Brazos Bend State Park also known as the Bend to many local Houston wildlife enthusiasts is a great place for those interested in bird watching within a reasonable distance from our concrete jungle. It is also a great excuse to bust out your long glass and see what is hidden in the trees. Yesterday, I had took the opportunity to relax with my camera down at the bend and was rewarded with some great images. Many local photography clubs frequent the bend during different times of the year depending on the bird activity. Yesterday was probably one of the lowest days of activity I saw around 40 acer lake, but nun the less it was still a good day. Below are just a few of the shots I was able to get including my very first Woodpecker. Enjoy.
For full gallery please visit my collection at my gallery website.
Well… for those of you like me who live in the south I think we can finally say that Winter has poked her head through the clouds and blessed us with beautiful northern air. Here in Southeast Texas we are enjoying beautiful chilly nights with wonderful clear sky’s and chilly weather. There is a plus to all this cold tho, and that is it’s the best time for Macro Photography!
Macro Photography is a style of photography that requires patients and a good eye for little crawly dudes. Macro photography can be done with any lens that has a macro setting but a dedicated macro lens is usually better as if allows a closer focusing range and also most are over 100mm in focal range. Personally I own the Canon EOS 100mm f/2.8L IS USM and find it to be razor sharp and the IS gives me at least 2-3 stops of image stabilization. I would recommend anything in the 100mm+ range for a macro lens as it lets you stay far enough away from the subject but still let you get close in and fill the frame even on a full frame camera. But what does this all have to do with being cold, being a good thing?
Well the reason it’s great to do macro photography when it’s cold is b/c bugs and other little crawly things don’t move very well in the cold. What does this mean for photographers, well… it means that you have a little more time to compose your shot, and also you don’t have to worry as much about the bug fleeing from the image before you can snap the shot.
So, strap on your jacks and gloves, grab your camera, find a lens that will work (any lens will work really), and get out there and find those little creepy crawlers and see how photogenic they are.
This past week on Tuesday evening I ventured into town for what I thought was gonna be a same ole same ole type of digital media workshop. To my surprise however, I probably learned more and got new/ better ideas than I ever thought I would. I attended the Get In Motion Tour hosted by Jeff Medford and Ross Hockrow here in Houston, TX.
I’ve attended other workshops and also watched many different training videos for the digital arts but have to say this was by far one of the most enjoyable and beneficial events I have been to. Jeff and Ross take the world of Filmography (hollywood style shooting of video) and apply it to the new developing world of HDSLR shooting. They pointed out the difference in camcording (a term they use) and actually shooting video for a client that has meaning and a story behind it. They use real life examples of footage they have produced for clients showing both what was good and where they should have done better. Both gentlemen are very helpful if you have questions and show a passion for this industry and want to pass on their knowledge for others to be successful.
For anyone interested in getting into the world of digital video recording using your DSLR camera I would highly recommend attending their class or purchasing their event DVD (DVD to be released later this year). They were also involved with the shooting of How to Photoshop Everyone and will be releasing later this year the How-To dvd for that production showing their method of shooting and much of the gear they used.
I am not affiliated with them or their sponsors, but I do feel that the way they introduce the information and the style they are shooting is the next level of HDSLR footage that is going to continue to move this industry in to better things.
This was shared to me by another photographer and thought I would post it here as well. This photographer takes pictures not on a flat 2D piece of paper but on 3 dimensional objects. After applying liquid light he uses a special pinhole camera to expose the surface of the object. This just shows that the world of photography is limitless and that the imagination is a key driving force to the next step. Enjoy.
The Tenba Messenger Large Photo & Laptop Bag is a great medium to large sized messenger style shoulder bag. At first look it doesn’t look like a camera bag which is a MAJOR plus because you are not walking around with a bag that says “look at me I have thousands in expensive camera gear on me”! I will say that when it comes to a camera bag I am very picky on the feel, look, size, and protection it offers. This Tenba Messenger camera bag is just that; large enough for several lenses, a body or two, and needed accessories. It is by far my favorite!
I bought this camera bag in late 2009 and it has been my one and only every day camera bag of choice since. I have never owned a backpack style bag personally because I never enjoyed how bulky they look and are. Also on a trip to Taiwan with a professor the TSA officer asked my professor (who had a lowepro backpack on) what type of camera system he shot. However, as I walked through the detectors they had no clue that the bag entering the x-ray machine was a camera/ laptop bag. At that moment I knew not only did I have a great bag but I had one that does not look like a camera bag.
- Removable photo insert provides padded storage for a SLR body with two or three lenses and a flash.
- Bottom reinforced with rubberized, moisture and abrasion-resistant panel.
- Thickly padded, contoured shoulder strap and hand grip for all-day carrying comfort.
- Dual Duraflex® flap clips provide security, while large Velcro® patches allow for quick ins-and-outs.
- 3M Scotchlite™ reflective trim on front flap for nighttime visibility.
- Optional laser-engravable version can be customized with name, logo or other personal identification.
- Width: 17 inches
- Height: 12 inches
- Depth: 5-8 inches
- Width: 17.5 inches
- Height: 12.5 inches
- Depth: 5.5-8.5 inches
- Weight: 3 lbs
Laptop Compartment Dimensions
- Width: 16.5 inches
- Height: 11.5 inches
- Depth: 1.5-2 inches
- Weight: 3 lbs
- Fits most laptops up to 17-inches
- 638-251 Messenger Removable Photo Insert
First off I must say that this bag is VERY well made and I have been impressed with its ability to stay together under all I have put it through. This included traveling to Asia, around the US, and even being hit by a car on a bicycle (yes I had this bag on me and was hit by a car running a red light and the only damage was a small screen crack on my laptop). As I mentioned earlier I knew I didn’t want a backpack since they are large and bulky and many scream CAMERA. Don’t get me wrong, backpacks are great but for what I was looking for; quick gear access and a bag that looks nothing like a camera bag, this messenger bag works much better. Another major fact to me wanting a shoulder bag is that when I travel, I travel with a hiking backpack which contains all of my change of clothes for the trip and this shoulder bag carrying my gear. That’s it. Both bags are carryon and there’s no need for me to check in any luggage. This helps me save money and headaches by not having to lug suitcases around on subways, buses, trains and planes.
I haven’t done a whole lot of traveling since my big trip to Taiwan but I have taken this bag out on 2 survey boats and it has held up greatly. Both surveys were in the Gulf and lasted for a min of two weeks and this bag allowed me to take everything I needed/ wanted with out fear of damage to my gear. And as states before, no one ever thought I had a camera until they saw me with it on deck. Fully loaded this bag still fit under the seat on the airplane allowing my backpack to fit in the overhead container.
In regards to capacity, this little bag sure can hold a lot of gear. For a typical trip I usually pack the following:
- Canon 5d MKII (No Grip)
- Canon 24-105 f4L (Hood Reversed)
- Canon 70-200 f2.8IIL (Hood Reversed)
- Tamron 17-35 f2.8-4 (Hood Detached)
- Canon 15 f2.8 Fisheye
- Canon EF 1.4x teleconverter
- Canon 430 EX II flash
- 6 CF Cards
- 2 Spare Canon LP-6 Batteries
- Benro Tripod (Attached to Bottom via bungees)
If I wanna travel a little lighter for the day I’ll leave the teleconverter and 17-35mm at home or in the hotel. Then I walk around with a smaller rig which can make the long 10-12 mile photowalks a bit more bearable.
This bag has 2 main ways of accessing your gear. You can unbuckle the two buckles as seen and then pull up on the flap that is help in place by Velcro but this is can cumbersome and loud depending on your location. However, there is a second method to accessing your gear. If you look below you can see that above the two zipper pockets there is a long (bag length) zipper sticking out. This zipper actually opens up to the main compartment allowing you access to all your gear quickly and quietly. I find that in an urban environment this works great b/c you can pull your camera out, get the show you want, and then put the camera away quickly and smoothly without drawing attention to yourself. This is much better than a backpack that you would have to take off, put on the ground or bench, unzip (exposing most of its contents), and then putting the camera away. This also allows for quicker lens changing so that you don’t miss that great shot. It is truly awesome! =)
Tenba offers a wide range of colors for this bag that would fit anyone’s pallet. At the time I bought my bag I originally wanted the Green bag but it was sold out everywhere and I was impatient to order it online. So I found a brown one at Camer Co-Op here in Houston and got that one. Not my first color of choice but now its as much apart of me that I can’t imagine having a different colored bag. This bag and I have been through so much! Rain, Snow, Heat, hit by car, and BEER!
I LOVE THIS BAG AND IT IS AMAZING. Not much else is really needed to be explain that this has been by far one of my most favorite camera bags I have ever owned. It’s not too small and it’s not too big. It’s just the right size for the camera setup I use. I honestly don’t think I could step down to a smaller Tenba messenger or up to a bigger bag. It’s just great in every aspect and suites me very well in my shooting and travel style.
If you like to travel light and have easy, quick access to your gear then this bag is definitely a great option for you. You will not regret it.
Where To Buy:
Find the lowest price on this item in the Pixtus Amazon Store located here:
Here it is again. Canon EOS Digital SLR bodies being used to shoot movies and trailers. From the first big hit of using a Canon EOS 5D mark II in the shooting of the Season Finally of the Fox hit House M.D. the famous 5D2 and 1D4 are being used again in this Lucasfilm trailer. The upcoming file by George Lucas called “Red Tails” will be utilizing these bodies in the production and shooting of this movie with an early 2012 release.
The Red Tails were a group of the first African American pilots in WWII that fought for the UNITED STATES of America. They did not receive the name Red Tails until 1944 when they painted the tails of their P-47’s red. This group of aviators is known as the Tuskegee Airmen. More can be found on them here.
More information and some behind the scene footage can be found by Philip Bloom.
This truly shows that the world of DSLR is changing and growing in a way that no one ever saw coming, and that Canon is on the forefront of it and leading the way.
For those that don’t know creativeLIVE hosts workshops via web broadcast from their Seattle stupid on all different types of digital media topics. The workshops are free to view life via their webcast through their website creativeLIVE.com. I personally have found many of their workshops to be very educational and helpful in different aspects of the digital arts. Just earlier this month they had the Director of Photography for the FOX hit House M.D. on to talk about and teach how they have been using the Canon 5D Mark II to shoot the show. For me it opened my eyes and mind to an area I had no knowledge about before and now know many of the basics to produce simple clips. Even if you miss the workshop they allow you to purchase them for a very reasonable price ($50-100 usually). A great price in my opinion for the detail and information you get.
What sparked this post is that upcoming in September (20th – 23rd) Lesa Snider will be doing a 4 day Adobe CS5 workshop. This is a great opportunity for those that don’t know a lot about the ins and outs of this program or those that do and just wanna learn more.
Just so everyone knows I do not represent, work for, speak for, gain benefits from, or am affiliated with in any way, creativeLIVE. I am just passing on a great site that I feel can teach a lot of useful information for a great price (FREE).
Although the job is something different and I am sure has some really slow and boring times (like having to clean filters) it’s the times like this that make it all that much more enjoyable. The gents at LensRentals.com though about playing a game and figured the best game would be Chess. So like all great photographers, the battle between Nikon and Canon took off.
For those wondering, Canon won!
Find the full blog HERE