Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Random Stuffs

Moose Peterson's blog is sporting some awesome aviation photos today.  I'm a sucker for yellow biplanes.  Here's the Link

The Kelby Group has released issue number 8 of their Light It Magazine iPad app.  If you have not checked out the Light It Magazine app yet, you should.  It's full of great information and instruction to help you improve your lighting techniques.  And the layout and interface is awesome!
Check it out  Here.

And speaking of lighting, I'll throw out a recommendation.  Pixel King wireless radio triggers for Cannon E-TTL flash.  (also available for Nikon I-TTL)  I've been using these triggers for a little while now and I'm so far very impressed.  Full E-TTL functionality, including High-Speed Sync, for off camera flash with a very reasonable price tag...     Amazon Link.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Sunday Senior Shoot

I shot some high-school senior photos for Alex on Sunday evening.  Here is one of the photos that demonstrates the type of lighting I was going for...

50mm f2.0  1/200th.  ISO 100

     I used one speedlight, with a reflective umbrella, and a large silver reflector.  We also had some warm directional sunlight from behind Alex to provide the hair light.  The umbrella is to my left, slightly above Alex's head, angled down.  I placed a large silver reflector on the ground, leaning against the bottom of the light stand.  I was attempting to mimic the clam-shell lighting technique used by studios when shooting glamour photography.  If you look closely at the catchlights in the eyes you can see the double reflections from the over-under lighting.  It's a pretty simple lighting setup that provides great results for lighting female subjects.  


photo jabber blog by tim wyler
basic tips for new dslr photographers
better family photos
senior photography tips

Friday, June 8, 2012

New Canon Rebel Announced

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., June 8, 2012 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today announced a new flagship model in its most popular EOS Rebel line, the Canon EOS Rebel T4i Digital SLR Camera. The new EOS Rebel T4i features incredible image quality with an 18-megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor, DIGIC 5 Image Processor that helps capture all the action with high-speed continuous shooting of up to five frames per second (fps) and an extended ISO range of 100-12800 (expandable to 25600 in H mode) that gives photographers the opportunities to take the EOS Rebel T4i into more shooting situations than ever before.
The camera includes a revolutionary new autofocus (AF) system to help achieve fast, sharp focus and smooth HD video. The new AF system includes a nine-point all cross-type sensor array, and new Hybrid CMOS AF which achieves fast focus when shooting stills or video in Live View mode. Much to the pleasure of aspiring student filmmakers and parents everywhere, the Rebel T4i features Canon's new Movie Servo AF providing a quiet, continuous AF during HD video recording when using one of Canon's newly introduced Stepping Motor (STM) lenses. The silent continuous autofocus when shooting HD video helps ensure the camera only captures the sounds of the scene being recorded. When combined with the camera's new Vari-angle Touch Screen 3.0-inch Clear View LCD monitor II and intuitive "fingertip" controls, touch-menu and advanced still and video capabilities, the EOS Rebel T4i stands as Canon's most "consumer-friendly" DSLR to date.
"Our Rebel line of cameras bridges the gap between the casual photographer and someone looking to advance their photography and capture moments in new and creative ways. The EOS Rebel T4i boasts full HD video with AF and touch-screen navigation, inspiring even more photographers and videographers to explore the creative options made possible with DSLR cameras and lenses," said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A.
New AF Capabilities
One of the most significant upgrades to the EOS Rebel T4i is a dramatically upgraded AF system including a nine-point all cross-type AF array, with a high-precision dual-cross f/2.8 point at center. The EOS Rebel T4i is the first Canon camera to feature the new Hybrid CMOS AF system which increases AF speed by reducing the camera's need to "hunt" for focus. The result is fast continuous AF when shooting photos and movies in Live View. Because the camera's cross-type AF points have two-dimensional contrast detection, the EOS Rebel T4i provides highly accurate focus regardless of your shot composition and ensures great focus no matter where the subject is located in the frame. The addition of the dual-cross point in the center allows for much faster and precise focusing for photographers using high-speed f/2.8 lenses.
Using the touch panel, parents can select their child on the LCD screen and the camera will remain focused on that child while they stay in-frame, ensuring sharp focus in crowds and group shots. The new AF system enables Touch Focus for shooting photos and movies in Live View. To make capturing photos even easier, a Touch Shutter function can also be enabled, whereby selecting a subject on the LCD screen, the camera will instantly take a photo, once focus is locked.
Continuous AF during HD Video Recording
For the first time in a Canon EOS DSLR, the EOS Rebel T4i includes Canon's new Movie Servo AF for recording video. When used with Canon's new EF and EF-S STM lenses, the camera can provide smooth and quiet continuous AF while recording video. This technological breakthrough enables the new EOS Rebel T4i to achieve AF while still retaining a DSLR camera's signature background blur and image quality, producing stunning videos of parties, events, summer vacations or graduations.
When shooting video with Canon's STM lenses, AF also remains silent, helping ensure you only capture the sound of the scene being recorded. The EOS Rebel T4i features a built-in stereo microphone, a first for the Rebel line, that includes an attenuator function to reduce audio distortion in extra loud situations.
Canon's First Touch-Screen DSLR
Another Canon first, the EOS Rebel T4i includes a best-in-class Vari-angle Touch Screen 3.0-inch Clear View LCD monitor II featuring 1.04 million dot resolution for unparalleled, clear viewing. The electro-static touch-panel screen is the most advanced that Canon has released to date with multi-touch capabilities allowing photographers to use familiar gestures such as "pinch-to-zoom" and "swiping" to scroll between pictures. Camera operation has been simplified through this feature allowing for Touch Focus or Touch Shutter controls via the vari-angle touch-screen. The vari-angle touch-screen flips out to the left and rotates 180 degrees forward and 90 degrees backward, making tough above-the-head and low-to-the-ground shots easy, and allowing improved views during photo or video capture. That means the overhead shot taken in a crowd or at a graduation march just got a little easier to shoot.
Improved Imaging Performance Features
The EOS Rebel T4i helps novice photographers capture great images and video, even in low-light with a range of new and upgraded modes:

  • Handheld Night Scene

  • Video Snapshot

  • HDR Backlight Control

  • Scene Intelligent Auto

  • Multi-Shot Noise Reduction
  • Canon's new shooting modes (Handheld Night Scene, HDR Backlight Control and Multi-Shot Noise Reduction), take multiple pictures, and combine them - in camera - to help capture a wider dynamic range, minimize the image grain or noise, and produce more vivid colors so landscapes and city scenes are as breathtaking as when seen in person.
    Families have enjoyed coming home from a vacation or outing with a fun, short Video Snapshot highlight reel shot on their Canon camera to share the full story of their adventure. Now with the EOS Rebel T4i users will also have the option to delete, cut or re-order the clips before exporting the Snapshot album to post or share.
    Canon's Scene Intelligent Auto mode - the "green" mode on the dial - analyzes the scene being shot, taking into account faces, colors, brightness, movement and contrast, to select appropriate camera settings and help produce the best possible image. This mode has been enhanced to deliver the best possible exposure, particularly when shooting in low-light.
    New STM Lenses and Accessories
    To leverage the unique, new shooting functions of the EOS Rebel T4i, such as EOS Full HD Movie with continuous AF, Canon is introducing two new unique lenses, the new EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens and new EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens. Both new STM lenses includes Canon's new Stepping Motor technology, which allows the lenses to smoothly and silently focus, and when used in combination with Canon's new EOS Rebel T4i Movie Servo AF feature, achieve continuous AF while recording video. The new stepping motor technology in both lenses quietly focuses allowing the EOS Rebel T4i's stereo microphone to only record the sounds of the scene being shot.
    The versatile EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens offers the right combination of size, weight, image stabilization and focal length, allowing photographers to capture wide-angle or telephoto photographs and video. This lens is a great option for photographers who may only want to carry one lens with them for both wide landscapes, and close-ups. Appearing for the first time in a Canon EF lens is Dynamic IS (Movie Shooting Mode only) that uses a wide image stabilization correction range to help ensure steady video even when shooting while walking.
    The new EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens offers an ultra-slim, lightweight design that helps photographers avoid overwhelming their subjects with a large lens and to remain discreet in sensitive shooting situations without compromising performance. The "pancake-style" lens boasts an aperture of f/2.8 making it an ideal lens for capturing portrait stills or stunning video. The lens is under an inch thick when attached, making it easy to carry and fit conveniently into a purse or pocket.
    The EOS Rebel T4i is also compatible with Canon's previously introduced GP-E2 GPS Receiver that can be mounted to the camera's accessory shoe. The GPS unit was created to serve outdoor photographers; it records shooting locations including latitude, longitude and altitude, as well as camera direction. A Logging function can tell how far a photographer has traveled as well.
    The EOS Rebel T4i Digital SLR camera will be available at the end of June for an estimated retail price of $849.99 for the body alone; $949.99 bundled with an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens kit and a Movie Kit bundle for $1199.00 with the new EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens.
    The new EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens and the new EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM will also be available separately at the end of June at an estimated retail price of $199.99 and $549.99 respectively.
    About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
    Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. With approximately $45.6 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents registered in 2011† and is one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies in 2012. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company’s RSS news feed by visiting

    † Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.
    All referenced product names, and other marks, are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
    Availability, prices, and specifications of all products are subject to change without notice. Actual prices are set by individual dealers and may vary.

    Tuesday, June 5, 2012

    More Shooting Long

         I've mentioned before how I like to shoot portraits with a long focal length. This is just another example....

    shot at 200mm, f4

              Standing back and zooming in to 200mm, the foreground and background are greatly compressed, giving the photo a unique "look".  Fill light was provided by an off- camera speedlight to the right, and accent lighting from a low, late-afternoon sun.  


    photo jabber blog by tim wyler
    basic beginner photo tips and techniques 
    for making better family photos

    Tuesday, May 29, 2012

    Bargain Alert!!

         Amazon is offering Photoshop Elements 10 for $63.99  HERE.  This is a whole bunch of editing power for a very reasonable price.  I highly recommend Elements for novice photographers who are looking to upgrade from Picasa.  Photoshop Elements consists of three different editing modes for beginner, intermediate, and advanced users, so it grows with you as you advance in your abilities.
         If you are getting into Elements for the first time, visit Adobe TV's learning center for lots of great online tutorials to help get you started....   Adobe TV
         I still use Elements 10 coupled with Lightroom 3, it's a very powerful combination.


    Monday, May 28, 2012

    Just Swinging

    My youngest daughter enjoying her favorite activity.
    1/800th, f2.8, iso 200

    photo jabber blog by tim wyler
    easy tips and techniques for making better family photos
    basic photography tips for beginner dslr shooters

    Monday, May 21, 2012

    Cropping for Composition

         Straight out of the camera, a digital image is typically recorded in a 2 x 3 ratio, and can therefore be printed as 4 x 6, or any multiple thereof, without any modification.  However, printing to any other ratio, such as 5x7 or 8x10, will obviously require some cropping of the photo to the appropriate dimensions.  But cropping is not just for print preparation.  The Crop Tool is actually the single most effective tool in your post-processing arsenal for altering the overall look of your images.  A little bit of cropping can completely change the composition of a photo, and even provide several very different looks from a single image.

         Experiment with different shapes, sizes, angles and compositions.  Try non-standard ratios, like 1x1 or 16x9.  You may even find that you can give an old photo a brand new look!


    photo jabber blog by tim wyler
    beginner tips for new dslr photographers
    better family photography

    Thursday, May 10, 2012

    More Softball Fun

    Here's a link to a previous post I did about shooting my kids' softball games- LINK

         I had a chance to shoot a few more softball game pics the other night.  It was a late game so I ran out of light pretty quick, but I was able to get the first inning.  This is my seven-year-old's team, a fun age to watch.  The girls are really just starting to figure things out and get a little bit of an understanding of the game.  
         I shot the batters from my usual spot, near the first base line dugout.  Should have worn a helmet as I nearly took a foul ball to the head!  These were shot at f2.8 in Aperture Priority mode, which at ISO 400, gave me a shutter speed of around 1/800th.  I used continuous focus so I could track the players as they ran to first base.  

    If you're a softball Mom or Dad with a camera, there are a few more tips back on that previous post-


    photo jabber blog by tim wyler
    basic photography tips
    for taking better family photos

    Monday, May 7, 2012

    Odds & Ends

         I've been out of pocket the last few days and have not done any posting.  I just have a couple of odds and ends to contribute today....

         First- Apple's Photo Stream.  This is really cool!  ( that is to say, it's cool if you are an iPhone / iPad / iPhoto user )   In case you're not familiar...  Photo Stream is a part of Apple's iCloud.  It's a very simple way to share your iPhone photos to your iPad, Mac, or to other iPhone users on your account.

    Here's how it works.  Just go into your iCloud settings and turn on the Photo Stream.  Now when you take photos with your iPhone, or add photos to the Camera Roll, those photos will automatically be copied to your Photo Stream album in the cloud. (photos will only go up to the cloud when connected to wifi)  When you open the Photo Stream album on your iPad or in iPhoto, your latest iPhone pics are there!  This works great if you have other iPhone users on your iCloud account.  For example....  My wife and I use the same iCloud account so we can share pictures automatically.  When either of us takes a photo with our iPhone, the photo automatically appears in the Photo Stream which we can view via iPhone or iPad.  It's great when I'm traveling and she wants to share new pics of the kiddos.  She doesn't have to email me the photos, they just magically appear in my Photo Stream.  The Photo Stream will keep only your last 1000 photos, so it is not a replacement for permanent backup.  But it's easy and free, so I like it.

         Second-  A quick portrait tip.....  The camera looks both ways.   You've possibly heard this, or perhaps some other rendition of it before.  It's a commonly shared tip because it's very very true.  Your mood, expression, and emotion will be reflected by your subject, just like a mirror.  This is especially true when photographing kids.  If you want joyous, laughing, excited, smiley expressions- you've got to set the tone.  It's not 100% effective 100% of the time, but it's close.

         Lastly-  Here's a photo of a friend and her daughter that I took last Fall.  Taken at my favorite time of day, the early evening sunlight angling in from behind them is providing the accent lighting.  Fill light is coming in from my speed light positioned camera left. And I think I have mentioned before that some of my favorite portraits are the ones in which the subjects are not looking at the camera.....

    Hope you like,

    photo jabber blog by tim wyler
    basic photography tips for new dslr owners
    simple techniques for taking better family photos

    Friday, April 27, 2012

    Summer Hike

         Last Summer my oldest daughter's church group took a Sunday afternoon excursion to a nearby hiking area.  I was asked to come along as a chaperone/photographer.  Well I like hiking, and I sort of do like taking pictures too, so....

    Great bunch of girls with their awesome teacher Ms. Sharon

    The girls all had a blast despite the heat

    The trail ends at the waterfall.  Apparently the cool stream was very inviting...

    They couldn't resist.

    An uninvited visitor,  just passing through.

    and the finish.. 

         This is a great group of girls.  They have really bonded these last couple of years under the leadership of their wonderful teacher, Ms. Sharon.  Everybody had a great time that day, including myself.  It was well worth enduring the heat and humidity to watch them laughing and playing in the rapids.
         I took lots of pictures, these are just a few.  I shot with my 55-250mm lens... very lightweight, and very versatile.  It's long, so I can zoom in tight for close-ups.  And it is just wide enough that I can get a group shot as long as I stand back a little ways.

         Everyone enjoyed seeing the pictures.  Ms. Sharon printed a bunch of 4x6's to give to the girls.  I also put together an Animoto video which the girls really enjoyed...

         Hoping to do it again this Summer, maybe it will be a little cooler this time :)


    photo jabber blog by tim wyler
    beginner photography tips for new dslr owners
    family photography tips
    better family photos

    Sunday, April 22, 2012

    A Day at the Beach

         What family photo album would be complete without the shots from the big summer beach vacation!  The sun, the surf, hot sand, sunburns, jellyfish......   well you know.  It's still good classic family fun!  

    the classic sandcastle building shot...  it's a must.

                   Zoom in tight...                              Avoid distracting backgrounds...

    A different perspective...

     The details...

    Must include some beach vegetation!

         When capturing those family beach memories on camera, all the normal photographic rules apply.  But  here are a few extra tidbits which may help you yield better beach results...

    • The plastic bag trick...  Ever walked out of your cool condo with camera in hand, ready for action, until the warm moist tropical air hits that camera lens and suddenly you're all fogged up?  Before you head out, put your camera in a plastic bag and set it out on the balcony for 20 minutes.  Your lens will adapt to the warm temperature and you will avoid the dreaded fog-over.
    • Consider an old camera.  Keep in mind the sand and salty air do not make for a friendly environment for your nice shiny new camera.  Sure, you can bring the good one out for your portrait shoots.  But for those- hangin on the beach and just shooting some snapshots days, bring an old camera along.  Try to keep it protected when you're not using it.  And NEVER wipe the lens with a sandy towel or shirt.  
    • If you're using a DSLR, do No Not Never change your lens on the beach.  Sand in Camera = Bad.
    • As always.... Try to shoot in good light.  This means early or late in the day.  Avoid mid-day harsh sunlight.    - Having said that, we are just talking about vacation pics here.  It's perfectly fine to capture your memories at any time of day... just understand that your better photos will come in good light.
    • Avoid busy, distracting backgrounds and zoom in tight on your subject. 
    • Shoot from different perspectives...  Get low with lots of sand in the foreground.  Or try wading out into the water and shooting back toward the beach.
    • Capture the details... the sand castles, the umbrellas, the little toes in the sand, etc...
    • When shooting your fancy, dressed-up beach portraits... use fill-flash, so your sky will be pretty  and blue.
    • Don't forget the all-important sea oats!  It's a requirement that you shoot your beach portraits in front of beach vegetation.  (usually dressed in khaki and white!)  


    photo jabber blog by tim wyler
    basic tips for beginner photographers
    better family photos