The Digital Photo Guy

Monday Morning Tip – 09/07/09

by on Sep.07, 2009, under Monday Morning Tips

Sorry for the Wrong Date on MMT

Normally, I don’t correct minor typos on MMT posts because that causes everyone to receive a new notification e-mail but, in egregious cases like when the date is off by a month, I feel it’s important to correct it. Sorry for the double notice, everyone.

Serious Case of Writer’s Block Today

For some reason, I couldn’t organize my thoughts today. The MMT was written and I had ideas about photos I took at the Barona Indian Pow Wow in Lakeside, CA but my mind wouldn’t cooperate.

Few Spaces Left for the Photoshop Elements Webinar with Rob Sheppard

Click HERE to read how you can learn Photoshop Elements in just 4 hours from Rob Sheppard, editor of Outdoor Photographer magazine. Don’t let the magazine title scare you, the class covers all aspects of PSE, not just outdoor or nature photography. Most of what this class covers also applies to Photoshop CSx. Best of all, you get 60 days of e-mail support in case you have problems applying what Rob’s tricks, tips and shortcuts.

To sweeten the pot, I’ll be giving a copy of the 2009 Photoshop World Workbook (1000 pages) to one lucky student after the class. We’ll also give away, to a 2nd lucky student, a copy of 1-2-3 of Digital Imaging, the award-winning program that teaches you Photoshop and Photoshop Elements via DVD .

Monday Morning Tip

Today, we extend our previous discussion about lenses for new dSLR owners. We started with the Essential 3-Lens Kit (in the MMT archives) but owners quickly find that they want a longer lens. We have some good news and some bad news. First, the good news. Canon and Nikon have some really nice 400mm lenses but they’re in the US$1000 range. Others such as Sigma and Tamron have 400mm and 500mm lenses but they have severe limitations such as lack of autofocus. Now, the bad news, really good long lenses typically start at US$4000 and go up from there.

To read about your choices before you lay out your hard-earned cash, read this week’s MMT to understand your options. As always, MMTs are behind the password protected area on the Tips & News page.

Barona Indian Pow Wow

The Barona Pow Wow was this weekend and I went hoping to get more portraits of participants. Unlike the Pala Pow Wow, this one was held on a ball field and the background sucked (that’s a technical term). I had to practically lie on my back so I could shoot up high enough to miss the bleachers and fence.

I also got an object lesson in the term “Indian Time”. Unlike the Pala Pow Wow, much of the festivities started at 6PM. Since I was really interested in the Grand Entry, I took only my 17-40/4L and 70-200/4L. I didn’t take my 50/1.4 or 85/1.8 assuming the Grand Entry would be over before the light faded. Bad mistake. I was told about “Indian Time” at Pala but Barona practices that concept much more rigorously than Pala, probably because Pala was a smaller event. In short, “Indian Time” means nothing starts or stays on schedule.

By the time the Grand Entry started, light was fading fast and I was 150 yards from my RV where my fast lenses were. I had to crank up ISO and hope for the best. Here’s an example of what could have been a “money shot” if I had’t been at ISO 1600.

Grand Entry

It’s OK as a snapshot but certainly won’t make the cut as a  high quality print. Bottom line, when you need a fast lens, nothing else will do. Don’t depend on high ISO to bail you out of a situation like this. Had I used my Canon 50/1.8, I could have regained 2 1/2 stops over my 70-200/4. Those 2 1/2 stops would have let me drop to ISO 400 and bumped up shutter speed from 125 to 180.

On a positive note, I got some really cool cloud formations for my cloud collection. In case you don’t do this, always try to capture nice clouds so you can replace a bland sky in an otherwise great photo.


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