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June 20, 2017

Fireworks - Tips, Tricks and more


Here are some of the topics and news items we're tracking for our community this week. ---
Time to share your favorite fireworks images, tips, techniques and tricks - Seven deadly photography sins - 32-bit bites dust--- PLUS more...

1 -- Fireworks - One of the Hottest Topics we share

We are fast approaching a significant increase in fireworks oriented photography, and this means we need to re-visit one of the most comprehensive posts on the topic. Our Café now has a link to the original post, along with an open invitation for our members to share their best images from last year, along with your descriptions of equipment used, techniques, tips and tricks that made them one of your favorites.

Here are just a few of the great tips we have already gathered:

• My tip is that when you are taking fireworks photos where the scene includes buildings that are important to the image, the exposure and focus must be coordinated to get the lighting on the buildings as well as the fireworks.

• Fireworks are bright, almost as intense as an afternoon sun, so your aperture should be set as if shooting during the day. The exception will be what you do with your shutter speed.

• Don't forget to photograph the amusing people and things that happen around you. If your children are with you, have them stand still while spinning some light sticks for some great effects.

There's plenty more advice available--Check it Out 

2 -- Think Tank Teams with SKB

Our friends at Think Tank Photo have just announced an exciting new partnership with hard-case manufacturer SKB.  Think Tank's designers have created internal divider sets, organizers, and a backpack designed specifically to fit within 10 SKB hard cases. 

There are times when you simply must use the airline gate-check procedure with your most precious photography equipment.  At moments like these, nothing will do a better job of protection than a hard case.  

But, one of the downsides of hard cases is that they are basically hard shells with not a lot of other features built into them. 

Think Tank's partnership with SKB solves this problem. 

The result is a perfect combination matching the best of a hard case with the best of internal organization.  Don't forget that with our special partnership with Think Tank that you receive free gear and free shipping when you order using our special link.  

3 -- Sounds easier than it looks

Silver member Robert Metheney (bobpilot) from Utah, USA has what seems to be a simple problem. He wants to change the background on an image from a dull white to pure white.

Bob quickly tells us he's not a Photoshop expert, and he's wondering if anyone has an easy to understand step-by-step guide that will help him solve the problem. 

Here's Bob's situation: 

I made a photograph of sunglasses for an acquaintance. He is trying to sell them and he wants a white a white background. Nothing artistic. The photo I made has an off-white background. I made the photo with the glasses on top of translum paper with a light above and below. 

We've already had a few members taking the original and transforming to the desired effect.

Check them out and see if you agree with the procedure. If not, show us your solution. Don't forget to explain how it was done.  

4 -- The Seven Deadly Sins in Photography - Part 1

Nikonians co-founder J. Ramón Palacios (jrp) has over 50 years of photography experience, nevertheless, he makes a review of the typical errors that he has committed and shares with us the solutions to improve our photography. His newest article is therefore a confession, an act of contrition and a fast mix of easy tips.

The author tells us:

There are seven days of the week, seven colors of the rainbow, seven notes on a musical scale, seven seas and seven continents in the world; seven branches for seven candles in the Menorah. On the lighter side, seven were the dwarfs chosen by Walt Disney's for Snow White. And just as there are seven deadly or cardinal sins that may prevent us to get to the seventh heaven, there are seven sins to avoid for good photography. I know because I have committed them all and even today I may occasionally forget to avoid. 

His article comes in multiple parts, and this edition explores the topic of subject centering. Here's a hint: Centering your subject in a frame tends to work against you.  

5 -- 32-Bit bites dust?

Nikonians Moderating team member Jonathan Kandel (JonK) sees a technological progression that spells doom for 32-bit apps.

He looked carefully at the preliminary results of a recent Apple Worldwide Developers Conference and noticed a trend.

Jon tells us:

The next operating system for the Mac, announced at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference ten days ago but given more prominence next consumer play over the past two days is interesting -- and ominous.

The new system, called High Sierra, will be a complete 64-bit system with a new file system (faster and more secure), better graphics and VR, and enhancements to Safari and Mail. The troubling item in that last sentence is the 64-bit system.

Recent operating systems have supported 64-bit apps and 32-bit apps. High Sierra will do the same when released this coming October. But starting in January 2018 it will be no longer support 32-bit apps. Here's what I think that means (so far, more thought and research is required):

• That's the end of Nik.

• Many other plug-in and standalone enhancement apps are 32-bit -- and some are from small companies or solo practitioners who may not have the resources to rewrite code to 64-bit.

• While the major Adobe apps are currently 64-bit, some of the support software -- the desktop app and the loader app -- are not. They will obviously be rewritten to 64-bit, but I wonder if Adobe will take this "opportunity" to have the new loader not handle the standalone CS6 suite and move all Adobe software to the subscription model.

• The Microsoft Office Suite -- Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook -- has not been updated since 2011. Given the Mac's place in the marketplace (7% or so) I wonder if Microsoft will invest the resources necessary to rewrite four major apps (and related support software).

There are a myriad of other apps that many of us use -- i.e., the Pocketwizard loader, Camranger, device drivers, etc. -- for which we need to be mindful. 

Do you agree with Jon's analysis? Join the conversation 

6 -- 17th ANPAT (Fall) bookings gather

Bookings are moving along for our 17th ANPAT in the Fall to Acadia and Coastal Maine.

This area is a photography paradise, with rugged coastlines, iconic lighthouses, and warm tones of the northern light.

The ANPAT is scheduled for October 7, 2017 (arrival) to October 14, 2017 (departure).

October is the best time to be there; exquisite colors abound, not just on the trees, but also on the ground, thanks to the berry plants characteristic of the northern areas. 

Your early booking is highly appreciated as it helps to make early deposits to keep arrangements and negotiated rates.

Practically everything you want to know about lodgings, itineraries, special arrangements and clothing suggestions are contained in our 17th ANPAT in the Fall FAQ's 

7 -- Best choices - Matrix, Spot, Manual?  

Silver member Gary Pack (GaryPk) is wondering what are using us as your favorite metering mode when shooting landscapes. 

He's looking at a specific style of photo:

If I am shooting two of the same landscape with one exposed for the sky and the other for the foreground due to high dynamic range, should I be using Spot Metering Mode? Thanks, Gary 

Here are two suggestions pointing in different directions:

• I'll let the landscape masters give you the best answer, but for me, I would use matrix. If you have a mix of clouds in the sky, your metering will depend on where you put the spot. With matrix, you would get a better "average" of the exposure value (in my thinking). I would also move the meter around the sky to see how much it varies. You can also check your histogram to get an idea of what the meter is telling you. 

• Since you are probably going to be shooting from a tripod with the head locked (to ensure the two images will correctly register) Spot should work well. You could focus on the foreground and use spot metering (which is normally slaved to the focus point) for the first exposure. Then move the focus point to the sky (without re-focusing) and take the second exposure. 

What metering mode would you suggest 

8 -- Your vote matters

Moderating Team member Dan Wiedbrauk (domer2760) is looking to add more votes to the month of May Digital Artistry contest results.

The theme was "Lines."

The instruction for those competing were simple:

Show us your digitally manipulated images of lines and objects in lines. Any photographic subject is acceptable so long as it meets the Nikonians terms of use. We want to see wall-worthy line abstracts, objects/people in lines, clothes lines, blurred movement lines, architectural lines, or any liney thing that tickles your fancy. Let your inner artist lead the way. 

For the longest time, we had a three-way tie, but now one image has picked up steam. It's still a close call, so Dan would appreciate your vote to help make the final decision. 


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 June 20, 2017 10:40 PM