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Make Your Sunset Photos Pop!


sarasota sunset1

Many people ask me if I PhotoShop my images prior to posting to the web. Truth be told,  every single digital image needs a little tweaking.  Fact: Nearly every image used in commercial advertising  (billboards, newspapers, magazines, etc)  has been Photoshopped in some matter prior to being printed.

I shoot a lot of photos. While on assignments I can easily shoot over 8K in photos in a single week.  Although most of them are editorial photos and usually just a few are needed by the clients. I also shoot a lot of personal photos. I like to bracket exposures and shutter speeds, adjust lighting and shoot several shots of the subjects if time allows. This system makes the final editing easier and gives the client more choices since a good photo will help make their written articles standout.

NO ONE  wants to waste the time editing every single image photographers create, especially the photographer. If the photographer brackets his shots it’s easier to pick a decent exposure to work with in post edit. Getting the composition and exposure close will also pay dividends in time saved during post edit.

So what makes an image pop?  Composition, Lighting, Color, Exposure and Subject of course. The first three can be controlled in post-processing. Although, one can control exposure in post try to get the exposure close from the start.  After a decent exposure,  I crop the image and add a little color saturation at times and “whoa” that’s it! The whole process only takes about a minute or two.

Let’s talk about composition for a bit. Framing your photo in the camera viewfinder is most important if you want a great or compelling image. Try applying the basic composition rules like the “rule-of-thirds”. Turn your camera verticle or horizontal and pretend you see that tic-tac-toe graph. Also, try to get some low or compelling angles. Whatever you do, DON’T put the horizon in the middle of the photo. Yikes!!

If you notice the sky is more dramatic, try to include more of it. Including a live subject, building structure or animal to your photos will also help make many photos work. If you look at the sunset I shot at Bradenton Beach above you will notice the sky with the whispery clouds swirling around and the birds running at the base. I shot a very low angle with the camera just inches from the sand. I wanted to include some of the shine on the sand because it was reflecting a very dramatic sky which added another element of lighting which silhouetted the birds. During post I barely saturated the color and cropped the image a little and that was it.

The photo below was shot along the Gold Coast of Brasilito, Costa Rica. It was an amazing sunset and the color was right on. Again, just a tad of saturation. The young surfers in silhouettes added the human element and scale. Many may say the image is a bit over saturated. However, you as the creator of the image can adjust lighting and colors to get your desired effect. At times we can adjust colors to match a decor in place in our homes or offices.

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The image below is the same beach scene as above, but shot several minutes later. The lighting became so much more saturated as the sun started to set low in the sky and exhibited some astonishing brilliant colors, so I was compelled to shoot a series of photos which all turned out incredibly amazing.


The image below was right outside my hotel in Brasilito, C.R., . The lighting was right on with little photoshop. I had just arrived and hurried to get the shot. The moss hanging from the tree and the people added some extra elements.

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Below: Playa Hermosa Bch, just south of Jaco, Costa Rica.

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Below: Clearwater Bch, Florida


Exhibiting your Masterpiece: Try adding a border around your finished images. It completes the photo for publishing. If you want to hang your images you may want to skip the traditional frame and matting with glass.  Opt instead for a gallery wrap, metal or acrylic print. I’m loving the metal and acrylics.

Contributed by: Martin J. Allred (editor) http://www.floridaography.com


EOS 5D Mark IV: LCD Brightness



The EOS 5D Mark IV features the ability to have either an auto monitor brightness or a manual brightness. While in many situations it is preferable to manually set the LCD brightness and then adjust it to suit the conditions, sometime auto brightness works well. If you are looking at an image on the screen and the brightness seems to go up and down while looking, check where you right thumb is sitting – to the lower left of the Quick Control Dial (large dial on the back of the camera) there is a small, round light sensor. If you are covering this with your thumb, or any part of your hand, the brightness will change as you move your hand around. Either keep the sensor clear, or switch to a manual LCD brightness setting to stop this happen.

Contributed by:  Martin Allred, http://www.nationwidephotographers.com


Source CPS Europe


EOS 5D Mark IV: Timelapse movies

canon5d-mark-IV-dslr--800x534The EOS 5D Mark IV features a time-lapse movie shooting option to create time-lapse directly in-camera without needing to stitch the images together afterward. When you shoot a time-lapse movie, you will notice that the resolution is FHD and it is recorded at either 29.97P (NTSC) or 25.00P (PAL). If you wish to record a timelapse at a higher resolution or with a different frame rate, then you should use the interval timer instead to capture still images that you can later combine on a computer. This will allow you to capture a timelapse at a much higher resolution, in RAW, or with a faster or slower frame rate as required.

This feature works well with trade show set-ups, construction projects, and beach sunrise and sunsets. The camera should be mounted on a tripod and placed where it will not be moved for best results.

Source: Canon Professional Services

Contributed by: Martin Allred,


Canon’s New Flagship Mirrorless Camera EOS-M5

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Canon unveiled their newest flagship mirrorless camera in London last month. The Mirrorless EOS-M5,

This camera is bundled with all the buttons and whistles professional photographers love and demand, with the added bonus of less weight.  The camera is also slightly smaller than the much more cumbersome professional Canon DSLRs on the market . Personally, I think the mirrorless technology will eventually make the DSLR cameras obsolete. Just think about that for a moment.  Will the term “mirrorless” eventually go the same way as the horseless carriage did?  Although this technology has been around for several years, I think it will change the way cameras will be manufactured in the future. After all, as a professional why would I want to carry around all that extra weight when I can get the functions I need and use frequently in a smaller camera?

The first EOS camera to include Canon’s DIGIC 7 processor, it’s packed with the very best imaging technology, including a 24.2 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and Dual Pixel CMOS AF for sharp, precise photos and dynamic, cinematic movies. The perfect compact companion for high-end photographers, or an alternative to mid-level DSLR cameras, the EOS M5 is a landmark in Canon’s mirrorless range.

When combined with Dual Pixel CMOS AF, spontaneous moments can be frozen thanks to DSLR-level AF speeds and accuracy, while sophisticated recognition and subject tracking of DIGIC 7 helps the camera lock onto subjects for longer and more precisely in both movies and stills. With improved clarity and performance, whether you’re on a family holiday or a professional shoot in pursuit of that stand out shot, DIGIC 7 offers the best photography experience.

Bright moments, from summer days to backlit subjects, can be shot with ease using the 24.2 Megapixel sensor, which includes gapless micro lenses to maximise the sensor area, increasing pixel light sensitivity while making the camera less susceptible to digital noise. The sensor – which includes similar technologies to the esteemed EOS 80D – also improves dynamic range and editing latitude for beautiful shades and contrasts. For situations where shallow depth of field is a must, like portrait photography or moments of creative expression, the EOS M5’s large APS-C sensor makes the effect stand-out and easy to achieve. Whether it is manipulating light or simply shooting in unusual conditions, with the ability to select ISO up to a massive 25,600 with no expansion needed, the EOS M5 is the camera to be carrying for unique, well composed photographs.

While you can make the settings work for you, you can’t always control your subject. From an animal on the move to a moment of sporting brilliance, the EOS M5 comes to life in just one second, and can continually shoot at 7 fps, or 9 fps with fixed AF. For Full HD 60p movies that stay steady even when you don’t, the camera’s five axis-stabilisation keeps frames still even when using non-IS lenses, enhanced even further when using a lens equipped with Dynamic IS.

Designed to be yours
The EOS M5 was created from the inside out, to work for you. The in-built, large electronic viewfinder is centrally placed, for DSLR–like handling, as well as high resolution and fast 120 fps refresh rate for maximum comfort. When using the viewfinder, the LCD touch screen – your portal to every setting – can be turned into a touch pad, letting you use your thumb to change the AF point or zone, mimicking the Multi-controller ‘joy stick’ function of a DSLR. For full control, the premium finish body has several customisable external buttons, including a new thumb operated dial for easy exposure control. For true versatility, the EOS M5 can be used with over 80 EF lenses using the Mount Adapter EF-EOS M with no loss in performance or quality.

Get connected, stay connected
Alongside Wi-Fi and NFC, the EOS M5 offers Bluetooth® connectivity¹ – which creates a constant connection between your smartphone and camera. From there you can view and transfer images without taking the camera out of your bag, as it automatically shifts to Wi-Fi when needed. The feature can also be used to turn your smartphone into a simple, low power remote control for prolonged remote shooting or capturing scenes that require a fast shutter release, such as wildlife shoots.

Key Features of the Canon EOS M5 Camera Include:

  • 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor, ISO 100–25600.
  • Fast and smooth Dual Pixel CMOS AF helps you capture stills and shoot video with quick and precise autofocus.
  • High-speed continuous shooting at up to 7.0 fps (up to 9.0 fps with AF Lock) and new DIGIC 7 Image Processor with improved AF tracking performance.
  • Full HD 60p helps capture fast-moving subjects and brilliant results in MP4 format.
  • Digital IS with 5-axis image stabilizationivwhen shooting movies plus increased image stabilization with both lens optical IS and in-camera digital IS when shooting with an IS lens.
  • Built-in high-resolution EVF (approx. 2,360,000 dots) with new Touch and Drag AF lets you manually move the AF frame displayed for more precise focusing in different shooting situations.
  • Intuitive touch screen 3.2 tilt-type (85° up/180° down) LCD monitor(approx. 1,620,000 dots) enables flexible positioning and clear viewing.
  • Easily customize functions while shooting using the Main Dial, Quick Control Dial, Dial Function Button and Exposure Compensation Dial.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi®v and NFCvi allows for easy sharing and transferring of images and videos.
  • Equipped with Bluetooth®iii Smart for smooth pairing with a compatible smartphone by powering on both devices for easy photo sharing and remote control possibilities.
  • Shorter camera startup timevii and interval time between each image capture for a more efficient shooting experience.
  • Compatible with EF-M lenses as well as the full line of EFviii and EF-Sviii lenses and Speedlites for expanded creativity.

See Canon’s press release here: https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/about/newsroom/press-releases/press-release-details/2016/20160915-EOS-M5/20160915-EOS-M5

Contributed by: Martin Allred



Canon EOS 6D Tech Tips

Canon EOS 6D Tips and Tricks


Contributed by:  Martin Allred



EOS 6D: WiFi and image size

Sending images over WiFi is not usually that quick. As such, even though the files are only JPEGs, it is best to keep them to a small file size to make transfer as efficient as possible. Previously, the advice for sending images over WiFi was to select a small JEPG file in the file size options. However, with the EOS 6D, it is possible to resize images in the WiFi transfer settings menu. This way you can shoot in RAW and Large JPEG if you need to, but then resize the images you wish to send, in-camera, so they transfer faster.


Source: Canon Professional Services


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