jdc562

Lives in United States United States
Joined on Jan 18, 2010

Comments

Total: 40, showing: 1 – 20
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In reply to:

magnetisch: Additional tips ... .

Exposure:
Do not overexpose white clouds. Some pattern in the clouds will make an image.

Focus:
Difficult. You photograph the ground through a huge volume of air, the earth being at least several hundred meters away. Everything will be hazy, all cameras hunt for focus. Use manual focus, set it by using some high contrast area on the ground.
This will also take care that you don´t focus onto the dirt of the canopy.

Haze:
Aerial photos look flat. Always. Stuff is to far away, to much air in between.
Post processing is a must. Use clarity and contrast a lot.

Lens hoods:
Always a hassle in a small aircraft. Not enough space.

Reflections and dirt in/on the canopy:
I wear dark clothes, use a black cloth around the lens and get as close to the glass as possible. DON´T scratch the plastic! A new canopy for a motorglider -> €7000!
Use the small foul weather window!
Clean the canopy before. ASK THE PILOT how! See price above.

Safety:
Strap your camera to something!

Well of course--if you take the door off during flights, you'll lose the door and risk injuring property and people on the ground. It's better to take the door off before the flight ;)

Seriously, my pilots never objected. I learned about the practice from one of them, who had to convince me it was safe. But when we got in the air, even when banking in turns over my survey sites, I was surprised that I never felt unsafe.

Also, this were relatively short distance flights in warm tropical weather with no rain, snow, or other inclemency.

Link | Posted on Feb 23, 2017 at 03:04 UTC
On article Leica SL Review (1080 comments in total)
In reply to:

jdc562: Considering all the inferiorities the review lists for this camera, it looks to me like DPreview lacks the integrity--honesty--and courage to dare to give the holy Leica-branded camera a more accurate lower numeric score. They give the Sony a99ii, with its superior features, an 85%, but give the Leica 84%. I bet if DPreview were given this exact same camera disguised as a different brand, the numeric score would have been far lower.
This is a fawning, obsequious, prejudiced score. DPreview, I'm not just disappointed, I am disgusted.

Mr. Saadawi,
Regarding your reply to me "If you only come to DPR to read the numerical ratings, you're missing out on a lot pal"
My leading statement was "Considering all the inferiorities the review lists for this camera..." Did you understand these words?

Link | Posted on Feb 22, 2017 at 21:07 UTC
On article Leica SL Review (1080 comments in total)

Considering all the inferiorities the review lists for this camera, it looks to me like DPreview lacks the integrity--honesty--and courage to dare to give the holy Leica-branded camera a more accurate lower numeric score. They give the Sony a99ii, with its superior features, an 85%, but give the Leica 84%. I bet if DPreview were given this exact same camera disguised as a different brand, the numeric score would have been far lower.
This is a fawning, obsequious, prejudiced score. DPreview, I'm not just disappointed, I am disgusted.

Link | Posted on Feb 22, 2017 at 20:20 UTC as 137th comment | 8 replies
In reply to:

magnetisch: Additional tips ... .

Exposure:
Do not overexpose white clouds. Some pattern in the clouds will make an image.

Focus:
Difficult. You photograph the ground through a huge volume of air, the earth being at least several hundred meters away. Everything will be hazy, all cameras hunt for focus. Use manual focus, set it by using some high contrast area on the ground.
This will also take care that you don´t focus onto the dirt of the canopy.

Haze:
Aerial photos look flat. Always. Stuff is to far away, to much air in between.
Post processing is a must. Use clarity and contrast a lot.

Lens hoods:
Always a hassle in a small aircraft. Not enough space.

Reflections and dirt in/on the canopy:
I wear dark clothes, use a black cloth around the lens and get as close to the glass as possible. DON´T scratch the plastic! A new canopy for a motorglider -> €7000!
Use the small foul weather window!
Clean the canopy before. ASK THE PILOT how! See price above.

Safety:
Strap your camera to something!

You are much better off not shooting through plastic in the first place. On a Cessna, for example, open the window or, weather permitting, take off the door. The doors on the models I have used have quick pull hinge pins so the door is easily removed. Yes, many pilots I have worked with will take off the door. No problem. You are strapped in and won't fall out. If you do shoot through plastic, do not use a polarizing filter: it will create colored bands in the light going through the plastic. See earlier replies in this series for more details.

Link | Posted on Feb 22, 2017 at 02:53 UTC

This is the best article of the series so far. Very useful techniques. I'm glad the author took the reader's advice to recognize the usefulness of a Cessna in addition to helicopters.

One point should be added to the vibration discussion: avoid the temptation to rest the camera on the window sill--or any other part--of the plane. To some extent your body can act as a big bean bag, and every little bit of vibration attenuation helps. Learn to reduce your body's contact with the plane. To reduce the pressure of your upper torso on the seat, lean a little off the seat back, brace your arms against your torso, and steady your hands and camera against your face.

As always, emphasize communication skills with your pilot. Get educated about your shooting objectives, then explain your needs and intents as much as you can with the pilot before getting in the plane. The more the pilot already understands your needs before the flight, the more efficient things will be in the air.

Link | Posted on Feb 20, 2017 at 20:10 UTC as 3rd comment
On article Simple Studio Technique: Pet Portraits (86 comments in total)

I am an "enthusiast" non-commercial photographer who likes to see my photos go to good use--beyond entertaining my friends. Most of these "good uses" have been photos downloaded by conservation groups to illustrate their websites, publications, and talks--all pro bono. As a pet lover and amateur student of dog and cat behavior, and a person who has a "way" with these animals, I was glad to see this article providing ideas and techniques for a new potential outlet for my photo hobby. And kudos to Samuel Spencer and his colleagues for their good work to benefit orphaned pets.

Link | Posted on Dec 4, 2016 at 19:07 UTC as 27th comment

Are the captions for blind people? Captions that state the obvious are useless.

Link | Posted on Sep 26, 2016 at 21:14 UTC as 32nd comment | 3 replies

I can hear it now. "Nikon's best!" "No!!! Canon's much better." "You idiots are behind the times! Sony has the best new technology!!!" "Who are you calling us idiots???" That's what sober people already yell at each other in camera club meetings. Just wait until they get drunk in a photographers' bar..... ;)

Link | Posted on Aug 26, 2016 at 18:21 UTC as 21st comment | 1 reply
On article 6 tips for better wildflower photos (62 comments in total)

Readers would benefit if the advantages of the polarizer were accompanied by this big warning: using a polarizer with a wide angle lens can produce a blue blob in the sky. This may explain the blue blobs in the first two photos. This a result of the light angles not being uniform over a big swath of blue sky. As you describe, the polarizer is more effective at certain angles of the light. Consequently, the polarizer darkens some portions of the sky more than others, producing the blob effect. Here's the fix: when a wide swath of blue sky is in the frame, remove the polarizer and substitute a gradient neutral density filter, or just adjust the sky exposure in post processing.

Link | Posted on Aug 24, 2016 at 01:14 UTC as 7th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

Johnny420: The main advantage for me shooting in helo's is not the improved field of view having the doors off lends, it's getting the bloody Plexiglas out of the way. It kills contrast and has reflections that mar the shot.

Re: falling out of the plane: Whether the plane door is on or off, I always keep my seat belt on. I'm not a dare-devil, and when I'm not in a plane, I am afraid of heights. You might think the risk is worst when the plane is banking. However, when the plane is banking and circling over a target area, centrifugal force keeps you pressed in your seat, and I always felt totally secure flying with the door removed.
Re: wing struts obstructing the view: I always shot with a slight telephoto (~80-100mm) to reduce wide angle distortion. With this narrower angle of view, and the pilot shifting the roll and direction of the plane to optimize view angles, it was easy to keep the strut out of the frame. For all of this to work well, it is very important to review the basics of what you need with the pilot before flying. In good weather, pilots had no problem removing the door. In questionable weather they would do what 717 and WGVanDyck described to fully open the window.

Link | Posted on Aug 22, 2016 at 19:25 UTC
On article A photographer's guide to Cuba (47 comments in total)
In reply to:

jorgemtrevino: I've been to Cuba a few times. If you speak some Spanish you won't need a guide but even then educated guides with fairly modern cars are available for amazingly low fares. Tourism offices everywhere are more than glad to provide tips. Check the private restaurants called "Paladar/es", good fare, usually cheap. Tended by the owner/s. Shoot on the street at your leisure, Cubans are not camera shy in the least. A smile and a hello will get you wonderful attitudes towards your lens and even tips. Take a camera with a fast lens capable of shooting at night. There are wonderful oportunities.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4656590848881&l=dc38e73e07
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4656601529148&l=27cda814b3
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4656598849081&l=75b373c29b
The three above were shot with a Panasonic compact Lumix LX5.

Regarding "If you speak some Spanish you won't need a guide," my recommendation for a highly educated guide is not to find your way around, but instead to get well educated on the diverse cultures, arts, music, religions, architecture, history, politics, and so on, that are so special in Cuba. These guides have university degrees covering these aspects of Cuba. I speak fluent Spanish, so that was not a problem. But I got a huge amount more out of my trip because of all the information supplied by the guide. The function of these special guides was far beyond giving driving directions. The "People-to-people" programs not only include the guide and driver, but also include lodging, transportation, and all sorts of insider information. In addition, the programs get you into places you can't get into on your own. They are organized so you don't have worry and waste time on anything--just focus on the things you want to do. This lets you get much more out of the trip to Cuba.

Link | Posted on Aug 19, 2016 at 20:43 UTC
On article A photographer's guide to Cuba (47 comments in total)

My advice to people here: (1) Put visiting Cuba on your priority list, but (2) don't take an expensive photo tour guided by a gringo with little knowledge of Cuban lore and only going to the trite photo sites in Havana and nearby Trinidad. Why waste your time and money on 50's cars in Havana? Cuba is 700 miles long, without much infrastructure for independent touring. You are better off using a guided service that provides everything you need, including in-depth education. Several years ago, I went on a two week tour of Cuba on a "people-to-people" program. Our Cuban guide was very well educated in the very interesting history, diverse cultures, daily life and politics of Cuba--all essential to understanding what we were photographing. The guide spoke openly. We did rural and city. No regimentation. Plenty of time to wander freely. The diversity of photo opportunities exceeded those of the expensive photo tours. A blog of the tour is here: https://cubit.smugmug.com/Cuba

Link | Posted on Aug 18, 2016 at 19:26 UTC as 7th comment
On article A photographer's guide to Cuba (47 comments in total)
In reply to:

jgavilondo: I am a Cuban photographer presently collaborating with American photographers travelling to Cuba with Santa Fe Photographic Workshops (Santa Fe, NM), NatGeo, etc. Cuba is indeed a photographic paradise. Color, textures, people, architecture, dance, music, nature. Please check my website: http://gavilondophoto.com and check my Folders if you are interested in an insiders view in these themes, and in many others mentioned by the other comments in this series.

Jgavilondo, you have a beautiful variety of photos on your website. I especially like your doorways and portraits.

Link | Posted on Aug 18, 2016 at 18:30 UTC
On article A photographer's guide to Cuba (47 comments in total)
In reply to:

Contra Mundum: How about a photographer's guide to North Korea, or Hitler Germany, or Fascist Italy? Talking about taking wonderful nature shots, etc. in a communist/fascist/nazist dictatorship is absolutely immoral.

Hey, Contra Mundum, wake up. While you are spoiling your life with this hatred and bigotry, the world is moving on. This includes Cuba, where increased openness is accelerating change. Going to Cuba is about getting to know the people and their 1000's of years of culture, including a full 500 years of diverse European, African, and Asian influence that has blossomed there. And before you spew more, examine the history of the horrific and corrupt Batista government that Castro replaced. That should give you a better context. Contra, the Cold War died along time along ago. Open your eyes and mind to the new world.

Link | Posted on Aug 18, 2016 at 18:15 UTC
In reply to:

Johnny420: The main advantage for me shooting in helo's is not the improved field of view having the doors off lends, it's getting the bloody Plexiglas out of the way. It kills contrast and has reflections that mar the shot.

Hey, Johnny, see the posts below. Doors are easily removed from fixed-wing aircraft, too, especially the popular high-wing Cessnas. You don't have to use a helicopter to get an open view for photography despite what the article says.

Link | Posted on Aug 18, 2016 at 17:57 UTC
In reply to:

jdc562: Mr. Marom is incorrect regarding the doors on fixed wing aircraft. I have conducted 100's of hours of aerial surveys using Cessna high-wing aircraft. In fair weather the Cessna pilots have always accommodated me by removing the passenger-side door. The door is made to be easily removed: the door hinge pins are L-shaped, and the pilot can remove the pins and the door in a few minutes. Unlike helicopters, Cessnas are standard workhorses. They are everywhere and are cheap to charter. A decent pilot can put his Cessna in a steep bank and tightly circle over your ground target without stalling and without having to fly back and forth. (It's a good idea to brief the pilot on this request before takeoff.) The Cessnas I have used were mostly in the 170s and 180s series. Without the door, your camera can be mostly inside the plane, away from the wind and window frame. (See 717's post.)

Check out the fine rigging on the sailboats in the photos: very sharp. No vibration problem there. These are very nice shots. 717, since you're a pilot, you may know the overall statistics for the following question. Background: six people I know/knew were in a total of 3 helicopter crashes. Only one person survived. In contrast, three friends were in a single forced landing of a Cessna. It glide-landed in a rough third-world pasture after the engine went out. It was a relatively smooth landing and no one was hurt. These are just my anecdotes, but the wife of one of the helicopter fatalities said she learned that the model of helicopter (American made) her husband flew had a bad record. So, the question is: are helicopters in general less safe than fixed-wing aircraft--something to consider in choosing between the two?

Link | Posted on Aug 16, 2016 at 02:21 UTC

Mr. Marom is incorrect regarding the doors on fixed wing aircraft. I have conducted 100's of hours of aerial surveys using Cessna high-wing aircraft. In fair weather the Cessna pilots have always accommodated me by removing the passenger-side door. The door is made to be easily removed: the door hinge pins are L-shaped, and the pilot can remove the pins and the door in a few minutes. Unlike helicopters, Cessnas are standard workhorses. They are everywhere and are cheap to charter. A decent pilot can put his Cessna in a steep bank and tightly circle over your ground target without stalling and without having to fly back and forth. (It's a good idea to brief the pilot on this request before takeoff.) The Cessnas I have used were mostly in the 170s and 180s series. Without the door, your camera can be mostly inside the plane, away from the wind and window frame. (See 717's post.)

Link | Posted on Aug 15, 2016 at 20:12 UTC as 14th comment | 6 replies
On article D500 owner formally accuses Nikon of false advertising (473 comments in total)

I agree with the plaintiff. The Nikon sales description should have noted the limitations. Nikon's other wi-fi devices, wi-fi devices in general, and Nikon's failure to mention the limitations up-front all create expectations for a standard wi-fi set-up that the camera lacks. By filing this complaint, the customer does a service for other potential buyers that Nikon, itself, fails to provide. Nikon has let down the photographers who expect more professionalism from this brand.

Link | Posted on Jun 17, 2016 at 17:20 UTC as 51st comment

I'm not interested in a tablet for serious photo editing, but I do want something very light and portable for reviewing and backing up my big RAW images to a portable hard drive in the field. Apple Stores are usually pretty good, but they were wrong when they sold me an iPad two years ago saying the tablet would meet my needs. I'm still looking.

Link | Posted on Oct 2, 2015 at 19:54 UTC as 61st comment
Total: 40, showing: 1 – 20
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