Welcome to My Monthly Newsletter - May, 2011
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How I Created This Image - Facebook Post!

Cormorant Enjoying the Sunset - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Cormorant Enjoying the Sunset - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, Canon 800mm L @ f/16, 1/2000 sec, ISO 100, Manual exposure, Full frame

Few months ago, I posted this image on Facebook. I invited everyone to sign-up to my newsletter and several Facebook Friends did. The main reason I did that was because I wanted to share the experience with everyone and not just my Facebook Friends. BTW, I post images on Facebook almost daily. If you have a Facebook account, I would like to be your friend!!

You've seen me talking about NEVER looking at the sun directly when using your camera. I continue recommending just that. However, how can I possibly create this image without looking at the sun using the viewfinder? I used Live View!!

We know more and more dSLR's manufactures are including a very cool feature called "Live View". Lately, I've been using Live View often. I use it when photographing birds and landscapes. Live View is very, very useful and is here to stay.

Here are few tips:

  • Make sure you have plenty of battery power before using Live View.
  • Make sure your LCD brightness is set to the highest level.
  • Live View AF set to "Live View Mode" (Canon Body)
  • Make sure you enable the Grid Display if you have the option.
  • Make sure to enable Exposure Simulation. This is critical.
  • Make sure your camera is set to Manual Mode for ultimate exposure control.
  • When using Live View, make sure you enable the HISTOGRAM. This will help you keep a close eye to your exposure.
  • Make sure your camera's shutter is set to High Speed.
  • Make sure to be very steady when using Live View. If your subject is not moving much, lock your ball head with the composition you are happy with.

As you can see, shooting in Live View can be overwhelming. However, this is a good staring point for you. Practice at home and have fun!

Landscapes Photography Madness!!

Earlier this season I put a hold to bird photography and continued developing my landscapes portfolio. I studied and visited few areas around Florida with great success!

I’ve also adopted new software and filters to continue creating landscapes images all over Florida, including few trips to the Everglades Nat’l Park and 10,000 Islands this coming summer. These locations are potential workshop candidates for 2012.

Stay tuned as I will be announcing my 2012 Affordable Workshops very soon.

Everglades National Park Workshop - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Everglades National Park Workshop - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved

Canon 5D MKII, 70-200mm L @ f/16, 1/80 sec, ISO 800, Manual exposure, Tripod


Everglades National Park Workshop - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKII, 70-200mm L @ f/8, 1/500 sec, ISO 50, Manual exposure, Tripod

Peaceful Morning - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Peaceful Morning - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKII, 17-40mm L @ f/11, 1/25 sec, ISO 50, Polarizer, GND Filter, Manual exposure, Tripod

Sunny Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Sunny Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKII, 17-40mm L @ f/16, 2 sec, ISO 50, Manual exposure, Tripod

Black & White

Gorgeous Morning - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Gorgeous Morning - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKII, 17-40mm L @ f/16, 1/160 sec, ISO 50, Manual exposure, Hand-held

Sanibel Lighthouse B&W - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Sanibel Lighthouse B&W - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKII, 17-40mm L @ f/11, 1/80 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure, Tripod

The Almost Fallen Tree - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
The Almost Fallen Tree - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKII, 17-40mm L @ f/16, 1/320 sec, ISO 50, Manual exposure, Tripod

Powerful Morning - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Powerful Morning - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKII, 17-40mm L @ f/16, 1/320 sec, ISO 50, Manual exposure, Tripod

Summer is Almost Here - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Summer is Almost Here - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKII, 17-40mm L @ f/16, 2 sec, ISO 50, Manual exposure, Tripod

Everglades National Park Workshop
Everglades National Park Workshop - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKII, 17-40mm L @ f/15, 1/160 sec, ISO 50, Manual exposure, Tripod

Florida's Birding & Photo Fest - Yet Another Wonderful Event!!

Florida's Birding & Photo Fest - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Florida's Birding & Photo Fest - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKII, 17-40mm L @ f/11, 1/80 sec, ISO 200, Manual exposure, Tripod

Florida's Birding & Photo Fest - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Birds in Flight Auditorium Seminar - Erin Masters, All Rights Reserved
Baby Camera, 18-55mm L @ f/16, 1/40 sec, ISO 800, Manual exposure, Tripod


Early Sunrise Florida's Birding & Photo Fest Workshop - Jim Hunt, All Rights Reserved
Thanks a bunch Jim for sharing the images... You are da man!!

What can I say...?? Yet another wonderful and successful Florida's Birding & Photo Fest. With a new RECORD number of participants attending the event, many walked home with a large amount of information.

I highly recommend this event to everyone looking to get away and have fun participating in the event around St. Augustine, Florida. I'm blessed to be invited for a 3rd year in a row. We are working on new and exciting field seminars that you don't want to miss.

More from Tim Grey!! - Noise Reduction

Today's Question: - April 19, 2011

I am interested in purchasing Noise Ninja to use in conjunction with CS5 to remove noise from some images. I downloaded the program as a plug-in and then saw that there are a number of different licenses available, including standalone and plug in options as well as 8 bit and 16 bit options. Can you explain the differences between these and tell me which one you recommend? Also, once I get the license in place, what is your suggested workflow for using Noise Ninja?

Tim's Answer:

I have long been a fan of Noise Ninja from PictureCode (www.picturecode.com), and consider it among the best noise-reduction software tools available. There are several versions of Noise Ninja available, so a little confusion about which one to get is completely understandable.

There are two basic considerations when choosing a version of Noise Ninja: Pro versus Home and Bundle versus Standalone.

The Pro versus Home option relates to a variety of more advanced workflow features. The key consideration in my mind, as you suggest in your question, is 8-bit versus 16-bit support. This is an important issue, because it determines whether you'll be able to apply noise reduction to 16-bit per channel images (as opposed to only 8-bit per channel images). For 16-bit per channel support you need a Pro version of Noise Ninja. As a result, from my perspective the Home versions are really not an optimal choice, and I highly recommend opting for a Pro version. In addition to bit depth considerations, the Home versions also only support single processor execution (so it can't take advantage of multiple processors, and thus will likely run more slowly), can't be applied as a Smart Filter (which reduces flexibility), doesn't support Apple Aperture, and doesn't support batch processing. So, again, from my perspective the Pro versions are the only ones to consider.

The next decision relates to the Bundle versus Standalone option. The basic difference here is that the Standalone version can only be run as an application, which means you'll need to run Noise Ninja independently of Photoshop and open the image you want to work on directly. By contrast, the Bundle version includes the Photoshop plug-in, which allows you to apply Noise Ninja noise reduction to an image directly from within Photoshop. To me these additional features available in the Bundle make it well worth the additional $10 cost.

So, my recommendation is to choose the Pro Bundle, but you can of course take the above details into consideration to decide which option is best for you and your particular workflow.

In terms of workflow, my preference is to use the plug-in feature directly within Photoshop, and to apply the noise reduction as a Smart Filter. This requires that you first select the Background image layer on the Layers panel and then choose Filter > Convert for Smart Filters from the menu to convert the Background image layer to a Smart Object. You can then apply the Noise Ninja filter (via the Filter > PictureCode menu) in order to apply Noise Ninja as a Smart Filter. This will enable you to refine the noise reduction settings later if you decide that is necessary, and thus provides the maximum level of flexibility. I do recommend applying noise reduction as early in your image-optimization workflow as possible, so in my mind this would be the first thing you do after RAW conversion (or initially opening an image that was not a RAW capture).

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OutdoorPhotoGear.com Does It Again - Fun Photos!

Maxis Gamez With "The Original Bug Shirt Elite Edition"
Maxis Gamez With "The Original Bug Shirt Elite Edition"
Camera Phone, Hand held

Erin Masters Having Fun with Her "The Original Bug Shirt Elite Edition"
Erin Masters Having Fun with Her "The Original Bug Shirt Elite Edition"
Camera Phone, Hand held

My plan to visit the Everglades and 10,000 islands this summer continues. We received our kick ass Bug Shirts during the Florida's Birding & Photo Fest. Here is a picture of me with the shirt. Let's not leave the ladies out of the party, Erin Masters will join me as well as my good friend Lance Hall with his boat. I sure hope Lance is reading this newsletter as I'm sure he will need one too! We are expecting a huge amount of mosquito and bugs but who said photography was easy right??? <smile>

I've been told that this Bug Shirt can handle pretty much anything. I sure hope so.... Stay tune for the report this coming summer. In the mean time, let's learn about the features.

Features:

  • Prevent having to use chemical insect repellents
  • Dual zippers on hood
  • Hood can be thrown back and worn over lidded cap
  • Pull-back drawstring on hood for adjustment
  • Ribbed cuffs with elastic cord adjustment
  • Waist cinch cord
  • Folds into its own zippered pocket, and travels easily on belt
  • 100% Polyester Breathable Microfiber fabric
Available in Sandstone or Natural Gear SCII Camouflage.

Chris Klapheke's (owner) and a good friend was nice enough to make it all happen for us. Yet again, another satisfactory experience with Outdoorphotogear.com. BTW, Chris is very knowledgeable about pretty much anything photography. Make sure to check them out! I've purchase from them before. Shipping was fast and prices are very competitive!!

I highly recommend them!!!


Dimage Camera Club Presentation Feedback!

"Dear Maxis,

Thank you for an amazing presentation at Dimage last night. And thank you for the detailed critiques of our photos. I am so happy that I took advantage of your kind offer to do that. I have submitted my emai address to your website to receive the newsletters."

"Hi Maxis:

I'm sure everyone appreciated your time and effort in critiquing the photos that were submitted. In particular I learned something about focusing points and I've been studying my camera manual to see about set up adjustments. I had in the past few weeks started to shoot again in manual as suggested in Bryan Peterson's book Understanding Exposure. You confirmed again what I have painfully learned about shooting in"automatic" as you put it, from the incorrect exposure as demonstrated by my black lizard image"

"Maxis:
Thank you for a very instructive seminar at the DiMage meeting"

Spoonbills & More Workshop #1 Update

Spoonbills & More Workshop With Maxis Gamez
Spoonbills & More Workshop Participants - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D MKII, 17-40mm L @ f/8, 1/100 sec, ISO 50, Manual exposure, Hand-held

Spoonbills & More Workshop With Maxis Gamez
Female Brown Pelican - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, Canon 800mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1250 sec, ISO 800, Manual exposure,
Hand-held from a boat

Spoonbills & More Workshop With Maxis Gamez
Spoonbill Looking Down - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, Canon 800mm L @ f/8, 1/1000 sec, ISO 800, Manual exposure, Hand-held from a boat

What a lovely season this has been for me. It has been non-stop since last December. I just got back from my first Spoonbills & More Workshop and already looking forward to my second workshop in one week.

Saturday morning stared very well. Everyone got to the boat ramp on time. We headed out in the dark with a lovely sunrise. We arrived to the rookery and concentrated creating silhouettes images while the sun finally came up. We photographed several species flying over the rookery.

Luckily, the severe stormed that hit S.W Florida Saturday was during "down time". We were able to get back in the boat and headed out until 8PM.

Overall, the workshop was a great success!!

 

In June's Edition...

  • Spoonbills & More Workshop #2 Images
  • Florida's Birding & Photo Fest Images
  • More Images Using The 800mm
  • and much more

I hope you find this edition useful. Please email me your questions.
Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon!

Sincerely,

Maxis Gamez
941.623.5155
maxisgamez@gmail.com
www.gvisions.org

All images contained within this email are Copyrighted by Maxis Gamez or original author. All rights reserved.
Copying, reproduction, or distribution of these images in any manner is protected by United States of America Copyright laws and International Copyright laws and is strictly prohibited. Thank you.
www.gvisions.org | maxisgamez@gmail.com | 941.623.5155