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May 30, 2017

Are you a darkroom "cheater?"


Here are some of the topics and news items we're tracking for our community this week. ---

Members share views on digital darkroom enhancements, Black and White competition winners announced, landscape photography on a budget, rain gear comparisons --- PLUS more....

1 -- Are you a darkroom cheater?

Silver member Dale Williams (Tropidale) from Florida, USA wants to know where our members stand on post processing techniques that may be stretching the "truth" of an image.

The modern digital darkroom allows for endless variations on an original photo, but Dale is thinking there may be a bit of "misrepresentation" involved.  

Here's a very short excerpt from his opening remarks:

Today I researched tutorials on how to get those magnificent milky way shots I have been drooling over for years. Imagine my disappointment to find that the "before" shots appear to be nothing like the edited version, just a fairly starry sky with a slightly lighter area. I was certainly expecting some adjustment, and I am sure that the video didn't do the actual original justice, but the extreme enhancements seemed a lot like 'bait and switch".

I get that photography is art, and you have a right to create whatever you like based on your skill, imagination, and tools. But it kind of bothers me when we, as photographers, misrepresent reality to such a degree that those who choose to visit a place or shoot the same subject based on what they think are representative images, end up feeling cheated when they arrive and see that they do not represent reality for viewing or photographing.

Check his full post for more points before you join this discussion. Plenty of great responses have already been added. 

2 -- Best B&W contest winners

Nikonians Photo Contest Director Dave Summer (dm1dave) has announced the winner of the Best of Nikonians Segment 1 with the theme "Black and White."

Taking top honors in this round is a powerful image by Gold member Isaac Vaisman (ivaisman) from Florida, USA. His shot of a boxer, captured with his Nikon D4, is titled "Boxer's Corner."

Isaac used a Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 lens maxed at 70mm with a 1/500 second exposure and f/4 aperture taking advantage of his ISO setting of 2000 (with +1 Exposure Compensation).

The B&W conversion was handled with Silver Effex 2.

In addition to our overall winner, we have four members earning an honorable mention. All images will advance to the final rounds of the Best of Nikonians 2017 at the end of the year.

Honorable mentions go to:

San Juan River New Mexico #2 by Adam Perez (Adamgp) from New Mexico, USA

Ghosts in the Ice by Russell Whittemore (rosewood_ltd) from Ohio, USA

Morning Exercise on Exmoor by Geoff Baylis (GBaylis) from England, The United Kingdom

Stairway to Darkness by Jeff Atchley (Graceland) from Tennessee, USA

All five images have been automatically uploaded to the Best of Nikonians 2017 Gallery.

This contest, along with the monthly forum contests, are the preliminary rounds for the Annual Best of Nikonians Photo Contest where you have the opportunity to win prizes and have your images highlighted in the Winners Galleries and published in the eZine.

3 -- Upgrade your Shutter!

This is the most inexpensive upgrade you can make to your camera. It is incredibly simple and useful. You'll be amazed nobody thought of this before!

Each package contains 2 shutter upgrades (choose RED or BLACK). Fits all Nikon DSLRs. Click here to save 5% now.

Upgrade your photography with our legendary CheatSheets. Each of our CheatSheets is a work of art. You'll find them indispensable. We have CheatSheets for ALL of Nikons DSLRs and most Speedlights,

Get infinite Depth of Field with Helicon Software (discounted 10%). Save 20% on our legendary CheatSheets; 10% on Helicon Photo Software and 5% on accessories.

Get the discount with this link 

4 -- Landscape Photography on a budget

Gold member Wayne Lorimer (wjlorimer) from New Zealand has posted an inspirational article for those of us who do not have a massive assortment of specialized gear designed to help capture landscapes.

His premise is simple: Make use of what you already own.

In his article, Wayne contends:

Before you go off and buy that $5000 camera body, or $2000 wide angle lens, let's think about this. What I'm about to say may shock you, it may upset you (sorry about that), or it may even delight you. But it's the truth. And the truth is, a $2000 lens will NOT make you a better landscape photographer. And a $5000 camera will NOT make you a better photographer - period.

The photographers you admire may very well use the latest full frame bodies, and the most expensive ultra-wide lenses that money can buy. But that's not what makes them great photographers either. Trust me, you can take wonderful, amazing, stunning, incredible landscape pictures with an entry level or mid-range camera body and the humble kit lens. Seriously. When it comes to beautiful landscape images, it is most definitely not about the gear.

Can he prove his point? - by the looks of his sample images, it sure seems so. Check it out. 

5 -- Canon kudos anyone?

Silver member Alex Rosen (klrbee25) from Florida, USA is contemplating Canon as a source for his printing needs. Now is the time for all our Canon Printer users to chime in and let him know if he is on the right track.

Here's his wish-list:

I've been shooting for many years and have amassed a collection of digital photos. However, I drifted away from printing my work, mostly due to cost concerns at the time. I'm now drawn to the high-end Canon wide-format printers to renew my enjoyment of past and future work. I've also found that I'm quite reluctant to use print-shops for my work due to the inconvenience of uploading work, waiting for the prints, and then having to repeat the cycle if I want to adjust the results and receive more prints.

I've been considering the Canon Prograf Pro-1000 to print up to 17"x24" and get excellent quality. The missing roll paper support is bummer. I'm drawn to the improvement in print-head technology to minimize clogs which were a real downer when I was using Epson products many years ago.

My thought is I could use the Canon for all my smaller print needs and to make proofs for larger prints that are beyond the printer's capabilities. Considering really large prints need some special mounting for proper presentation, I expect to use a quality print shop for those works regardless. But I'm hoping the Canon will get me back into high quality printing, fill my small print needs and serve as a stepping stone to proofing which prints go for the big presentation with professional production.

Does this make any sense? I'm not making a living with photography and the prints are for me, my family and for display in our home.

If you have experience with Canon printers like the one Alex is asking about--we encourage you to join the discussion. 

6 -- Last chance for Nikon D500, D750 & D810 plus free Nikon Battery Pack Grips

Our friends at Berger Bros. Camera tell us they have never seen Nikon offer bigger Instant Savings.

If you're on the fence, these low prices should push you off! This offer expires on June 3rd.

• D5500
Two lens kit - save $550

• D500
Body Only - Save $200BB-sp_250.jpgw/ kit lens - Save $670
Plus Free MB-D17 Battery Pack

• D750
Body Only - Save $500
w/ kit lens - Save $1100
Plus Free MB-D16 Battery Pack

• D810 Body Only - Save $500
D810 w/ kit lens - Save $1100
Plus Free MB-D12 Battery Pack

You can now pre-order the new D7500 Body at $1,249.99 or the D7500 w/kit lens at $1,749.99. Great Personal service: Brad Berger 516-816-4921 or Brad@Berger-Bros.com. or mailto:BradBerger@mac.com.

7 -- Rain Gear anyone?

We have a very detailed discussion on rain gear going on in our Camera Carry & Apparel forum. The depth of responses shows many of our more experienced members take water damage seriously. Specific brand names are discussed in-depth.

This is a must read if you have a trip to wet climates and regions in mind. Here are a few examples:

•  It really depends on how much rain and how long. For many photographers, pouring rain is beyond the scope of decent photos so it's really light rain or showers for 15-30 minutes that is the problem. If you must get the shot and are a sports photographer, you need something more. If rather than a shower, you just have nuisance water such as heavy mist, there is still a different solution.

• I would also take a lightweight poncho. A poncho will cover you and your bag and provide temporary shelter for your camera and lens. I have a large size one that becomes a portable shelter and I have it over the tripod and shoot through the hood.

• There's a point at which you have to distinguish rain gear aimed at protecting the camera while shooting, and just protecting the camera (a big garbage bag can do the latter).

How do you protect your valuable investment in great gear? Let us know.  

8 -- Think Tank Photo announces upgraded favorites

Our friends at Think Tank Photo have released a new version of their popular TurnStyle sling bags with an emphasis on stability.

The TurnStyle 5 fits a mirrorless body plus two to four lenses, and an eight-inch tablet.  The TurnStyle 10 fits a standard size DSLR plus one to two lenses, and an eight-inch tablet. 

The TurnStyle 20 fits a standard size DSLR plus one to three lenses, and a 10" tablet.  These new version releases come in the traditional Charcoal and in a new color, Indigo Blue.

Doug Murdoch, Think Tank Photo's CEO and lead designer tells us:

This new version of our popular TurnStyle sling bags reinforces their reputation as the ideal "grab and go" camera bag. One thing we've learned from serving professional photographers for so long is that they always need one, pre-conformed gear kit that gives them access to their core gear.  The TurnStyle is that bag.

If a combination backpack/roller is you favorite Think Tank product, they have you covered with their new version of the StreetWalker® series--  one of the most sought-after products in the photographic world.  

The new StreetWalker Rolling Backpack V2.0, featuring the ability to switch from a backpack to a roller. Also released are upgraded versions of all three classic StreetWalker backpacks.

Photographers get the same comfort and quality as the original series but with new features such as increased depth for modern DSLR systems, and dedicated pockets for both tablets and smartphones.

Editor's note: if you are interested in these bags, make sure you use our links (above)-- our friends at Think Tank have arranged for the links to lead our members to free gear and free shipping with their orders. 

9 -- Real Estate photographers share tips

New member Maris Lubbock (Enidan) from Ontario, Canada took a picture of a home. A realtor liked her work and now she's on the verge of entering the world of real estate photography. It's not as easy as one might think, and she's asking for advice. What would you suggest?

Here's her story:

On a whim, I send some photos of a house - interior & exterior to a real estate agent who is an acquaintance. He loved them. In a note with the photos, I asked if he could would be interested in having me photo a couple of listings. Since I am very new to all this I said I would do it for free for one or two places. They loved my photos &' I'm meeting agents tomorrow afternoon at a large older home. The agent also insists he will pay me. He & some other agents loved my photos.

If things work out, I'm not worried about the business side. I have advice from our insurance agent & accountant. What I need advice on is lighting & everything else. The photos I sent were taken with my crop sensor & my Sigma 10-20. The late afternoon was sunny and the house was beautifully lit with natural light. I know nothing about supplementary lighting, so hoping at this point I don't have to use it. I will be there in the afternoon tomorrow. Hoping it's sunny.

I would love to be able to make some money to support my expensive hobby. I'm retired and have discovered my love for photography late in life when I can least afford it. Any advice would be appreciated.  - Maris

Have you been shooting real estate images? Do you have tips to share?


That's it for this week. Make sure you grab your favorite camera and capture some images to share with family and friends (especially us at Nikonians). -- Tom Boné (flashdeadline)

Posted by flashdeadline at May 30, 2017 11:20 PM

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