This year, I broke down and purchased a Canon 50mm 1.2 L series USM lens. It is spectacular for portrait work because of its amazing bokeh. There is a lot of chatter out there about the spectacular price difference between the 1.2 and the Canon 1.4. I also own a Canon 50mm 2.5 macro which is instrumental for me for shooting details of things from food to flowers but for portraits, the 1.2 can’t be beat. Here are two examples. One is a portrait of my husband, which I dropped into a film frame for effect – I’ve long been lugging around an analogue Hasselblad with a beautiful 80mm lens, which I’ve used for years as my primary portrait lens. It’s also fantastic combined with a few extension tubes. However, now that I’m moving into an almost exclusively digital workflow, I had to find a lens that I was happy enough with to leave my Hasselblad behind when going on assignment. Don’t get me wrong, I still love working with film, but the practical side of my business has forced my hand on this one. I’ve been taking the d65 wokrshop every other year to keep current on the latest digital workflow which has led me to adopt working almost exclusively in Adobe’s Lightroom. That software combined with the Canon 5D Mark II’s and lenses I work with give me a great way to process thousands of images in a relatively short period of time, without sacrificing any amount of quality. (This year’s processed tally is almost to 13,000 client delivered images). My digital library is now more organized than ever – I can find any image with just a few clicks of the mouse. I hope you find this information useful!
Archive for the ‘cameras’ Category
Posted in camera technical, cameras, Canon, Canon 5D, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon Lens, cat, D5 Mark ll, editorial photographer, just for fun, photographer in Portland, tagged 5D Mark ll, Canon, editorial photographer, magazine photography, photo, photography, technical on December 20, 2010 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in assignment photography, cameras, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon Lens, D5 Mark ll, editorial photographer, magazine work, National Gegoraphic, outdoors, photographer, photography, photojournalism, Travel, travel photographer, tagged 5D Mark ll, Canon, editorial photographer, magazine photography, National Geographic, national geographic traveler, outdoors, photo, photography, photojournalism, technical, tourism, Travel, travel photographer, travel photography on December 11, 2010 | Leave a Comment »
Greetings! As National Geographic Traveler is publishing the story I photographed about Barbados in the January/February 2011 issue of the magazine, I thought this would be a good time to write about the importance of having an extra set of hands around on a shoot. These days, editorial budgets are very tight, so sometimes the job won’t allow for one but in certain instances, having a partner on a shoot is indispensable. The other caveat is that often times I’m asked to also shoot video and collect audio, making my work at least three times as complicated as it was pre-multimedia. That said, I always like to rise to a challenge, so I tried being a one man band for the first day of this assignment and realized, quickly, that it would be impossible for me to do a good job in Barbados flying solo. Enter: fixer. I am blessed with a partner in life that not only has an MFA in photography, but also can get himself halfway around the globe in 24 hours or less. He was with me the morning of the shoot with the horses and took a couple of stills of me in the water. I was just perusing some of the images and realized that he illustrated precisely why – under certain circumstances – it is necessary to have someone watching your back. Barbados is as safe of a place as one can get in the Caribbean, but add thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment left unattended on a beach and voila, it’s like finding cash sitting around on the ground. Anyone would be tempted to walk off with my carbon fiber Gitzo fitted with a heavy-duty Manfrotto head and, set atop it like a crown jewel, a Canon 5D Mark II with a pristine 24-105mm lens with lens hood, a 77mm polarizing filter and a nice Crumpler strap. Not to mention my favorite accessory – a three-way hot shoe level. It was enough of a bummer to not have a water housing to work with, but that didn’t stop me from walking into the water up to just above waist deep, to get as close as I could to the horses. Lost in my enthusiasm, I simply left the other camera with aforementioned accessories, sitting behind me on the beach. As I look at the photo of me in the water, I can tell that I was drawn in by the dawn swiftly changing to daylight, as is evidenced by the light on my white shirt. These men and their horses were just then becoming well lit and I only had a few minutes before the magic of that morning dawn would turn into the white-hot Caribbean day. In hindsight it was a bad decision and without my fixer there, would have most likely been a great loss. But he stood on the beach, watching the gear so I could get the shot. For that moment, I will be forever grateful to him.
Posted in cameras, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, D5 Mark ll, Hawaii, just for fun, landscape photography, Maui, maui photographer, nature photographer, outdoors, photographer, photography, travel photographer, tagged 5D Mark ll, Canon, Hawaii, island, Maui, nature, outdoors, photography, travel photographer on April 16, 2010 | 1 Comment »
Last night we were having dinner in Maui on Ka’anapali beach on the lanai as the waxing crescent moon was setting in the twilight… it was astonishingly beautiful so I grabbed my 5D Mark II and the 70-200 f2.8 IS USM lens and took a few snapshots of the moon and Venus. I could not believe how pretty the image turned out. If I had tried to shoot this on film, it wouldn’t have been possible, I don’t think. (and I still love film!) I processed the RAW file in Adobe’s Lightroom with just a little noise reduction and the image just sings. In fact, I could see more with the digital file than I could with my naked eye.
If you have a Canon 5D camera, Canon has announced on their web site that there is a known issue with the mirror.
“We have discovered that, in rare instances, the main mirror of some EOS 5D Digital SLR cameras may detach due to deterioration in the strength of the adhesive.”
In a previous post, I talked about how my mirror came off in the middle of a shoot. Assuming that I simply have bad luck with digital cameras, I shrugged it off and shipped the 5D off to the Canon factory repair center as soon as I returned home. I decided to do a little bit of googling about the issue and up popped the site from Canon, with their mea culpa. They will fix the issue, free of charge, including shipping. Call the 1-800 number on the web page listed below for service.
Click on the screen shot to be directed to Canon’s support page and good luck!
Posted in assignment photography, cameras, Canon, Canon 5D, magazine work, outdoors, photographer, photography, photojournalism, travel photographer, tagged camera, Canon, magazine photography, photography, technical, travel photographer, travel photography on February 21, 2010 | 3 Comments »
Just another day at the office when… what the… suddenly the camera jams and given my history with Canon bodies I just figured, well, the 5D is fried… AGAIN. But no, not just fried: the mirror had come off of it’s plate and cracked in two. Nice.
I haven’t contacted Canon yet – of course the body is out of warranty, and, again, of course, I was in the middle of nowhere when it failed so no pro replacement available. Sigh. Have a backup, of course, but I’m so tired of cameras falling apart.
Here’s the picture. More to come…
Posted in art, cameras, cat, iPhone, just for fun, photographer, photographer in Portland, photography, Polaroid, tagged camera, camera phone, iPhone, iPhone app, photography, Polaroid on February 19, 2010 | Leave a Comment »
Sometimes it’s just fun to mess around with new(er) technology. I was one of the legions of photographers who loved to use an SX-70 Polaroid camera to make images. Now I am able to use an iPhone application to make those kinds of images. The application I use is called Polarize and it allows one to preview the effect before one saves it. Although I miss the tactile quality that the Polaroid offers, making photos with an iPhone can be equally rewarding. I still use a small instant camera that a friend brought to me from Japan : it’s a Fuji equivalent of a Polaroid and spits out business card sized prints. This morning I was taking some photos in the beautiful morning light with the iPhone. Here are a few of my favorites from the last couple of months. Enjoy!
Posted in cameras, Canon, Hawaii, humpback whale, landscape photographer, landscape photography, Maui, nature photographer, outdoors, photographer, photography, surfing, Travel, travel photographer, tagged camera, Canon, Hawaii, humpback whale, Maui, nature, outdoors, photography, tourism, Travel, travel photographer, travel photography on January 27, 2010 | Leave a Comment »
On mornings like this one, the surface of the ocean is glassy, the winds have died down and the sun is still behind the West Maui Mountains but is, from this vantage point on Ka’anapali Beach, lighting up the island of Lana’i in such a way that every valley on the windward side is placed in high relief. On the horizon, an approaching storm front is gray and foreboding, but there’s a calm here at the ocean’s edge that betrays the oncoming weather. The smooth waters reveal what appears to be holes in the ocean surface where whale spume appears like steam vents. Just beyond the reef point, a mother humpback whale boosts her newborn calf out of the water, apparently teaching it how to breach. This is the sort of morning that calms my heart and makes me so very grateful to be here, now.
This photo was taken much later this morning, after the trade winds had picked up. I took it from a stand up paddle board, about 50 yards off shore. I was using a Canon Poweshot SD1000 Digital Elph in a water housing. The combination of swell and wind didn’t allow for much picture taking, but I got a good view of a pod of breaching whales and a very nice run-in with a very large turtle.
Posted in alt process photography, cameras, Canon, Canon 5D Mark II, cat, D5 Mark ll, film, just for fun, photographer, photographer in Portland, photography, travel photographer, tagged 4x5, 5D Mark ll, Canon, film, photography, rolliflex, technical on January 8, 2010 | 2 Comments »
It appears that digital technology has its firm grip on photography. I have certainly embraced the technology and enjoy its immediacy. My primary camera is a Canon 5D Mark II which is lovely. (now that I have one that actually works). That said, I love my good old film cameras. Working with film forces me to slow down, look carefully and make decisions prior to releasing the shutter. Currently I shoot about 25% of my work using an old, beat up Hasse with a set of prime lenses. Occasionally I use my Rolliflex. Sometimes I’ll take out the Linhof Technikardan. What I LOVE is that the film doesn’t become obsolete in 3 years, I can put the film in a filing cabinet (as opposed to RAID storage for my digital files), and put the caption information on the sleeve (which can’t be stripped by software programs). Plus my cat can have a nap on the 8×10.
Posted in architectural photographer, book photographer, cameras, Canon 5D, Halprin, landscape photographer, landscape photography, photography, public space, tagged architectural photographer, architecture, Canon, Hasselblad, landscape, landscape architecture, landscape photographer, photo, photography, tourism, walking on December 30, 2009 | 1 Comment »
… is featured in the new book entitled, “Where the Revolution Began, published by Spacemaker Press. It features the work of landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, who had been at the leading edge of urban design (sadly, he passed away in October). Together with his wife Anna Halprin, they transformed notions of public space and community. The book contains three essays by John Beardsley, Janice Ross and Randy Gragg. I made the modern photographs of the Halprin Promenade in Portland over the last couple of years. If you would like to buy the book, you can do so here. We hope you do, as all the proceeds go to the Halprin Landscape Conservancy, “a nonprofit organization devoted to educating the public and preserving the Portland Open Space Sequence.”
The process of documenting these parks was a very interesting exercise in trying to “see” back in time and envision what these plazas might have looked like before they were overwhelmed by high rise buildings, neglect, (don’t mean to be down on Portland here, I would wager this was due to city budget restraints), and the addition of unintended architectural features (such as sculpture, planters, etc…).
This book is a magnificent testament to these public spaces and we hope will not only bring attention to these important Portland landmarks but lead to the preservation of them for future generations. In addition to my work, the book also includes reproductions of Halprin’s drawings and some historical images for context.
Here are a few of my favorite images from the shoot which features the Lovejoy Fountain, Pettygrove Park and the Forecourt Fountain. Most of the images were made with a Hasselblad using 80mm, 50mm or 40mm lenses. The film was either Kodak 160VC or Kodak 400VC. Some of the detail images and wide angle horizontal images were made with a Canon 5D.
Posted in camera technical problem, cameras, Canon, Canon 5D, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon Lens, D5 Mark ll, photography, photojournalism, travel photographer, tagged 5D Mark ll, camera, Canon, magazine photography, photo, photography, technical, travel photographer on November 8, 2009 | 38 Comments »
Two weeks ago, during a critical moment while I was shooting on a photography assignment, my Canon 5D Mark II started giving me an “Error 01″ message saying there was a communication error between the lens and the camera. I called my most favorite Canon rep and he suggested that I try the lens on a second body, just to make sure it was the lens and not the body. (I had a whole boatload of trouble with my first 5D Mark II). I put the troublesome lens, my favorite 24-105 f/4 IS USM, on my older Canon 5D and instead of intermittent error messages, the camera would lock the mirror up and I’d have to turn the camera off in order to get it functioning again. Both bodies worked perfectly with all the other lenses in my kit. I started searching for a new lens to buy because I had a sunset location to be at in 2 hours (YIKES). Every camera store I called had the lens on back order. I was luckily able to secure a loaner. Sure enough, the loaner lens worked perfectly on both bodies and I subsequently sent my malfunctioning 24-105 to the Canon Repair Center in Irvine. I am a Silver member of CPS and they turned the lens around in about a week. I’ve tested it briefly and it appears to be in good working order. They even replaced a few extra parts and put the lens back into virtually new condition. Thank you Canon!!! Here are a couple of photos which I am fond of, both of which were made with the Canon 5D Mark II and the 24-105 f/4 IS USM lens.
images copyright © 2009 Susan Seubert Photography