Trail of Lights

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

Shooting holiday lights can be a challenge. I always like to include a human element in my pictures and with a long exposure it can be difficult to make a picture without motion blur. I saw the couple in the photo above attempting to shoot self portraits at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield on Saturday and it gave me an idea. To get a proper exposure for the lights I would need a long exposure. This gave me a window of opportunity to catch the flash from the couple’s camera and use it as fill to illuminate them in front of the lights. It took a couple of frames but I managed to time it right to make the picture above.

‘Tis the Season to Stock Up On Some Used Gear

Saw this on Craigslist today. I swear I buy more equipment from people who wanted to “go pro” and are giving up than from shops these days. Not a bad deal as a package but I don’t really need all that stuff. One day people will realize that becoming a professional photographer is less about gear and more about the pictures that you make. Until then I will continue to buy their used equipment.

UPDATED: Now This Looks Interesting: Canon XF100

Photo Courtesy of Canon USA

UPDATED: The Canon Expo 2010 is underway in New York today and earlier this week they unveiled a couple of flash memory based, single chip, professional HD camcorders. They record full HD (1920×1080) to compact flash cards up to 64gb and feature a plethora of manual controls and professional audio options. Some of the final specs are still unknown including the price unfortunately. One of the best parts about this camcorder is the size: just 4.8 x 5.8 x 9.8 in. not including the lens hood or mic mount. That is really tiny for a camcorder with as many features as it offers. I have just about had it with the audio problems of the EOS 7D. I was really hoping that Canon would release a firmware upgrade for manual audio this week but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. If this camcorder comes in anywhere near $2000, I think I am selling my 7D and buying one of these. UPDATE: It looks like the price for the XF 100 is going to be around $4000 and the XF105 will be around $5000, so buying one of these is probably out of my budget. I see a lot of ENG professionals and low budget documentary film makers using these in the near future. Check out the full specs here.

What is all this stuff?

© Matthew Jonas 2010

I’ll tell you what it is. It’s one of the new Nano rigs from Redrock Micro. In the next couple of days I will have an in depth review of some of their new products including an update to the Microfinder Loupe accessory. Stay tuned for a lot more.

Canon S95: the Professional Point and Shoot

Photo Courtesy of Canon

This week Canon announced the PowerShot S95, an update to their popular advanced point and shoot the PowerShot S90. After reviewing some of the added features I think I am sold. I had a quick hands on with the last version which I wrote about here. I really like the form factor of the S90 so I am glad that that has remained unchanged. Here’s a quick list of the new features.

  • 720p HD at 24fps Video Recording with Stereo Sound
  • 3.0inch PureColor II G LCD Display, 461k-dot
  • HDR shooting mode (really? embrace the light, don’t fight it)
  • Slimmer Body, 29.5 mm thick
  • The Same External Coating (paint/texture) Used on the Canon EOS 7D
  • 1st Canon point and shoot to use the Hybrid IS
  • Revised Control Dial with Better Click-stops for Settings
  • XDHC Card Compatibility

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Canon 24-70: Psuedo Macro Lens

© Matthew Jonas 2010/Evergreen Newspapers 2010

I made the picture above a little while back for a story about a canceled garden tour. I was trying to show the devastation of a spring hail storm. There’s not a lot to the story. I was just archiving a few things and I kinda liked it.

Dear Canon, I need a flash memory based HV40

I have been shooting a lot of video with my EOS 7D lately and now have a pretty good understanding of the limitations of the Camera. 12 minute clip length, automatic gain control, having to record audio separately in most cases and sync in post and lack of image stabilization are things I have lived with. There’s a lot to like about the camera but there’s a lot of compromises to make. For some applications a smaller, more traditional camera would be better suited for filming. I have great Sennheiser on camera and off camera mics, an LED light that works pretty well and they all have one thing in common: a standard cold shoe connection.

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Crazy Dog! RUN!

© Matthew Jonas 2010

Actually I was just making sure that my 70-200 f2.8L was sharp. I just got it back from Canon on Monday and haven’t really had a chance to test it out. Looks good to me.

Canon to purchase top level domain .canon

Interesting. Canon announced on Wednesday that it intends to be the first company to ditch the .com and move to .canon. This comes from a recent decision that would take advantage of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to increase the number of top-level domain names available. The new TLDs are only available to corporations, so I guess matthew.jonas is out the question, and are slightly more expensive than a .com at $185,000 plus miscellaneous other fees still to be determined. Essentially what this means is that Canon has a bunch of time and disposable income right now after their recent price hikes on lenses – just kidding (not bitter). What it really means is that domains will become shorter, particularly in email addresses. For example: john@canon.com would become john@canon and the companies web site would be located at http://canon. Why is this important? I’m glad you asked. I foresee a possibility of .photojournalist or .media or .photographer to spring up. I don’t particularly see a great impact on the internet or search engine optimization for these TLDs but it would be neat to have a matthewjonas.photographer domain. More info here.