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Photofocus Episode 99
Welcome to Episode Number 99 of Photofocus with Scott Bourne and special guest Richard Harrington. Photofocus is the show devoted to your questions about anything photography related including gear, technique, locations, etc. Your questions will shape the direction of this show so be sure to send your questions to [email protected]. We will try to answer as many as we can but we get a lot of questions so we’ll try to take a collection of questions that represent a particular topic and present them together. This week, Scott and Rich talk tech and answer some listener questions.
Discussion – Talking Tech for 2012
There have been several big announcements from some of the major camera manufacturers and there are some new software updates on the way. At CES there were several announcements and new products revealed. While CES was going on, Scott had a chance to try out the Lytro camera and feels that it’s very misunderstood. You can read more about it in Scott’s post here. Scott thinks that this camera will require you to be a better photographer than you already are. Scott saw them create a time lapse where the focus shifted during the time lapse. Scott thinks that by Version 3, we will see this technology in the cameras that we use and sees it being particularly useful when shooting video. Scott thinks that this is the foothold into holography and you really need to think differently when shooting with a camera like this. This stuff will really take off when real artists come up with ways to use this stuff that even they haven’t thought of. Rich can’t wait until this comes out and hopes there will be an open API that will open up this device.
Lightroom 4 Beta is now also available with a much larger emphasis on video. Rich thinks it’s nice to see them embracing video and that photographers will be able to work with video they way they want. Scott thinks that we’ll begin to re-define the space where we exhibit imagery. Rich thinks we are moving beyond the world of prints and digital signage is becoming king for public display of photography.
This week we kick things off with a question about Eye View Multimedia:
Question One – Eye View Multimedia
Layfayette Hicks asks what is Eye View and why do people love it so much?
Scott: Eye View is the pre-cursor to Aperture. I don’t believe that is currently still being developed.
Rich: I’ve always heard good things about it and there are certain products that once somebody gets used to using it they will continue to use it until they no longer can. It was a solid program but Rich doesn’t think it’s for sale anymore/
Question Two – Vertical Panoramas
Rob Palumbo asks: I’m interested in shooting vertical panoramas. Does the camera need to pivot on the focal plane or the lens’s nodal point? And can you recommend a good tripod for this purpose?
Rich: We cover this extensively at Triple Exposure. Officially all of those things matter but software is so good that they don’t matter. I’m a big fan of shooting vertical because you get more resolution. Beyond that, the idea is that for a true panorama, people go through great lengths to ensure that they are working around the nodal point. The only special equipment I use is an L bracket to make it easier to lock the camera in either a vertical or horizontal position. I like having degree markers on my panoramic head. I do about a 3rd of my panos hand-held. Shoot two pictures for each plate if you’re dealing with a busy scene and Photoshop is really good at eliminating the differences.
Scott: I think nodal points are important if you’re doing 3D or high-end work for movie houses, but Photoshop is just so good at merging images you can achieve pretty good results just making a hand-held panorama.
Question Three – Neutral Density Filters
Roderick Henry asks: What’s a neutral density filter and why would someone use one?
Rich: It’s basically sunglasses for your camera. A lot of times when shooting video, you want that shallow depth of field which means your aperture is open very wide which lets a lot of light into the sensor. You put an ND filter on and it acts like sunglasses and cuts down the amount of light.
Scott: It’s great if you want to do those creamy, soft water shoots in the daytime. An ND filter allows you control exposure, particularly when shooting video. The Singh Ray Vari ND is a great ND filter when shooting video.
Question Four – Stress on Lens Mounts
Dean Mislawski from Michigan writes: He has a Canon 7D with a 70-200mm lens on a monopod and thinks that sometimes the junction between the camera lens and the body is stressed and wonders if there are any guidelines for moving around with a large lens without a tripod.
Scott: If it’s the brand new 70-200mm, I could see it putting some stress on the lens mount but likely not enough to break it but it might be enough to require tightening or adjustment. Once you start getting into the 300 – 500mm lenses, they are definitely big and heavy enough that if you started swinging it around you could actually break that mount. When you’re using a long lens, get in the habit of grabbing the camera by the lens or the lens collar and not by the body. That will put a lot less stress on the camera body and where they connect.
Rich: When I shoot video, I find that a monopod is a great thing to have in those situations. It takes the weight out of your hands and will give you smoother shots.
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