Allen's Blog

Posts tagged ‘filters’:

Eclipse 2017: Let’s Be Careful Out There

Unless you’ve spent the few weeks hiding under your desk for some reason or another, you’re aware of the total solar eclipse that will cross the United States today. Whether or not you’ve traveled to a region that will experience totality, it’s critically important that you take appropriate precautions while enjoying the view.

While astronomy buffs will likely already be aware, some photographers may not realize just how powerful the sun’s rays can be. Watch as the staff of Every Photo Store tests a vintage Canon Rebel XT’s sensor with a six second exposure. Obviously, this is far too long for a solar photograph, but is a reasonable amount of time to expect an average person to stare at the sun during an eclipse. (Trigger warnings: camera abuse, dubstep.)

Lesson learned: do the research in order to find an appropriate filter for the lens you plan to use. And never look through the optical viewfinder!

More importantly, you need to protect your two most precious sensors – the ones inside your skull. Former NASA/JPL employee Rod Ryle lost significant sight in one eye as a result of ignoring safety warnings as a child:

I viewed partial solar eclipses with faulty equipment as a child, and lost nearly half my vision in one eye. Trust me, it’s not worth it. And the worst part? There are no pain receptors in your eyes, so you won’t know you are damaging them until a few days later when it’s too late.

So how do you tell whether your filter or eclipse glasses are reliable? First of all, if they’re scratched, creased, or damaged in any other way, throw them out. Then, check the American Astronomical Society’s list of reputable vendors. Their web server is under extreme strain today, but Google’s cache comes to the rescue. Sadly, thousands of subpar products have made their way to market in the past weeks from unscrupulous vendors, and a great many people across the country are now at risk of permanent eye damage. If your filter isn’t on the list, please… view the eclipse through a pinhole projector instead – a method that’s been in use for thousands of years, and a simple, cheap way to observe the sun safely.

Luscious Color, Dynamic Portraits with Rosco Laboratories’ Gel Kits

One look at Lindsay Adler’s website should convince you she ranks among the top fashion photographers in the world, with a stunning, bold style and sometimes brain-melting creativity.

To our great fortune, she also spends some of her time teaching the craft of photography, leading workshops around the world for creativeLIVE, KelbyOne, and others, as well as publishing books – some with titles that might make you chuckle and say, “Yep. Been there.”

She recently shared a behind the scenes video showing how she created these fashion portraits for Elle Indonesia. The magic in these images came from – besides Lindsay’s brain – Rosco gel kits. Lindsay had the idea to hold various gels at different angles in order to create splashes of color over the image, as a graphic designer might do. The result is gorgeous and arresting, as the layers of colors wrap across the model’s face. If it’s winter where you are, as it is for us, you’ll probably appreciate these vivid images all the more.

To learn more about the project, including which gel kits were used, click through to Tatiana’s post on Rosco Spectrum.

Gelly Roll And don’t forget, the best way to store your gels is Gelly Roll, which lets you keep your gels organized, portable, and ready to use whenever inspiration strikes.

The Secret Canon G11 Accessory Everyone Wants — It Does Exist!

I’m just back from San Francisco, a chance to see some of our dealers in the Bay Area and to spend the weekend with my son and daughter-in-law. In the course of a visit to Keeble & Shuchat Photography, in Palo Alto, I left the store with a Canon accessory that I’ve been wanting for a number of years but never knew existed.

Canon FA-DC58B filter adapter

Like many professionals, I have loved and worked with Canon’s G-series for a long time. My first was the G2, and at the time it was an $800 camera and worth it. Now we’re at the G12 with a price of around $400 and the swing-out, tiltable screen that was a feature of the G2 way back when. My current model is the G11, and what I’ve always wanted is the ability to use filters on it. Canon happens to have a perfect add-on, the FA-DC58B, which fits the G10, G11, and G12 cameras. What is also interesting is that this adapter is something I think thousands of G-series shooters would buy instantly, if not for the fact that its existence is buried deep within Canon’s site. A couple of major professional dealers I mentioned it to had no idea it was even available. But I asked the right question of the right people at K&S and for less than $50, I’ve greatly extended the creative capability of what is already a great camera.

FA-DC58B filter adapter on Canon G11

To use the adapter, just remove the ring that surrounds the lens (push the release button and rotate the ring a bit); then replace that ring with the adapter, which has a 58mm screw-in front thread, and add whatever filter you want, with no vignetting at any focal length. Even though there is a built-in 2-stop ND filter in the camera’s menu, I often want to extend shutter speeds even more. So adding a 3-stop ND gets me just where I want to be. And if lens protection is what you need, a simple UV filter will work. I also find a lot of use for a Low-Contrast filter in landscape photos.

I mentioned the adapter to my friend and fellow photographer Allan Weitz, and within the day it was up on his very informative blog, fotoBistro.com. If you are shooting any of the more recent G-series Canons, it is definitely something you need to have in your kit.