One Strobe, One Trigger, One Camera, and a lot of Luck: Behind the Scenes with Von Wong Photography

One Strobe, One Trigger, One Camera, and a lot of Luck: Behind the Scenes with Von Wong Photography

Photographer Benjamin Von Wong set out to the Salton Sea with some dart rope and a crew of chance encounters who were excited to make the trek to help out with this dramatic shoot. Check out the spectacular results below! Luck, Fire, and a Failed Ecosystem by Von Wong Photography, reprinted with permission. Equipment Used Lighting Gear: Profoto B2 Acute PocketWizard Plus III Camera Gear: Sirui Tripod T2205X, sponsored by LOVINPIX Nikon D800E Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 To see more great behind-the-scenes images and some of the technical notes for this shoot, please visit the full Inspired by Fire post HERE. Special thanks to Von Wong Photography for sharing this experience with us! Benjamin Von Wong will be speaking and doing a demo at at Profusion in Toronto on June,...
The Hasselblad Is Here: First Impressions and Sample Shots

The Hasselblad Is Here: First Impressions and Sample Shots

The Hasselblad H5D40 medium-format digital camera is here, so of course we had to give it a go. We pressed a number of our staffers into service as models, and went through an impromptu portrait session. Sample images as well as first impressions after the jump. First, the sample images… Alex Huff Andrew Wills Ryan Tubongbanua Courtney Newvine and Jo Deguzman Shooting with the Hasselblad H5D40 was a mixed bag in that it was at once familiar and foreign. I’ve shot medium-format digital and film before, mostly on the Phase (digital) and Hasselblad 500C (film). So I was familiar with the H5D40’s basic operation. The shoot was set up in our lobby. We used a large Elinchrom 74″ Octa as the light source, with one 500 w/s Elinchrom BXRI monolight in it, plus a second BXRI scraping across the collapsible background for some of the shots. Both were triggered using the Skyport transceiver included with the Elinchrom BXRI kit. Here are a few initial impressions. Flash sync is up to 1/800th. This is awesome, since it completely eliminates ambient light.  The 120mm f/4 Macro lens I shot with is crazy-sharp. The dynamic range and detail are everything that Hasselblad has promised (more on this in future articles about this new platform). Watch your highlights. There’s a handy histogram in the top LCD that shows you this, so it’s relatively easy. Get a tripod. I shot handheld, but this is a heavy platform. If I was shooting at a lower shutter speed (say, like 1/200th), I’d probably see some camera shake. Since the flash can sync up to 1/800th, it didn’t...
Transitioning from Point-and-Shoot to DSLR: Understanding Full Frame vs Crop Frame Sensors

Transitioning from Point-and-Shoot to DSLR: Understanding Full Frame vs Crop Frame Sensors

Upgrading from a point-and-shoot camera to a digital SLR camera can be daunting, especially when you start hearing people carry on about what kind of sensor to get and you have no idea what they are talking about! The following will help you understand sensor size and how it can be a factor in your photography. This information will better equip you with the knowledge you will need to successfully choose your next camera. What is a Sensor? Every digital camera, even your point-and-shoot, has a sensor inside of it. In the simplest of terms, all these sensors do is convert an optical image (light) into an electronic signal which can be read as digital information–an image you download and can see, edit, and share. Your point-and-shoots have tiny, little sensors inside of them and for the most part they do a good job of converting light into digital information you can use–a photograph! Some of you may have heard people carry on about the “size” of their camera’s sensors. The reason they care about this is because dynamic range and low-light sensitivity generally improves as the size of the sensor increases. Defining Crop Sensors and Full Frame Sensors A piece of 35mm film measures approximately 36 x 24mm in size, and that’s the size of the sensor in Full Frame cameras like the Nikon D4 and the Canon 5D Mark III. Full frame sensor cameras are among some of the most expensive DSLRs you can buy. However, you can buy a DSLR camera with small sensor and still experience much greater image quality than you can from your average point-and-shoot. Cameras like the Nikon D7100 and the Sony A77 have APS-C-sized...
5 Features for Adobe Lightroom 5

5 Features for Adobe Lightroom 5

In this video tutorial, adventure photo journalist Jay Goodrich highlights a few of the features that he finds most useful in the upcoming update to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. He also has an up coming Lightroom workshop in Seattle, September 14-15, 2013. More information here. 5 Features for Adobe Lightroom 5 by Jay Goodrich, reposted here with permission. This is Episode 3 of Goodrich’s In the Office series of photography tutorials. See more of Goodrich’s work here and stay tuned for more great videos from him here on our blog! To see Episode 2,...
Nikon’s Biggest Gun: A Review of the New 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR Lens

Nikon’s Biggest Gun: A Review of the New 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR Lens

Introduction Until recently, Canon’s 800mm f/5.6 lens has been about the longest lens currently in production by one of the big manufacturers. The longest lens on the Nikon side has been the 600mm f/4, which I took out for a spin not too long ago. Now, Nikonians have their own cannon (yes, pun intended) to play with. The Nikon AF-S 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens is finally shipping, and we’ve got them in our inventory for rental. I took this behemoth out for a test to see just what Nikon packed into it. Last week, I posted sample images from that shoot; here’s the full review. A Bad Start My experience with the 800mm began poorly. I took the lens out with a D4, an Induro AT–413 tripod and a Custom Brackets gimbal head to one of my favorite birding spots in the Redwood Shores region of the San Francisco Bay Area. Every spring, these black-and-white birds call Black Skimmers show up around here, and make for some excellent photo opportunities. They gather around the shoreline, and fly low over bodies of water, letting their lower beaks dip into the water as they fly, trying to snap up small fish. Get lucky, and you can walk away with an image of one with its beak creating a wake through water, which is what I was aiming for. Well, things didn’t start out well. I set up everything, balanced the lens on the gimbal, and started shooting. Immediately, I noticed that the lens was incredibly slow to focus. For static subjects, it was fine – you could zero in...
Sample Images from the Nikon 800mm f/5.6

Sample Images from the Nikon 800mm f/5.6

I’ve been out testing the Nikon 800mm f/5.6 lens we just got in, and have a few sample images to share. I went out to the Redwood Shores region of the San Francisco Bay Area to shoot the skimmers that show up around here every spring, and got a handful of other birds as well. The full-up review is coming soon, so stay tuned for that. Black Skimmer   Images © Sohail Mamdani. All rights...
The Lightroom-Photoshop Connection: Sending JPEG Files Back and Forth

The Lightroom-Photoshop Connection: Sending JPEG Files Back and Forth

Seán Duggan is a fine art photographer, author, educator, and an Adobe Certified Photoshop Expert with extensive experience in both the traditional and digital darkroom. His Lightroom Viewfinder series provides photographers with the tools they need to effectively use Lightroom for organization, editing, and printing.  The Lightroom-Photoshop Connection: Sending JPEG Files Back and Forth by Seán Duggan Seán Duggan is the co-author of Photoshop Masking & Composting, Real World Digital Photography, and The Creative Digital Darkroom. He is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York City and leads workshops all around the world. See all of Duggan’s Lightroom tips below: • Lightroom Keywording Tips • Adding Value to Your Image Archive with Keywords • Adobe Lightroom Tips for Beginners: Merging a Travel Catalog with your Main Catalog • Adobe Lightroom Tips for Beginners: The Island of Lost Files • The Lightroom-Photoshop Connection: Sending JPEG Files Back and Forth • The Lightroom-Photoshop Connection: Sending RAW Files Back and Forth...