Month: November 2009

RED Scarlet update December 09

Almost exactly a year ago I posted some information about the RED Scarlet Camera. Since that time there have been a number of “announcements” from the company but most of them have said more or less the same thing. “The cameras are delayed , but here is some more computer generated graphics of something that might possibly look like the camera when it finally arrives”. I would imagine that Jim Janard and his crew at RED have had to re-think a few elements of their designs in an attempt to combat the surprising success of Canons DSLRs in the video field. A year ago, nobody really saw it coming, but today its no surprise at all to find Canon 5dMKIIs and 7ds on the set of hollywood blockbuster movies attached to Panavision prime lenses. ( Funny story… Panavision has actually gone and melted all of their Panavision to Canon lens converters because they are sick of seeing so many of their lenses not being mounted on their cameras!) Canon seems to have swooped in (or stumbled into) to the exact market that RED was targeting with their Scarlet plans so it’s really no surprise that things went back to the drawing board for a while in order to add a few more features. A few people out there (myself included) were a bit worried that the Scarlet project was...

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Snow Photos 101 – Part 3 – Introduction to flash photography

Flash photography can seem like something of a dark art to begin with. Pop-up, hot-shoe mounted, remote, fill and bounce; there are many ways a photographer can use flash to control the exposure and look of a photo. It is more complicated than ambient light photography so before you begin experimenting, make sure you have a good understanding of all the basics of exposure; shutter speed, aperture and ISO. In ski photography, flash is used in two key ways. Firstly, as a substitute for ambient light for instance shooting rails at night, or tree skiing on a cloudy day. And secondly as fill flash to supplement the ambient light and fill in dark shadow areas where strong sunshine is creating undesirably high contrast or harsh light in the image. If you have a DSLR then you will almost certainly have a pop-up flash. These are of very limited use for shooting action photos though. Partly because of the lack of control you are given over the settings, and partly because they are very low powered and only have a useful range of about 10ft. Up to this distance you can successfully use them for fill flash on static subjects but if you are serious about taking good photos then you need to buy a separate flash. Your camera won’t know that you are shooting action so be wary of...

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Hyperdrive Colorspace UDMA review.

This past Autumn I was in Mexico on holiday. I took my newly purchased Canon S90 camera with me and was having a great time snapping pics with that little thing. The quality of the shots coming out of that tiny thing was really blowing me away. I wasn’t traveling with a laptop computer so my photos remained on the camera’s memory card. Unfortunately, on the fifth day of my trip, my camera was stolen while I was in a restaurant. This was the first time I have ever lost photos and I was truly gutted, more so than...

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Snow Photos 101 – Part 2 – Which Camera and Lenses Should I get?

Continuing on with my Snow photos 101 section, by far the most common question in my in-box is “what camera or lens should i get?”. You can view the equipment that I use HERE, but this doesn’t mean that you need all of this to make some great ski or snowboard photos. Lenses A professional ski photographer will own lenses that range from a 15mm fisheye all the way up to a 300mm telephoto lens. Different shooting situations require different setups and they aren’t necessarily all carried at the same time. By far my most used lens is my 70-200mm zoom lens so something in that range would be a wise choice. When you are deciding which equipment to invest in, bear in mind that camera technology is evolving at a frantic pace. Whichever camera you choose now, will be outdated in a years time. Lens technology on the other hand moves at a much more sedate pace. Very little has changed over the last 10 years aside from the addition of image stabilization to a few lenses. It therefore makes sense to spend as much as you can on your glass, if you treat it properly a good lens can last you a decade. Typically you will see a more noticeable improvement in image quality by using higher quality glass, than you would with using a more expensive...

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Snow Photos 101 – Part 1 – Exposure basics & Composition

Readers of SBC Skier in Canada this year will have seen my series of ski photography tips. I have decided to put together a new section on my blog which initially starts off with the beginner tips featured in SBC Skier and then moves on further to more advanced information for readers looking for a a little more in-depth info. Every few weeks I will add a new section to the tips until I have covered the things that most people ask me about. Hopefully by the end there will be a good collection of information for people to reference.   We will start with the basics and gradually move on to more advanced subjects where I will expand on things a bit further for those wishing to delve a little deeper. If your ski photos look flat and the snow looks featureless, try shooting them early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky. This will create shadows on the snow and reveal details and textures that are not apparent when the sun is overhead at midday. On a clear day much darker and richer colors will come out in the sky. For the same reason, try to avoid having the sun directly behind you when you shoot. Creating an angle, even a small one, between you and the sun...

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