For the first time this decade, there’s a new camera in my main photography bag. It’s not that I’m afraid of new technology. Actually, I typically embrace new tools quickly if they make a meaningful difference in my work.
Monday, August 24, 2015
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Captured with a Canon 1D Mark IV, Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L Mark II, and a Canon Extender EF 1.4X Mark III
I spend relatively little time on this blog talking about equipment — I’m drawn more to the art than the mechanics — but there’s no denying that equipment plays a critical role. The wrong equipment can limit your creative vision. Bad equipment can cause you to miss the shot entirely.
With that in mind, I thought I would share some of my thoughts about the new Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens, which I’ve been using for about two months now. You won’t find test charts and studio comparison scenes here. There are plenty of those already that are produced under very controlled conditions. This is a Canon 100-400 Mark II review in the context of how it has performed for me as a professional nature photographer in real-world situations, which includes handling and other features that make a difference in my work.
Friday, November 30, 2012
One factor that can have a significant impact on the quality of your images is how sharp they are. Sometimes I like being able to stand up close to a large print and enjoy the clear definition around the smallest details. Sharpness helps the images look more lifelike.
While there's also something to be said for the art of blurring away the fine details, producing sharp images is something that most nature photographers want to accomplish, at least some of the time. The quality of your equipment plays a big role in how sharp your images are, but so does your technique.
Here are some tips for getting the sharpest images out of the equipment you already own:
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
We are creatures of habit. That's well documented. In stores, we buy a particular brand simply because that's the brand we always buy. Many of us regularly check our messages whether or not we're expecting anything because we've gotten into that habit.
And as photographers, we're inclined to photograph a familiar subject a particular way simply because that's the way we've always done it. It becomes habit and we probably don't even think about why we're setting up the shot that way.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The Canon 1D Mark IV is the most customizable camera I’ve ever used. It has dozens of settings that allow you to tune it to your exact needs. Wading through all those settings, though, can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a lot of time for trial and error.
After using the camera for more than two months of intensive wildlife photography, I’ve finally settled on autofocus settings that I really like. I’m sharing them with you because I’m often asked for my settings.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Don’t worry. This is not turning into an equipment blog. It has always annoyed me when someone has looked at one of my best images and said, “What camera did you use? I should get one.”
Last I checked, my camera doesn’t venture out by itself. Or, if it does, it seems to forget to take the memory card with it.
I also think that a truly stunning image is more art than science. If we obsess only about the equipment, we act as if there’s no difference between photography and a chemistry equation: Camera X + Lens Y + Exposure Settings Z = Pulitzer!
That said, I got a new camera — a Canon 1D Mark IV — and I thought I’d share what I’ve learned in the first couple weeks of using it.