Handheld with the Canon 16-35mm & 5D

posted on 2011.06.30, under Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, HDR Photos, Photos, Video

This 13th century church sits on top of a hill in Ushi, Armenia.  I hiked about 1000 meters up a grassy hillside with my gear (see video).  The ancient church was beautiful, creepy, and an opportunity I could not miss.  Places like this don’t exist in the USA, and if they do, they have been roped off and access is from afar (i.e. Montezuma Castle).   I knew the rain was coming.  The clouds were dark so I quickly grabbed as many shots as I could in 30 minutes and then ran back down the hill.

I have included 2 videos, one that shows my gear and one that shows the church, and a couple photos I snapped from the hill-top.  90% of the shots are with the 16-35mm and a couple of shots are with the 70-200mm.

Shooting Stills at 5000 ISO

posted on 2011.06.26, under Photos

While visiting Yerevan I shot some stills with the Armenian National Ballet.  This was one week before their final dress rehearsal and there was a bit of a lighting issue.   I ended up having to shoot at ISO 5000, shutter speed 1/60, and f /2.8, using the Canon 70-200.

This was not ideal and I actually scheduled a re-shoot in a couple of days when they have lighting fully operational.   I shot one thousand photos at ISO 5000-6400 and it was painful when I got home and looked at the photos.  They are very noisy and lack sharpness.  It was a great experience for low light shooting.

I also shot some video at 5000 ISO, that will come to a blog post soon!

On a side note, the ballet, Romeo and Juliet, was spectacular.


Beehive in Armenia at 29.97 and 59.97

posted on 2011.06.20, under Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, Video

I used the Canon 5D at 29.97 and the 7D at 59.97 and then conformed some of the 59.97 in cinema tools for some slow motion.   I made the audio track in soundtrack.  Yes, getting that close to 50 beehives required some deep breathing.  It was my first time approaching a beehive in this lifetime.  I messed with the footage a bit in Magic Bullet Looks.  I used a Gitzo tripod.

CrossFit North East Regionals – a photographer’s dream

posted on 2011.06.19, under Canon 5D Mark II, Photos, Zeiss

On the road to the CrossFit Games there are many regional events.  One of the biggest regional competitions took place this year at the Reebok World Headquarters in Canton, Massachusetts.

I attended the event and it is a photographer’s dream!  The worlds greatest athletes go hard, and there are unlimited moments worth capturing.  It is really like shooting ducks in a barrel, or fish or something in a barrel.

I submitted this photo and it was used on the CrossFit.com main site.

I love it when they use a photo I submit.

I shot this using the Canon 5D and the Zeiss Nikon 50mm Makro, 2.0 that I had modified at Duclos.  Buying this lens is some of the best money I have spent on camera gear ever.

CrossFit North East Regionals


Zeiss 50mm Makro from Duclos Lens


Yes, this lens is good.  Yes, it has a look that is obviously different from the Canon glass.  Click here to see the price list from Duclos.  This is a Zeiss, lens made for Nikon cameras that has been modified for Canon EOS.

The lens has no auto focus, and at f/2.0 getting sharp focus is lucky, I mean a skill that needs to be worked on.  I have been shooting in AV mode 50% of the time (aperture priority mode) when using this lens.  Normally, I shoot all manual exposure settings and auto focus when using Canon lens.  But, I wanted to free mind up from exposure concerns and give the focus ring my complete attention.

Video is coming very soon.

I shot these three people on the streets of Vancouver, Canada.

photo stats
Canon 5D
Zeiss ZF Nikon Mount 50mm 2.0
I don’t know what the f-stop was when I shot these.  I am going to guess around 4 – 5.6

A bit of history on the subjects.

The guy on the left was sitting at Starbucks on Robson in Vancouver.  Actually, there was a beautiful woman sitting in a chair and I started to snap some photos of her, then this guy rolled up and sat with her.  So, I snapped a few photos of him too.  He was a bit shy, yet photogenic.  He is a filmmaker/animator in Vancouver.

The guy in the middle was sitting at a Tim Horton’s next to three police officers and still offered to sell me hash or marijuana in 10 dollar increments, “really good stuff”.  He was a nice guy, a bit difficult to understand.  The police seemed to be aware that he was peddling produce, but were non-reactive.  I did not buy any weed, but I snapped a few great photos of the lad.

The lady on the far right, was watching a giant monitor on a Vancouver street.  The screen was being watched by thousands of Vancouverians as they watched their beloved Canucks get whooped in game 6 of the Stanley Cup.  I asked her if I could snap a few photos and she graciously accepted.



A friend, the Canon 5D and a video

posted on 2011.06.16, under Canon 5D Mark II, Lens, Video

I get great pleasure from a friend sending me some of their work, and I can actually tell them, “Good job,  I enjoyed that”.

My college buddy, my great friend, my partner in crime, my inspiration, and filmmaker Nick Hoyle (of Santa Barbara fame) sent me this link to a video he wrote, directed, produced, edited and acted in.

He used Final Cut Pro, Canon 5D, 24-105 lens, After Effects, a snake, a wig, Azden on board mic, and a beautiful woman.

Close, Medium & Wide in London

posted on 2011.06.15, under Canon 5D Mark II, HDR Photos, Lens, Photos

It was raining on and off today in London.   I wish I could have gone up in the crane for a closer look.

I used the Canon 70-200mm lens on all three shots.  Although none of these shots is a standout by itself, when seen together, it paints a nice portrait (which is a different creature than a narrative).


posted on 2011.06.13, under Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 7D, LUMIX, Reviews, Video

A friend of mine turned me on to this little gem of a camera.  This is a light weight, solution to DSLR shooting.  The LUMIX GH2 and its accessories are so easy to carry around compared to 7D or the 5D.  You can have three lens, 5 batteries and two GH2 cameras, in 1/4 the room you could have the equivalent in Canon gear.   Now, the picture quality is not the same, but it is the light weight solution.

I also think the Sennheiser MKE 400, when used properly is an excellent mic.  When pointed directly at the subject at 0-5 feet in range, the results are above adequate.

This is a simple shooting set up with results that I have not seen matched for its size.

This site - http://starvingphotographer.com has some great photos that were snapped with the GH2.



racking focus hand held with the Canon 70-200

posted on 2011.06.12, under Lens, Video

Racking focus is the practice of shifting the attention of a viewer of a film or video by changing the focus of the lens from a subject in the foreground to a subject in the background, or vice versa.

The 70-200 is a solid lens.   Although, you’d better be strong!  Took this lens to the park and just grabbed this in one take.  It is so easy! This is at 200mm on the Canon 7D.

Romeo and Juliet are dead @ ISO 2500

posted on 2011.06.11, under Canon 5D Mark II, Photos

The Armenian National Ballet shoot was memorable indeed.  I love working with top-notch, high-caliber, A-list talent.  They do their stuff, and I do mine.  Here are two photos at the final dress rehearsal.

In one photo Romeo is dead and Juliet is jumping, and in the other Juliet is dead and Romeo is jumping.   In both photos, the orchestra is rocking out.

Photo Stats/Euipment
Canon 5D
Lens – 16-35mm, IS0 2500, 1/250, f/2.8
Software – Aperture 3 and NIK
Apple MAc Book Pro