera Bag

Tascam DR-40

I’ve been doing a whole bunch of interviews of late. I take notes for important points, but count on a digital recorder to record the entire interview. My old Olympus LS-14 does a great job, but I found I needed a separate recorder for video as well. I went looking and asked advise of the experts at B&H Video and got the Tascam DR-40 and love it! This is why … The DR-40 captures up to four tracks from built-in, high-quality condenser microphones, XLR mic or line inputs. The internal mics are adjustable from XY to AB position, helping you to tailor your recording to the sound of the room. A pair of great-sounding TASCAM microphone preamps welcome condenser microphones with phantom power, recording at up to 96kHz/24-bit resolution. It accommodates balanced XLR or 1/4″ line inputs using locking Neutrik Combo jacks. The DR-40 accepts SD or SDHC cards up to 32GB, and a 2GB card is included. Once recorded, play back your takes with EQ and the optional...

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on Aug 20, 2015 in Camera Tech

“You Use HSC?”

“You shoot with a 800mm lens, you use HSC?” This is what a person exclaimed at me at PSW last week in a hallway conversation. They exclaimed it when I said I do and in fact, used it quite a bit on my Africa trip the previous week. They asked the obvious question. Why? That answer is actually real simple, for the subject in the viewfinder I wanted no only the bigger image size, but I needed the faster FPS to capture the action. In the perfect world, first, I would be lying on the ground making on the shot. Second, I would move closer physically to make the shot. But I was in a Landie in Africa so neither was possible. I have the Video Record button on my D4s set so when depressed and sub-command dial is turned, the camera goes into HSC (High Speed Crop). So making this shot of a calling Wattled Plover (above straight, below with HSC) was really rather quite simple. It’s a...

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on Aug 18, 2015 in Moose's Camera Bag

New Nikon Lenses

When I got back online after Africa, I was slammed with questions about the three new Nikon lenses announced while I was offline. I had NO clue these lenses were coming out so when I received the emails, I wondered what I had missed. In case you missed it, Nikon announced the FX 200-500f5.6 and 24-70f2.8 AFS VR and 24f1.8AFS. At this point, I’ve not seen any of these lenses but plan on having two in my hands shortly. The two that peak my interest are the 200-500 and 24-70. The reasons? I think the 200-500 with that staggering low price point will make wildlife and aviation photography available to a whole bunch of folks. That’s bloody exciting. And the 24-70, well, I wanna see if the 24-70AFS in my bag now can be improved since it’s an amazing lens. I’ve been told it is sharper, a bunch with its brand new optical formula. But to be honest with you, its bigger size and 82mm front element make me...

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on Aug 12, 2015 in Camera Tech

Chloride’s Last Light Lesson

The last demo shoot of our Photo Safari from Photoshop World to Chloride was with these desperadoes. Emily and Sam were great sports to participate in the heat in this simple setup. The top photo is the original shot. Take with no flash and 0 exp comp in the camera, as I explained to the group, to understand using flash, you have to see the available light. So this original shot shows many of the deficiencies in the ambient light. There are highlights and shadows but the biggest issue as I see it is the quality in the light. It simply has no character and since character is the storyline, we needed to bring in flash. It was done quickly and easily! I was shooting with the Df / 24-70AFS and the light source was the sun and the Profoto B2. The B2 had the OCF Softbox (2×3′) attached to it. It was placed just outside the field of view on the left side of the photo. The key...

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