Tag Archives: Canadian Photography Workshop.

It’s all in the Bag!

On today’s Blog I would like to talk about Camera bags.lowepro-pro-runner-200-aw-dslr-trekking-backpack Over the years I have owned many different types of camera bags and I must admit I will likely own many more. But what really makes a good camera bag? Is it the size? Is it how it feels? Well Camera bags are definitely a preference thing, so let’s go over a few things that will help in your first or next decision on buying a bag.

Most people buy a camera bag for a place to put some gear in so they can take more stuff with them to a destination. Something to think about when buying a bag is what size will be the best for me.lowepro-protactic-450-aw-wearing Are you buying a bag for day trips that you can throw a few lenses in and a couple accessory’s. Or are you looking for a bag that you can take on a plane and travel with. It’s all a fine balance of what really works for all the gear and keeping it small so you don’t have to pay for oversize luggage or so it fit in a overhead compartment. Plus you also don’t want something to big or you will be walking like Quasimoto after your trip. Another thing is do you want a bag that can hold a laptop as well?

So this is how I choose a bag and I recommend you do the same to. I take all my gear to the camera store and say this is what I need to put in a new camera bag.Lowepro-Pro-Trekker-II-AW-Camera-Backpack-Open I want something that is comfortable and offers good support while attached to my back. Remember if you are lugging a ton of gear you need to buy a bag that will spread the weight across your back evenly. You also need to tell them what other acessorys you would like in your bag. They all seem to have different stuff that is included, so see what one suites your needs best. Here are a few options I like to have in my camera bag. I seem to be fond of compartments to keep memory cards in. Memory cards are something that no matter how much I try to be careful with, I will loose. So for me to have one spot with no excuses to stash cards in saves me money in the long run.LWP-APEX-140AW-OPEN Another big seller for me is a bag that includes a holder and straps to put my tripod on. This has worked really well when I was hiking the mountains in BC, Alberta, Washington, Poland and Quebec as it allows you to have both of your hands free on hard trails. Compartments with zippers are a big one too! Nothing like opening your bag to find out all your small acessorys have been rattling around your camera and lenses for your hour + hike. One thing I like about Lowepro is they all come equipped with a rain cover that will tuck away in the bottom of the bag. This has come in handy for me a few times and ironically both were in a rainforest, one out in Bc and another in Jamaica.

tumblr_ksixwdNV191qz7lxdo1_500It’s always a tough call as to what bag will make you happy in the long run. I always like to make sure I have a bag that I can always have room for another lens or two if I decide to buy some later. This way you are not spending the money again on another bag! Larger bags can also make a good place to bring a few beers on a over night camping trip. Well good luck on your next purchase.
Here is a link to help find the right pack for you. click here

I just wanted to thank you all for reading my introduction to equipment blogs. I hope I have helped inform some of you on what to look for when spending money on this expensive hobby! I have been doing some research on what types of blogs I would like to offer you for the future. In doing so I have decided to offer specific product reviews on new and old gear to help keep you all up to date on what’s hot and whats not. I have been talking with a few different companies about reviewing there equipment and they have said yes so I can’t wait to share so more info with you soon. As well I have decided to offer some insight on traveling to specific destinations in the world and some random species spotlights. So I hope you enjoy what I have to offer for you in the future!!

What takes better pictures, people? or cameras?

On today’s blog I would like to talk to you about cameras. I constantly get questions on what camera should I get or is this one better then that one. So before I get into some detail about cameras I just want you all to know my opinion on what camera really works best. The best camera is just like a lens, it’s the one you have! Cameras don’t take pictures people take pictures so anybody who says my camera doesn’t take good pictures either has a broken camera or should get some lessons. Now a top of the line camera may have better picture quality but it can’t take better pictures then what you already take.

So first off let’s talk about the big debate, who makes a better camera Nikon or Canon?Canon-vs.-Nikon-Full Well the correct answer would be Nikon and this is why! people ask me what camera is better all the time and I say it’s what feels right in your hands. Is Nikon really a better camera….. I will always say yes :) but the true answer is they are all the same. One point of the year Canon comes out with a better camera and then at another point in the year Nikon catches up or surpasses them. This will keep on going back and fourth forever to help retain there current customers. Lately other manufactures have stepped up to the bar like Sony, Pentax, Olympus or Fuji. So when you are looking for a new camera don’t overlook these names as sometimes they can offer some functions better then Nikon or Canon.

Z_nikon-d7100_front-600Lets talk about some of the different types of cameras you can buy. The most common DSLR on the market for an average user would be a dx camera. A dx camera would be a Nikon D5200 or a D7100 or for Canon it would be a T5i or a 60d. A dx sensor is what would be called a crop sensor, crop sensors are smaller sensors then a regular 35mm sensor, in Nikon’s case they are 1.5x smaller. This is where a crop factor comes into play. So let’s give you an example of what your effective focal length would be with a Nikon dx with a 1.5 crop factor.Z-7d2-front If you had a lens on a dx body that is let’s say a 18-105 well in all reality the real focal length would be 27mm to 160mm. So your all sitting there thinking why would they call the lens a 18-105?? Well the lens is what it is and it can’t change but the crop factor or size of the camera sensor makes the difference. The advantage of a crop sensor is that magnification that allows extra distance to your lens. Many people like it for wildlife because that 400mm lens just turned into a 600mm lens and with today’s large 24 megapixel sensors that’s a ton of information to work with. But on the down side if you wanted something like a super wide angle then you loose out cause a 12mm lens would be a 18mm. So you have to take the good with the bad.

Canon_5260A002_EOS_5D_Mark_III_847545Next would be a fx camera or otherwise known as a full frame camera. Full frame cameras have large sensors that can capture much more information than a dx for editing purposes. It use to be that full frame cameras had much bigger sensors then dx bodies but the dx bodies are slowly catching up. Some full frame cameras range from 24 to 50 megapixels now. So lets explain why you would need this big of a sensor. Basically the larger the sensor the larger the file size for your picture, this will allow you to blow pictures up to larger sizes without loosing quality in your images. Another thing about shooting full frame is you have to use FX or full frame lenses.Nikon_D610_Camera The reason for this is the quality of glass needed to provide a crisp clear image. Now a downfall could be to some that a fx lens are usually going to cost you close to 1000 dollars or higher in some cases. All the extra costs for fx should be greatly justified before spending that extra money. Now as far as focal length it is a 1-1 system. Meaning there is no crop factor so a 18-105 lens is what the true focal distance will be. Again this will help being able to shoot with wide angles but now that 400mm lens is nothing more then a 400mm lens :( So we have a big trade off to deal with.

A77iiLast I would like to talk about a newer technology system called mirrorless. Mirrorless cameras are becoming very popular right now and seem to be coming out at great prices. DSLRs use the same design as the 35mm film cameras of days gone by. A mirror inside the camera body reflects the light coming in through the lens up to a prism (or additional mirrors) and into the viewfinder for you to preview your shot. When you press the shutter button, the mirror flips up, a shutter opens and the light falls onto the image sensor, which captures the final image. In a mirrorless camera, light passes through the lens and right onto the image sensor, which captures a preview of the image to display on the rear screen. Eliminating this mirror allows for these camera’s to produce faster shutter speeds of up to 10-12 frames per second.k3 Now that sounds all fine and peachy but this new technology has come with some flaws. Tracking subjects coming straight at you or a bird in flight that is flying up and down seems to be an issue for this camera. Many mirrorless cameras are working on a predictive tracking to help photographers follow these subjects and seems to get better with each model that comes out.

So what camera sounds the best to you? Is it a crop sensor camera that allows you an increased focal distance with a small price tag. Or would it be a full frame camera that can allow you to blow those amazing images up to life size pictures. Or how about the new mirrorless technology that has a good price tag and seem to be the possible way of the future? What ever you decide remember what I said in the beginning, camera’s don’t take pictures, people do. If you ever have a question about a camera please feel free to ask as I have held many in my hands over the years.
Thanks for reading today’s blog and good luck on your next purchase!

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Is wireless the option for you?

Today’s Blog I would like to talk about remotes.

Many people get to that level of photography where a remote is required to help achieve a crisp clear picture with no camera shake. So lets talk about why you would need a remote first! So if you read all the pro blogs and reviews and tips about shooting landscapes you will noticed people always talk about avoiding camera shake. First step as we have talked about in the past few blogs was the need for a good tripod and head. This creates a solid foundation or platform to get a nice sharp picture! Next is to avoid and/or eliminate any camera shake or movement. This can be prevented by a few different methods that we will go over. First is a function that your camera is likely equipped with and that would be the mirror up function. Mirror up basically provides exactly how it sounds, it keeps the mirror up in a fixed position so your sensor is wide open. This eliminates the slap of the shutter while taking your picture. If you don’t have a mirror up option on your camera turning on your live view will do the same thing. Next step would be to go but yourself a remote! Remotes allow a hands free approach to the body of the camera, this again help eliminate camera shake.

1009843So first lets talk about a wired remote. Wired remotes have always been my go to style of remote cause they are very reliable. You basically plug them into a port on the side of your camera and start clicking away by pressing a button. One recommendation I will give you is to make sure you have or buy a remote with a hold position. Once you get into the world of long exposures you will need to use a setting called bulb. Bulb function basically allows you to take a picture for the desired amount of seconds with the remote in the hold position. Once you have achieved the time you were looking for you just click the remote off of the hold position. And Boom now you have taken a long exposure in bulb mode. Most cameras have settings that can achieve shutter speeds of up to 30 seconds but anything after that you will need a hold type remote. A con to owning a wired remote can be the fact that you have a cable that is your life line. Cables remind me of a young girl talking on a corded telephone, they get twisted in your finger or stretched, kinked, twisted or bent. Or my all time favorite is dropped in the water! More then likely all this abuse one day will lead to cord failure and leave you stranded with a broken remote. Now here is another reason I have found a corded remote to be a down fall. If you are doing some light painting and standing away from your camera this can be a problem as a remote chord is only so long. So sometimes you have to bring a dummy or let’s be more political correct “a friend” to help press the remote for you.

nkmll3Ok so next would be to talk about a wireless remote. Wireless remotes tend to be a pain in the but when it comes to needing it to work during that “in the moment” time. Here is how most wireless remotes work. Some of them are brand specific meaning a proprietary remote for your camera ie. Canon, Nikon etc etc these remotes don’t require you to plug something into your camera port for a remote. Aftermarket have attachment pieces that need to be plugged into the port on the body of the camera and the remote triggers this piece to actuate your shutter. So why am I against wireless remotes? Is it because I don’t know a bunch of dummies? Or cause I like it when my cable breaks? No its because you have to many factors for the average consumer to work around. First the biggest problem is that the battery will inevitably die when you need it the most. Wireless remotes all need a battery in the remote body and guess what when your not using that remote guess whats happening to your battery? You got it, that thing is slowly dieing in your camera bag when its not in use. Now keeping a spare battery in your bag could always be an option but remember large amounts of heat or extreme cold will always kill your battery. Another issue you will come across is that the more your battery dies the less range that fancy remote will have for you. Until inevitably you are standing right beside your camera pointing that remote 2 inches away so it will work. Another issue you may come across will be that sometimes I have found different frequencies can effect the distance you can stand from your camera. Now it’s not all bad with a wireless remote as you can have fun and be away from your camera while taking pictures. Having your hands basically free to adjust people for a pictures or to get the attention of your dog or cat. These are all advantages that a wireless remote may have.

So when you are purchasing your first or next remote think about the pros and cons of each and weigh your options.P-CTRL-1__81523_zoom Remotes can very in price so do your homework before hand so your not shocked when you hear the price of that fancy remote at the camera store. Speaking of fancy remotes there are many out there that can do more then just be an extended shutter button. Some can adjust aperture, shutter speed, focus stack, up to 45 picture bracketing or time lapse. Obviously the more they do the more they cost but some people just like to spend money on gizmos like I do :)

Enjoy your weekend everybody and thanks for reading today’s blog!

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Getting ready for spring are you?

After enduring the coldest February on record I think everybody is ready extra early for spring and summer this year. Now that our days are starting to get longer and we have some warm sunny crc3days it won’t be long for all the new growth to start popping through the ground. As we approach this time of year we always get into the habit of spring cleaning. We do this as if it’s a new start to the year or season. Putting away all the winter stuff and getting all our lawn and garden equipment ready is only part of it. For people like us it’s more about getting our cameras outside and taking some pictures again. I have noticed this winter in particular, people have been staying inside due to the very cold temperatures. That’s quite alright as some people are just not built for the winter season and others like myself tend to melt in the summer so it’s a trade off. So let’s meet somewhere in the center like May 16th?

Side profileOn May 16th I will be holding a raptor in flight workshop at the Canadian Raptor conservancy. In hopes for warmer days we will be outside standing in a natural environment with a lush green backdrop. During this day we will be photographing raptors in flight such as the Golden Eagle, Bald Eagle, Harris Hawk, Swainson’s Hawk, Aplomado Falcon, Broad-winged Hawk, Great Horned Owl, Barn Owl. Some static birds may include the Great Grey Owl, Snowy Owl, Peregrine Falcon and the Eurasion Eagle Owl.

Our sessions for the AM class will start at 8:30 with a brief instruction for our morning shoot. During the time we are in the field I will be walking around making sure you are all getting the photographs desired. After wearing out a battery and filling up a memory card or two our am session will end at 12 noon. The PM class will begin at 12:30 and as well will have a brief instruction on the afternoon shoot. Help will be provided for afternoon attendees as well to get the desired shots. Our Pm session will end at 4pm before the light falls behind the trees.

During the day we will be offering a mix of raptors throughout the AM and PM. Some birds will be repeated like the Golden and Bald Eagles and a few others but the order of birds will not be Bald Eagle in flightdetermined until the AM of the 16th. The cost for the raptors in flight is 149 plus HST for a half day, people will have the choice to pick a AM class or a PM class. Or the option is there to do both as a full day for 249 plus HST

So don’t miss out as this workshop is going to fill up fast!

For all inquires or enrollment please contact me at chrispepperphotography@gmail.com

 

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