Upcoming and Elsewhere

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My next project in the process of self-education is the use of off-camera flash. With that in mind I began my perusal of the internet for good sources of information, and discovered Strobist. The site contains a wealth of information and takes a complete newbie to flash-photography through the entire learning curve; beginner education leads to intermediate topics, which in turn leads to more advanced techniques and application. The Lighting 101 series takes readers through a linear process of learning and applying off-camera flash, while the regularly posted On Assignment articles encourage readers to apply what they have learned with specific projects and challenges. I highly recommend this site for anyone who is feeling a little lost while trying to sort through the sheer amount of information out there related to flash photography.

Last night I pulled the trigger on my first order from Mpix. For a first order, it’s rather ambitious – a 16×24 matted and framed print of one of the shots of the Portland Head Light taken on our trip to Maine this summer. I suppose I could have ordered a bunch of 4×6 or 8×10 prints for a first go, but I really wanted to see Mpix in action with something on a larger scale. Of course, the quality of the print is mostly dependent on the quality of my own photography skills, when blown up to a larger a flaw-revealing size. We shall see!

I have held an interest in the Lensbaby line of products for quite some time. More and more lately I find myself perusing their site’s photo gallery, as well as Lensbaby-tagged photos on Flickr. I am fascinated with the effects and thrilled with the unlimited possibilities that these unique lenses and optics provide. I will soon be acquiring the Composer and the Accessory Kit and will post reviews and tutorials that will, hopefully, encourage you all to try one of these fascinating little items yourselves!

My husband and I will be heading out to Indianapolis in a couple of weeks, for the 2010 MotoGP race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The good folks at Pro Photo Rental are equipping me with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens. I recently reviewed the second generation of this lens, and I am eager to see if the differences between the two revisions are significant. Canon claims that the speed, performance and optical quality of the 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS are greatly improved over the earlier model. We shall see! At this moment in time the price difference may be a consideration when deciding on which one to purchase ($2500 for the second generation, vs. $1900 for the original), so I will try to determine how significant the reported improvements really are.

Photo credit: “Green Bokeh” by Rikie Rizza on Flickr Creative Commons.

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  • Bill Booz

    Tiffany, you and I, though quite apart in age, seem to be right together in what we are trying to learn “next!” I have avoided flash like the plague, but in the past several months have decided that I, too, need to learn more about lighting using off-camera flash. Are you familiar with/aware of Syl Arena's site, Speedliting (http://speedliting.com/)? Syl is also a Canon shooter and is coming out this fall with a new book, a la Joe McNally, but focusing on Canon speedlites, “Speedliter's Handbook.”

    Since I used my speedlite only when necessary and only on-camera, at least, I did buy a diffuser to use with it to bounce the light some. However, I just recently watched an episode of Scott Kelby's “D-Town” video podcast in which he was showing a type of on flash diffuser that looked pretty practical: the ExpoImaging Rogue FlashBender Positionable Reflector (http://www.expoimaging.com/product-detail.php?c…). It looks very useful and is now my B&H wish list!!

    Good luck on your journey into flash and be sure and check out those two items!


  • Bill Booz

    Tiffany, one thing I wanted to mention and forgot in my earlier post is a tip from Syl Arena about connecting one light to your camera if you can't afford RF triggers: 16' Flash Zebra sync cords with integrated camera hotshoes (http://flashzebra.com/5m_with_hotshoe). I can't afford the Pocket Wizards now and this cord does the trick nicely!

  • Tiffany

    Bill, thanks so much for referring me to Speedliting! I hope that you keep us updated on your progress with the use of flash. Rest assured I'll be posting about it here. :D