Mighty St. Lawrence Voyage & Photo Workshop, June 14-23

MightySLThis summer, I’ll be a featured Expedition Staff Leader as an official Fuji X Photographer aboard the 198-passenger Ocean Endeavor vessel with Adventure Canada on their Mighty St. Lawrence trip, in partnership with the Canadian Geographic Photo ClubPhotolife, and Fujifilm.

You can join me on this very special journey/photo workshop of the beautiful and remote coastal regions of Quebec’s North Shore, including the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Magdalen Islands.

Departing Quebec City, on June 14, we’ll spend 10 days exploring the stunning landscapes surrounding the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Saguenay Fiord as we make our way to Saint Pierre-et-Miquelon, a tiny French Island off the South Coast of Newfoundland. Each day we’ll take Zodiacs to shore and visit a number of Provincial and National Parks to hike, explore and photograph spectacular scenery and feeding grounds for marine and bird species, and experience the mixed Acadian and English cultural opportunities of this region.

While on board the comfortable, 137-meter expedition ship Ocean Endeavor, I’ll be one of numerous artistic and scientific presenters. I’ll give two workshop photo presentations, and I’ll be available during the entire voyage, both on and off the the ship, if you want help, advice, pointers, or if you just want to informally chat about camera, adventure or anything else.

A representative from Fujifilm Canada will also be on board, and he’ll have an array of Fuji X camera bodies and lenses for you to try out, (possibly gear that isn’t even released yet!) He’ll be available to offer technical advice and answer any questions you may have about Fujifilm gear.

Adventure Canada’s approach is built around community, and you’ll have lots of opportunities to connect with other people in an atmosphere of learning, fun and exploration in a very stylish environment, with a variety of private accommodation options.

This promises to be an amazing journey, and I hope that you can join me! As of right now, just over half of the 198 spots remain open, but don’t delay, they’re sure to fill up soon! You can see all the detailed information about this trip on the Adventure Canada Website.

 

Shooting Ultra High Shutter Speeds with the Fuji X-T1

_DSF9379Last month, Fujifilm released a major firmware update for the X-T1 camera, which added 27 new features. One of the coolest additions is an electronic shutter (ES) option that lets you shoot at ultra high shutter speeds. If you enable the ES, the camera will switch over when you pass 1/4,000 sec, and allow speeds of up to 1/32,000 second. That’s “one thirty-two thousandth of a second.” Kind of hard is that to say, isn’t it?

Ultra high shutter speeds offer great flexibility in a variety of situations. They allow capture incredibly fast action and freeze the quickest subjects, providing you can trigger the shutter at the right time.

In addition, you can shoot at wide open apertures in extremely high lighting conditions. Imagine shooting portraits in glaring sunshine or creating creamy bokeh with razor thin depth of field in the brightest of light. Or creating relatively dark exposures when shooting directly into the sun.

Doing a quick field test of the new ES on the X-T1, I shot a couple landscapes to test out these awesome new capabilites. The first example above was shot with the ultra fast Fuji XF 56mm f/1.2 lens, in an environment of sunshine and highly reflective snow and ice.

My exposure was 1/10,000 sec, wide open at an aperture of f/1.2. This allowed me to come in close and create a very narrow sliver of focus on that first little ridge of ice and drop the rest of the scene into a soft blur. I love shooting landscapes and natural features with wide apertures, it allows you to accentuate specific features in the scene and bring the viewer’s eye right into the subject.

High Shutter speed test. Low sun over the Chugach Mountains, Alaska

My second example was shot with the Fuji XF 18-135mm lens. Exposure was 1/16,000 sec at f/5.6. This was more of an experiment than a great photo opportunity. I could have easily stopped the lens down and shot at 1/4,000, but I wanted to see how high I could get with the shutter and still produce an acceptable shot.

In my mind, this one has kind of a lunar feel- not that I have firsthand visual knowledge of the moon, but it’s a cool effect nonetheless. At any rate, this new ultra high speed ES adds considerable power to the X-T1, which is already a very capable camera.

The only real limitation is that the ES disables the flash, so you can’t do any high speed sync work using this feature. Perhaps Fuji will add some high speed flash capabilities to the X-T1 in a future upgrade.

If you have the X-T1, I highly recommend getting the new firmware update v/3.0. Here’s a list of all the new features it adds. 

Read My Cover Story in the New Issue of CLARITY

Learn Photography Online with the Pros

CLARITY-5-BannerThe latest issue of CLARITY: Photography Beyond The Camera is now out, and I’m excited to announce that I’ve got the cover story!

Not only does my photo appear on the front of the magazine, the issue contains an 1,800 word feature story that I wrote called Below Zero: How to Make Amazing Winter Photographs While Protecting Yourself and Your Gear. The piece contains a variety of tips for dealing with winter light, temperatures and compositional ideas, as well as numerous photo examples to illustrate.

NOTE: Due to the recent changes in VAT, the US shopping cart doesn’t work for EU and UK customers. If you’re based in the EU, use this link to get CLARITY, Vol. 5.

CLARITY-5-Story

CLARITY is a quarterly photography lifestyle magazine that puts the emphasis on light and composition ahead of gear. What I really like about CLARITY aside from the fact that it’s visually striking and looks great on mobile devices as well as regular computer screens, is that the PDF e-magazine approaches photography from a fresh new direction. Also, This photo is one of my favorite winter portraits, and so it’s really exciting to see it on the cover of this issue!

CLARITY covers way more than the standard how-to photography techniques and processing tips. Reading each issue, you’ll learn about the stuff that really makes photographers better at their craft – topics like: working with light, developing creativity, how to make images that communicate your own ideas, the role of the digital darkroom, and more. It’s always packed with great photos, articles by a variety of pro photographers and it even contains supplemental video tutorials. This month contains over 30 minutes of video!

I also like the fact that CLARITY is published by a super good guy named Dave Seeram, who pours his heart and soul into developing and designing each issue. From sourcing authors for the articles to packaging a gorgeous looking magazine, CLARITY is the product of a real person who’s following his own passion for photography in such a way to enrich the lives of other people. In today’s world, people and efforts like that are well worth supporting. It all comes back around.

CLARITY-5-ContentsThis latest issue of CLARITY, which is Volume # 5 contains some really great pieces and a ton of informative content. Here’s what you’ll find in this issue:

  • Portrait Lighting Patterns: Whether you are shooting with natural light or flash, the position of your lights and your camera have a dramatic impact on your portraits. You’ll learn which lighting patterns work best – including a 19-minute video demonstration!
  • Getting Creative: Creativity is a tough beast to master. In this article, you’ll learn techniques to turn on your creativity anytime.
  • Moving To Film: Why would any photographer choose film over digital in today’s face-paced world? Find out why one photographer made the transition and how it transformed his passion for photography. You might find untapped inspiration here!
  • How to Make Amazing Winter Photographs: There are particular challenges that photographers face when shooting in the cold winter months. In this article, you’ll learn techniques for better photos in winter as well as vital tips for keeping your gear safe.
  • Lightweight Lighting Essentials: Part of lightweight lighting is often not relying on “lighting” at all. When shooting in any type of lighting, you’ll learn how the digital darkroom plays an important role in achieving the perfect look you have in mind.
  • Why Image File Formats Matter in Photography: The age-old debate between RAW vs. JPEG never burns cold. You’ll learn the real pros and cons of each format, but it’s not just about RAW and JPEG anymore – there’s a new player in town…
  • The Beginner’s Path to Great In-Camera Photos: Shooting auto is great when you get your first DSLR, but making the transition to manual is overwhelming and often causes beginners to stick with auto. In this article, you’ll discover a natural path to learning manual mode that will help you make better photographs in-camera.
  • Photography Around the World: In our travel series, Chris Corradino takes us into the heart of Italy through inspirational photography and storytelling.
  • How to Make Amazing Travel Portraits (Part 2): Learn 5 (more) tips for making great portraits when travelling the world. There’s a lot to learn, and Piet Van den Eynde shares his vast experience for coming home from your travels with photographs you’ll be proud of.
  • Small Scale Photography: Experimenting with different photographic techniques is the real key to learning. In many cases, it’s helpful to step outside our usual comfort zones and try something new. This is one technique that requires no special equipment, guaranteed to delivery happiness, and further drive your passion for making creative photographs.
  • Lightroom Video Tutorial: In this video, we look at the role of Lightroom Plug-ins and why you should consider adding 3rd party plugins to your digital workflow.
  • Photoshop CC Video Tutorial: Blown out skies? Learn how to quickly replace the sky in any photograph (even with complicated foregrounds) with this shockingly simple technique.
  • Lightroom for Photographers: In our series on understanding the Lightroom Develop Module, we look at sharpening and noise reduction techniques – all inside Lightroom.
  • Food Photography: What edition of CLARITY would be complete without a good recipe? In addition to some yummy treats, you’ll also learn 4 timesaving tips for better food (or any staged) photography.

CLARITY-Issues

You can get the latest issue of CLARITY Volume 5 with my winter photography cover story for only $8, or you can buy the magazine as a bundle, which gets you Volumes 1-5, plus the next 3 issues for only $40. Essentially, that’s getting 3 issues for free.

Also, by buying the issue, you’re directly supporting Dave and me because  CLARITY is completely free of advertisements. Thanks, and if grab a copy, I hope you enjoy the Magazine!

You can download the issue here.

CLARITY-5-iPad

 

 

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