BrickHouse Photo School

Tips, Tricks and Reviews for Photo Hobbyists

Archive for February 22nd, 2009

Equipment Profiles: Canon’s EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens

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Canon’s EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens is the photojournalist’s workhorse lens. Because of its zoom range, 70-200mm, and it’s wide maximum aperture, photojournalists have relied on this lens as the de facto lens of choice. This lens provides razor-sharp images in a well-constructed design.

Canon's EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens. (Photo Credit: Canon USA)

Canon's EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM lens. (Photo Credit: Canon USA)

Who Needs This Lens?
Obviously, this is the lens of choice for working pros. Students should seriously consider saving up their pennies to purchase this piece of equipment, especially photojournalism students and those considering sports photography. Finally, serious photo enthusiast, especially those of you who have children in sports, should consider making the investment in this lens.
This is an ideal lens for sports photography because of its zoom range, it’s large maximum aperture and because of the Image Stabilization (the IS in the camera’s name) technology. The IS technology provides three-stops correction for camera shake.

Where Will I Use This Lens?
This lens is heavy (it weighs a little over three pounds) and most people – especially those not used to heavy, pro-grade lenses, will find it uncomfortable as a walk-around lens. If you’re a photo hobbyist and have children in sports then you should absolutely consider owning this lens. It’s ideal for all sports and with the f/2.8 maximum aperture, even crisp images of indoor and night sports are possible.

By the Numbers
Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Lens Construction: 23 elements in 18 groups
Focusing: Auto Focus and full-time manual focus even in AF mode.
Price: $1,200-$1,900 US

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Give Images Depth: Use the Foreground, Mid-ground and Background

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Although a photograph is two-dimensional, you can create a sense of depth in your photo by creatively using the foreground, mid-ground and background.

You have to think of your image as a canvass and work to make all of the layers in your canvass work to your advantage. You don’t want the layers to compete and you don’t want the viewer to lose the message you’re attempting to convey in the image. You want all of the layers to work in harmony to keep your viewer on message.

Again, like most techniques, this tip won’t work for all images. It’s up to you to play around and see what works best for each situation.

How it Works
The idea for this technique is to show depth, meaning that there is something between the background and foreground or the background and the subject. The way to do this, is it insert another item into the mid-ground.

Look at the motocross photo (Example 1) for a better idea. Motorcycle number 138 is still the subject of the photo but the motocross rider in blue helps separate the subject from the red-rock background. Thus, it provides a sense of depth.

Example 1. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Example 1. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Depth can also provide tension in the image. It can show spatial differences in subjects, thus providing a sense of tension. For example, look at the motorcycle race photo, Example 2. By capturing an image that shows the three motorcycles staggered, it creates a sense of tension. We know, just by looking at the image, there’s a race and these three competitors are very close to one another.

Example 2. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Example 2. (Photo Credit: Jeremy W. Schneider)

Trying adding some depth to your images by creatively weaving all of the layers together. It will help you make better, more visually-compelling photos.

Good luck and keep shooting!

Written by jeremyparce

February 22, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Canon Commemorates 50 Years of Since Launch of First SLR Camera

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I will often publish media releases related to photography on this blog in order to help keep you informed. These media releases are created by the respective companies. I edit the releases for space as needed.

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., – Canon U.S.A., Inc., is honoring 50 years of SLR camera sales, beginning with the sale of Canon’s first SLR camera in 1959. 2009 is a milestone year, commemorating the passing of 50 years since Canon sold its first single-lens reflex camera. Canon’s single-lens reflex cameras have evolved with the times, incorporating advanced and groundbreaking technology. Exceeding a cumulative total of 53 million units, they have garnered extensive support from photographers around the world. Looking to the future, Canon will continue its efforts to develop its single-lens reflex cameras and lead image culture for the next fifty years.
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Canon’s history with 35mm single-lens reflex cameras began in May 1959, when Canon Inc. launched the Canonflex. Thereafter, the Company continued to introduce cameras that embodied solid technology and innovation, including the F-1, its first professional model (1971); the AE-1, the world’s first single-lens reflex camera with built-in CPU (1976); and the T90, a state-of-the-art T Series model (1986).

Additionally, in March 1987, Canon adopted the world’s first electronic mount and launched the EOS650, a new-generation AF single-lens reflex camera with electronic control that was originally between the lens and the body and then encompassed the entire system. The EOS Series, which has continued to the present day, has rapidly expanded users in both the professional segment, with the top-of-the-line EOS-1 (1989), and in the entry segment, with the EOS Rebel (1993), for which size and weight reductions were accomplished.

Since the year 2000, an era of full-fledged digitalization has been dawning, beginning with the EOS D30 (2000). With speed, ease and high image quality as its key concepts, the EOS Digital Series has constantly been a leader in the evolution of single-lens reflex cameras with Canon-developed CMOS sensors, the high-performance image processor DIGIC and an EF lens group that boasts outstanding optical performance and an abundant line-up.

Last year, in 2008, Canon released four models, including the EOS Rebel XSi, which has acquired the top market share in numerous countries around the world, and the EOS 5D Mark II, which is equipped with the first full high-definition movie recording functions for a single-lens reflex camera. With the introduction of these camera models, the Company has successfully created an even more powerful line-up.

Written by jeremyparce

February 22, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Posted in News & Notes

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